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How A Boring, Unfulfilling Job Accidentally Revealed My Passions And A Meaningful Direction For My Life

I felt dead inside.

Isn’t life supposed to be exciting?

Yet here I was… locked up in a 9-5 cubicle, doing the same work every day, and bored out of my mind.

I just don’t know where to go with my life. I’d love to work on something meaningful, something I’d feel passionate about, to make a difference.

“Can you help me?”


A woman’s voice wakes me from my dazed boredom.

I look up and see a woman with a sweet smile. I recognize her – she’s from a few cubicles down. She says she wants to move some boxes downstairs to her car, but they’re too heavy for her to lift.

I say I’m glad to help! I take a break to help her move the boxes downstairs and load them into her car. It only takes a few minutes, but I could tell she really appreciated that I took time out for her.

And something weird happens.

I feel a tickle of joy. Not an overwhelming, ecstatic joy, but enough to feel good and want more of it.

It was refreshing. For the first time in a long time, I felt proud to make a direct contribution to someone’s life and see how it helped them.

I felt I had a reason for being in my cubicle at that specific time: to help her move boxes, even if it was only for a few minutes.

And I immediately discovered why I’d lost touch of my passions in the past, and what I had to do immediately to restore my passionate, excited self again.

“The Necrosis Effect”

Every cell in your body, from your hair to your lungs to your toes, has a finite lifespan. Your red blood cells live for 120 days. Your skin cells live for 30 days. Brain cells live for 50 years.

But every once in a while, a healthy cell dies before its scheduled time. Maybe you accidentally bruise yourself by bumping into a table. Or get a paper cut on your finger.

For whatever reason, when a cell doesn’t perform as usual and no longer contributes to the body, it effectively loses its “purpose” and is discarded.

Doctors call this “Necrosis”. The term is usually used to describe cells in a human body, but the same is true for your life among the 7 billion people in the world.

When you don’t have a clear, meaningful direction for your life of how to contribute to the world, you feel unfulfilled and dead inside because you don’t know your life’s “purpose”, its reason for living.

Because of “The Necrosis Effect”, you start to feel that you are not dedicating your time to an inspiring cause, and you lose your passion in everything you do.

Cells that undergo Necrosis end up dying. But luckily, you are not a cell – you’re a human. Which means you have the power to feel passionate right now if you want to.

The 2 Primary Ingredients To Feel Passionate Right Now

Passion and energy comes from two simple actions:

1. Growing

2. Giving

The fastest way to rejuvenate your passion and gain a meaningful direction for your life is to find a way to grow yourself or give to someone else, immediately.

Growing increases your passion because you naturally want to become better at what you do. When you find an activity you enjoy just for the sake of doing, life feels like a game, where you’re constantly leveling up. You progress toward a worthy ideal you are proud to strive for.

Giving makes you passionate because humans are naturally “tribal”: we are born to connect and contribute to others. We are really no different from the cells in your own body – we survive and thrive by connecting with other people and helping them improve their lives.

Passion is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. When you start to grow and give, you probably won’t feel a surge of passion immediately, but you’ll feel more and more passionate over time.

So if you’d like to ignite some passion in your life, ask yourself these two questions:

1. How can you become better at what you do? How can you become a master at your craft? Can you do it by being a better mother or father? A better friend? A better brother or sister?

2. How can you help someone else? How can you support another person with a problem or struggle they have? How can you give your time, love or energy to someone who doesn’t expect it?

When you focus on these two questions, you instantly “turn on the engine” to your natural passionate self.

If you’d like specific step-by-step advice on creating a clear life purpose based on your unique skills and talents, and meaningful work you can be highly paid to do (with insights from PickTheBrain editor-in-chief Erin Falconer and 6 top experts on passion and life purpose), watch this video series available (free) for PickTheBrain readers.

  • http://clarityimpulse.com/ Jonathan Haye

    Hey, nice input! I especially liked the analogy of the necrosis effect, I found it particularly sharp. Hope to read more from you soon!
    Cheers,

    Jonathan

    • Yongho

      Hi Jonathan – glad you enjoyed it!

      - Yongho

  • Shelby

    Exactly what I needed to read! Thank you!

    • Yongho

      Thanks Shelby – I’m glad you found it helpful.

  • Rory

    I also really enjoyed reading this. I have been trying to find that ‘meaningful purpose’ in my life!

    • Yongho

      Thanks Rory! Feel free to check out the free video series to create a meaningful purpose for your life.

    • Yongho

      Thanks Rory! Feel free to check out the free video series to create a meaningful purpose for your life.

  • Ofain

    How true!

    • Yongho

      Thanks Ofain :)

    • Yongho

      Thanks Ofain :)

  • Ofain

    How true!

  • http://www.qwitr.org Tony Fuentes

    Yongho,

    Excellent article, and so true.

    I read a quote once that said the that best remedy for your sadness is to make someone happy.

    This article takes me back to when my daughters where born. The reason most parents have a glow about them after having a newborn is because they finally get to give 100% of themselves to another living being.

    On another note, I also felt the same way about my current job, and for the most part I still do. But what helps me get through the days is writing. My blog has been my avenue for giving to the world. For contributing to people’s lives.

    Even if all I get back in return is a simple comment from someone who enjoyed my writing, I fills me with gratitude and passion to give more.

    The best gift you can give to the world is to be the best person you can be, and sharing that with the world.

    • Yongho

      Hey Tony,

      I agree – of the 50+ personal development teachers I’ve studied, that’s the one fundamental truth I’ve picked up – that the true source of happiness and fulfillment comes from helping someone else.

      I love your idea behind qwitr.org – thank you for sharing your writing!

    • T B Samuel

       Yongho, I would appreciate you giving me advice on how to start a blog. I would like to explore this avenue as well for various reasons.

  • http://Mazzastick.com/ Justin Mazza

    Hi Yongho,
    Many are feeling a sense of purpose in life never mind excitement. Reconnecting to who we really are is the first step to creating a life of joy, excitement, and creativity.

    I like the idea of helping another. It really does work to ignite passion within.

    • Yongho

      Definitely – the best way to fill ourselves up is to first fill someone else up.

  • http://howtoovercomeanxietytoday.com/ Viki

    Very interesting!  I work from home and there are times that I crave face-to-face communication.  When that happens I head out to the store, smile at everyone I see, help people who need help, give compliments out if I like someone’s attire and it’s amazing how many people stop and talk to me.  By the time I get back home I feel really good about myself and can’t wait to get back to work. 

    • Yongho

      Hey Viki – that’s a great example of “little things” you can do each day to reveal your passion. I love that you smile and give compliments to people who don’t expect them!

  • http://www.KarmicKappuccino.com Steve Rice

    wonderful!  Growing and Giving…two keys to re-ignite passion.  You are exactly right!  When we feel dead inside, we can change our circumstances by growing beyond them, or we can change our attitude by giving…or both.  Powerful stuff.  Bravo.

    • Yongho

      Thanks Steve – but I must admit it’s originally an idea by Tony Robbins. ;)

  • Kameshwari

    Dear Yongho,

    Lovely article. Lots to learn and emulate.

    Being gratituous to what you have and being passionate towards what you do can keep a person happy.

    However, helping others, giving and sharing is what creates a sense of purpose in life. Growing in the real sense, i.e. growing internally can be achieved only by giving, sharing, helping and making others happy. Thanks for bringing out this message in your article.

    Giving selflessly and improving others lives is the essence to human existence and happiness.
     As the Buddha said:
    “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
    - Guatama Buddha

    • Yongho

      Hi Kameshwari – thank you! Your quote reminds me of the philosophy of TinyBuddha.com (1 candle lighting others)

  • geerajesh

    These kind of thoughts only what i have looked for at this moment.. Thanks Yongho.. let me start thinking about the ways to implement it and make my cells alive..

    • Yongho

      Hi Geerajesh – glad I could help. :)

  • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora

    One of the true tests is to ask yourself Monday morning whether you want to go to work or not.  Unfortunately for many people, the answer will be ‘no’.  This is a real indicator on how much one likes his/her job.  During the winter, I spend half the week as a ski instructor and never dread going to work on the ski slopes on Monday mornings.  I like to tell people that for half the week, the ski slopes are my office!

    • Yongho

      Hi Clint, that’s awesome. I think the people who really enjoy our work blur Mondays with the other days… every day is a weekend and a weekday.

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

    • Yongho

      Thanks for reading Kroo!

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • http://claireshin.com/ Claire Shin

    Nothing gives me joy like growing and giving. Every connection I make with others is another connection made with myself.

    Thank you for the great article.

    -Claire

  • Valerie

    Wow.  Great article.  I enjoyed reading this.

    • Yongho

      Thanks for reading Valerie!

      • Irma Groenewald

        Im am a 55 year old woman. I gave up my job for being there for my kids more and help them with school.   I am married for 31 years 9 months.  Now your article is super…but for me, I don’t know how this is going to help, we live in South Africa a town called Pretoria, I have no friends, nobody to talk to during the day, only me and my 3 dogs, my husband has a job 1 hours drive from home, very tierd when het comes home, talks about 15 minutes (because I don’t have stimulation or interaction with other people during the day) then he sits in front of the tv, always in front of the tv only watching sport…The biggest problem I am facing now is..he had 3 affairs during our marriage, the last one February this year ending. I feel unwanted, worthless….thousands of things I can mention here…I do my own house cleaning to keep busy…nothing feels appreciated by him..always criticizing me.  The only thing that keeps me going is my christianity…without that I would be nothing!!  Now Yongho, how do I get my life fulfilled and with what??

        • T B Samuel

           If you are a Christian woman, then you know what the Bible says about infidelity. After you pray and ask God for guidance, and you decide to leave your husband, go live with one of our children and do some reflection- go back to school, take up a hobby, find an organization to volunteer at. No one deserves to be treated less than who they really are.  Maybe one of your children may need some help with their kids, you have the experience and it could be rewarding for all parties. The best of luck.

  • Jason54wise

     Its not often that you find such understanding of depiction and degree of views. Well written.

  • Jason54wise

     Its not often that you find such understanding of depiction and degree of views. Well written.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000402468133 Sharon Joy Butay Valenciano

    i am totally having necrosis effect,,dropping here and went over to this blog really gussh me up.thank you.

  • Germanicus Fortunov

    Way to keep it simple, awesome

  • Justin

    Hi Yongho,

    As a former teacher, there is something I would like to point out. Giving has its limits, especially when those to whom you give do not give much back. Teenagers are not equipped emotionally and spiritually to be givers. We program teenagers in American society to worship their egos. The tribal aspect is lost on them. I spent weeks teaching them that in my classroom, we are a team. We work as one unit. Despite many lessons and practicums, it was difficult to get one section of the four that I taught on board with seeing themselves as part of a team. Compassion Fatigue is real in teachers. You will be confronted with some individuals who are well-balanced and well-meaning people. You will also be confronted with individuals who may be suffering from psychological disorders that you are ill-equipped to deal with or have no practical training or expertise in. People in the giving professions: nurses, teachers, counselors, therapists, coaches – have to be mindful of the possibility of compassion fatigue. Give to others and be as generous as you possibly can while simultaneously remembering to care for your own health and well being by eating a healthy diet, getting some exercise, and getting enough sleep. I know many teachers who stay at work until 7PM only to go home, care for children, cook dinner, and sleep at 11PM to be up at 5AM to start all over again. There is a stigma in education that you are not a good teacher unless you are sacrificing your own well being by staying at work late and arriving early. We have contracts and educational agreements for a reason: to create a structure in which teachers can operate with as minimal a risk to their health as possible. No one is obligated to sacrifice their own health and well being in a giving profession as a criteria to be considered effective, professional, or good at what you do. To insist otherwise is simply bull. Take care of yourself, all you givers out there, so that you may continue your important work.

  • Jill

    This was like reading my life right now. Thank you for putting into words what I have not yet been able to.