“There is no purpose to purpose.” — Michael Gerber
That quote sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it? Isn’t purpose what all the “gurus” tell us we need to discover? A popular book title is, “Find your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.” (Whew! Whatever happened to nice, short titles like “The Sun Also Rises?”)
Gerber clarifies his quote later in the book when he says:
“We (his company) has a purpose — to create. And creation does not need anything other than itself to justify it.”
I used to build radio-controlled model airplanes when I was younger. I loved planes since I was a kid. My dad was in the Air Force during WWII, so maybe that’s where I got it. He had model airplanes around the house when I was growing up.
I started building plastic models at first. That was fun, but something was missing. The airplane wouldn’t soar through the air. I got interested in balsa wood gliders, and later rubber band powered planes. At least they could swoop and glide. Still, something was missing.
When I learned about radio control, though, my life changed. There was something magical about taking a box of balsa wood and turning it into a flying object. I fell in love with the creation process.
I learned there were two types of modelers. One kind of modeler built airplanes only so he could fly them. I had a friend who would create the craziest contraptions. They weren’t much more than a wing, a tail, and a box. But it flew, and he flew those things until they fell apart.
The other type of modeler was the master craftsman. He built planes because he loved the process of building. Sure, I loved to fly my airplanes, but I got bored after a while and wanted to start the next project.
I didn’t build model airplanes for any noble purpose. I built them for the sheer joy of art.
Trying to figure out one’s “Why” could be because one hates their work. If someone is trying to justify a boring and meaningless job, a purpose exercise may be worth it.
It could be that all you need is to be able to rejoice in the creation process alone. Attaining a goal can often be a let-down. It’s the pursuit of a goal that is its reward. I guess Gerber is right.
Artists create worlds they imagine in their minds. They create powerful messages to share their emotions with others. They find purpose in the joy of creation.
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