A scene from the hit movie Munnabhai MBBS shows a very disgruntled hospital janitor. No matter what the situation, he is always grumpy.
Why? Well of course, he makes very little money. But according to him, it’s not the money alone. It’s also the fact that so many people just keep coming in and leaving their dirty footprints and shoeprints all over the floors that he would have just then finished cleaning. This includes all the well-respected doctors and nurses, not just many pay grades above him, but also much higher on the societal respectability scale. No wonder he is unhappy.
That is until the protagonist comes along. He tell the janitor that sweeping floors is one of the most important duties to society, and more so to a hospital. He goes on to explain, that doctors and nurses can only attempt to cure sickness after a person has already fallen ill. But the janitor? He is in a unique position. He is able to prevent ailments by keeping his hallways and rooms spic and span. The janitor now has an elevated responsibility and higher purpose to live up to!
We too may feel we are doing janitorial duties sometimes. And even sitting in a plush corporate office can give us this feeling. It can also happen at any level of seniority. That is why, even successful CEOs and Heads of Businesses quit their jobs in order to find their calling. Quitting to find another job is certainly an option. But while we’re at the current job, we can keep the janitor’s lessons in mind, and look for the higher purpose.