The power of purpose

You probably know the story of three masons chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. When a bypasser asked what they were doing, the first Mason said: “I’m cutting stones”.
The second man replied: “I am building a wall.”
The third, who was humming a tune as he worked, smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”

Job, career, or calling?

That aligns with Lyubomirsky’s research who found three mindsets about work: people can see work as a job, a career or a calling.

The job viewpoint: people watch the clock because work is just their way to make a living.

How could you leverage the positive drive that purpose gives? Share on X

People who want to achieve something and climb the ladder, have a career viewpoint. Rather than watching the clock, they watch the calendar to determine their progress.

People who have a calling want to make a difference. They love what they do and do what they love. They neither watch the clock or the calendar, but they have a sense of urgency: it’s about time for positive change!


It’s no surprise that this third group is prone to positivity. People with a calling are scattered over all positions. Janitors and bus drivers can have a calling while CEOs can experience their work as a job to pay the bills.

As Daniel Pink concluded: what drives modern people is mastery, autonomy, and purpose. Frederic Laloux calls “purpose” one of the three breakthroughs of Teal organizations (next to self-management and wholeness/authenticity at work).

Yes, purpose matters.

What is your team’s or organization’s shared purpose? How could you leverage the positive drive that purpose gives?

This is book post #76 – Part “WE”

For more insights and tips, order my book Developing a Positive Culture

Check out the online Positive Culture Academy. Let’s be Positive Agents who do revolution by evolution: one interaction at a time, one person at a time. Subscribe to the Academy’s mailing list so I can keep you posted!

Here’s the earlier post
Here‘s the next post

If you’re confused, check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.

By the way, if you want to contribute to a positive workplace culture, my next open workshop on Positive Culture Change Leadership is scheduled for 24-26 September 2018! More information and registration is only a mouse click away.

© Copyright Marcella Bremer, 2018. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply