Pyramids, cathedrals, bridges. What do these all have in common? Building them is often a project that outlives the original designer or architect. In order to carry on a project that takes more than a lifetime (and in many cases, more than multiple lifetimes), a clear vision and the pursuit of a greater purpose unites all who work on it.
There are tasks you want to do. There are tasks you need to do. And in some lovely cases, these are the same. When these align, you'll most feel like you're pursuing your purpose and you'll feel fulfilled.
But for the ones where they aren’t the same, we turn to purpose to fuel us into moving forward. Finding the purpose in a task involves identifying and appreciating how it enables you to do something you do enjoy. Actually taking the time to thank it can often make it less unpleasant. For example, taxes are an often unpleasant, a dreaded task. But in enables us to have functioning roads and other public services (and also not get fined). Finding the good among the bad makes the task less unpleasant.
Often the most unpleasant tasks are the ones we NEED to do, which will have dire consequences if we don’t do. A way to make them less daunting is to call them by another name. Rather than the ominous “do your taxes”, maybe we simply need to break it down to collecting the necessary forms and paperwork and emailing my accountant? The way we relate to a task can often unnecessarily inflate its unpleasantness. If we change the way we relate to it, then we make it more bearable.
Here's a little story that may inspire you:
La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is a unique and towering example of a project carried on past the original designer's lifetime. The church is young compared to other cathedrals, but Gaudí knew the church would have to be completed after his death. He made plaster models of the unfinished portions of the church to aid whomever would carry on the project. Unfortunately, they were destroyed.
La Sagrada Família is unlike any other building ever created. The principles of design that were used to create it were novel. But the vision and purpose that drove Gaudí to even attempt such a building continues to inspire the new architects on the project, making it the longest running construction project in the world.
We learned about the story behind La Sagrada Familia from 99% Invisible, here.