The Inextricable Link Between Work and Purpose


By Daryl Tol, Executive Vice President, One Mind Sigmund Freud equated happiness with love and

By Daryl Tol, Executive Vice President, One Mind

Sigmund Freud equated happiness with love and work. If by “work,” Freud had “purpose” in mind, then there is growing empirical evidence supporting his view. Purpose is closely tied to meaning and meaning acts as an antidote to despair. This is true even in the most difficult of circumstances.

A recent conversation with a friend of mine who has conducted research with the military, drove this point home for me. He observed that mental health struggles and suicide rates are growing among military workers in logistics and support roles, rather than among frontline soldiers. It struck me that it is often the case that where the risk is greatest, the mission is also clearest — and humans thrive on that clarity.

This is also a warning sign for our current moment. During the pandemic, we’ve all become part of the war effort. Our mission was clear. Our leaders rallied in support. We helped each other get through each day. But once this mission ends, what will our next one be?

How will it feel to suddenly return to normal? Will we feel pressure to simply move on from the past year-and-a-half of hard times? Will we be able to find new purpose-filled efforts, or will we struggle with the thought that we’re back to the same grind? I think a few considerations can help each of us to find our own answers to these questions.

Read the full article on the Medium.com website