20 Quotes to Inspire You to Find More Purpose in Your Work

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

The difference between meaningful work and a draining trudge to the weekend is that sense of purpose.

Are you a software engineer working 40 hours writing code, or are you building tools that enable nonprofits to quickly deploy COVID tracking tools? Are you a marketer selling food, or are you helping people efficiently find healthy meals for their families? Are you cleaning rooms, or are you creating healthier environments where patients heal faster? The way you view the work you do every day is something that author Aaron Hurst calls “purpose”, and it is driving our economy.

As we look ahead to what our new post-COVID world will look like, Howard Thurman’s advice seems more relevant than ever: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

For those of you working extra-long hours at your computer at your makeshift home office, here are 20 quotes to inspire you on your journey to purpose at work: 


“As our global economy shifts towards a more inclusive model that is not destroying the planet, purpose-driven leaders are the ones creating more responsible businesses and products, and mobilizing the best employees to contribute towards something greater than profits. And the demand for purpose-driven leaders is growing, because it’s good for business, too.”
Aaron Hurst, Imperative


“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”
Howard Schultz, Starbucks


“An organization’s culture of purpose answers the critical questions of who it is and why it exists. They have a culture of purpose beyond making a profit.”
Punit Renjen, Deloitte


“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
John F. Kennedy


“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Mitch Albom


“There is no failure except failure to serve one’s purpose.”
Henry Ford


“The purpose of leadership is not to make the present bearable. The purpose of leadership is to make the future possible.”
Joan D. Chittiser


“Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.”
Myles Munroe


“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
Kofi Annan


“Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”
Roy T. Bennett


“Purpose-driven organizations bound by values are stronger than profit-driven organizations bound by rules.”
Alexander Den Heijer


“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Theodore Roosevelt


“Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.”
David McCullough


“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”
W. Clement Stone


“If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.”
Jack Canfield


“Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love.”
Steve Pavlina


“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
John R. Wooden


“An extraordinary business starts with extraordinary people. Extraordinary people start with purpose.”
Jesper Lowgren


“Explore this next great frontier where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business.”
Richard Branson, Virgin


“It’s incredibly important to be intentional about your goals in growing, and you should go so far as to even write your own leadership manifesto. Think about how you will build a set of shared values, and what kind of legacy you want to leave. Talk early and often about your mission and purpose as a team and measure the impact you’re having.”
Mikaela Kiner, CEO of Reverb

Looking for more guidance about how to find more purpose in your work and make an impact with your career? Consider applying to the MovingWorlds Institute, and be sure to join us for a free webinar: A Simple Approach to Purpose at Work: An Interactive Discussion with MovingWorlds Institute Director Cole Hoover. Even if you can’t make it live, we’ll send you the recording afterward.