Sociologists tell us that one of man’s strongest urges is to matter. People want to feel valued, to have a sense of purpose. We want to know that our contributions make a difference. My own sense has long been that the final question we will ask ourselves is, Did I matter? Was my existence on this planet for a purpose?
People also want to belong. We crave association with others, so rather than risk relationships, we generally overlook small infractions. We participate in groups and perceive our rank in those groups as a gauge to determine our status. People are dependent on our fellow humans for physical survival. Our performance in almost everything is enhanced when we are in the company of people about whom we feel positive.
People are motivated by that extra edge, the electricity that comes when one knows they’re part of something special. It’s the pleasure that comes from creative pursuits. It’s the contentment that comes from seeing work as a calling and from being happy with life in general.