#283 The Purpose and Passion of Work


We all need to earn a living, but some are fortunate enough to find purpose and passion in our work. You don't need to be saving lives to find those qualities, says our guest Dave Isay, the founder and president of the nonprofit StoryCorps, an organization devoted to recording and archiving humanity’s wisdom through facilitated interviews. I serve on the Board of Directors of StoryCorps, which is how I have come to know Dave.

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You may have heard StoryCorp stories on National Public Radio, which airs a slimmed down version of the forty-minute interviews on Fridays. The mission of the organization is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. (Check out Dave's TED talk here)

I invited Dave on the show to discuss his new book, “Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work”, which presents stories that celebrate the passion, determination, and courage it takes to pursue the work we feel called to do. As I read the book, I thought back to the opening of the 1990 book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience," by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: "Despite the fact that even the least affluent among us are surrounded by material luxuries undreamed of even a few decades ago…people often end up feeling that their lives have been wasted, that instead of being filled with happiness their years were spent in anxiety and boredom." In the stories that Dave recounts, we meet people from an array of occupations who are anything but bored.

If you want to hear more StoryCorps stories, check out the podcast and if you want to record your own story, download the StoryCorps app!

Thanks to everyone who participated this week, especially Mark, the Best Producer/Music Curator in the World. Here's how to contact us:

  • Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE