There are three hungers that people are trying to feed throughout their lives:
The first hunger is to connect deeply with the creative spirit of life. Sooner or later, most people come to recognize that there is some sort of creative energy that infuses all life. They feel a hunger to touch that energy and to be touched by it. That doesn’t mean that you have to be a creative person in a classic sense – to make your living as a painter, a dancer, a writer or an actor. It could mean finding ways to infuse the workplace with more creativity and more playfulness.
The second hunger is to know and express your gifts and talents. The people I have met in my 30 years as a career counselor are always absolutely sure that they have some unique talent. They may not know what it is yet. They may not know how to express it. It may have nothing to do with how they earn a living or what they do at work. But they know that they have something within them that they have to contribute. The healthiest seniors I’ve met continue to explore their gifts and abilities, long after they’ve left the workplace.
The third hunger is to know that our lives matter. Everyone wants to leave behind some kind of legacy, some kind of personal mark. It doesn’t have to be great or magnificent. But human beings know that at one level, we each have a unique thumbprint, and we all want to leave that print behind for others to see that we’ve been here. We can be successful, make a lot of money, reach a certain status, but it will be success without fulfillment. Fulfillment comes from feeding these three hungers.
From an interview with Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose
Linda Anderson Krech, LICSW, is Program Director of the ToDo Institute and has been a frequent contributor to Thirty Thousand Days. She is the author of Little Dreams: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Parenting and has been teaching Japanese Psychology for over 20 years.