How To Find Purpose and Meaning in Your Life Even If You Haven’t “Made It” Yet

In the bustling world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind without ever pausing to ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of my life? What gives it meaning?” The story of the three bricklayers, based on a true story from 17th-century London, offers profound insights into the importance of finding purpose and meaning in our lives. In this article, we will explore how having a sense of purpose not only provides spiritual energy but also leads to fulfillment and happiness. We will also discuss practical ways to discover purpose, even in situations where your dream life seems distant.

The Story of the Three Bricklayers:

In 1671, the renowned architect Christopher Wren witnessed three bricklayers working on the construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He asked each of them what they were doing. The first bricklayer, in a crouched position, replied that he was merely laying bricks to provide for his family. The second, standing halfway, saw himself as a builder constructing a wall. However, it was the third bricklayer, standing tall and with a glimmer of enthusiasm, who captured the essence of purpose. He proudly declared, “I’m a cathedral builder. I’m building a great cathedral to The Almighty.”

1. Spiritual Energy and Fulfillment

The third bricklayer’s perspective reflects a deeper understanding of work as a source of purpose and meaning. Having a clear sense of purpose infuses your life with spiritual energy. It’s not just about going through the motions; it’s about connecting your actions to something greater than yourself. This connection brings a sense of fulfillment and inner contentment that money alone cannot buy.

Many wealthy individuals can attest to this fact. Despite their financial success, some may still find themselves lacking in happiness and fulfillment. This deficiency often stems from a lack of purpose. Money can provide comfort and security, but true happiness arises from a sense of purpose and meaning.

The first bricklayer, which is often passed over in the story, isn’t devoid of meaning either. Some people get fulfillment from providing for their family, and they’re content with that fact even if they don’t love their job. That said, as you level up in life, you’ll find that it’s easier to burn out doing something if you don’t love it even if it makes a lot of money.

2. Discovering Purpose in Any Job

So, how can you find purpose in your life, especially when your ideal job seems out of reach? The answer that can lead to some immediate results lies in reevaluating your current situation. Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, consider how you can derive meaning from your present circumstances.

– **Reframe Your Current Job:** Take a moment to reflect on how your current job contributes to the greater good. For example, if you’re working in industrial waste management but aspire to make a positive impact in the tech industry, remind yourself that your work helps create a healthier, cleaner environment for others. You’re not just managing waste; you’re safeguarding public health.

– **Set Immediate Goals:** While you may have long-term career aspirations, set achievable short-term goals that align with your purpose. This could include volunteering, pursuing relevant courses, or networking with like-minded individuals in your desired field.

– **Embrace Learning:** Every experience, even those seemingly unrelated to your dream job, offers opportunities for personal and professional growth. Embrace learning in your current role, as these skills and lessons can be invaluable on your journey toward your ultimate purpose.


The story of the three bricklayers teaches us that purpose and meaning are not solely reserved for those with ideal jobs or grand careers. Instead, they are within reach for anyone willing to reframe their perspective and find the deeper significance in their current circumstances. By connecting your daily actions to a greater purpose, you can infuse your life with spiritual energy, fulfillment, and lasting happiness. Remember, you are not just laying bricks; you are building your own cathedral, one meaningful moment at a time.

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.

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