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#2022IN22 - The myth of Sisyphus and the meaning of Purpose

Mythology, be it from any origin, is a fundamental piece to understand that many of the stories we live today in our lives have already existed well before our time and are relived, generation after generation. Myths, we can say, recreate truths that are universal and atemporal, stories that keep getting adapted to different cultures and times, but that, in their essence, are preserved.

One of these stories from mythology grabbed our attention because it directly relates to one of the themes with which we have been most involved over the last years, Purpose. The myth is the myth of Sisyphus, that many of you may know or have in your memory its image, carrying the weight of the rock up the hill. To recall this story, briefly, we will narrate the myth here. Sisyphus, always described as very astute and intelligent, challenged the wisdom of the Greek gods and, because of this, he received an exemplary punishment: to roll, every day, a rock up the hill, until reaching the top. When he reached it, the weight and tiredness caused by the fatigue would make the rock roll back to the ground and on the other day, he would start everything all over again and again for eternity. This punishment was a way of ashaming Sisyphus for his cleverness and ability used to plot against the gods.

After, how do Sisyphus and Purpose meet each other? How many times in our personal and professional routines do we see ourselves as Sisyphus, carrying rocks uphill every day, almost without any meaning? In companies, our day to day is filled with small tasks, many times uninspiring ones, almost as if we were carrying rocks. We repeat these tasks daily, feeling useless, sharing the same feelings that Sisyphus felt. Purpose, like something that adds meaning to everything we do, like the reason for a company’s existence, is what can serve as the inspiring element that brings meaning to work, even to those small tasks. When there is a reason behind the rolling of the rock, the path up and down the mountain benefits from another type of motivation. More and more, people are looking for this bigger meaning, be it from their employer brands and also from the brands that they consume.

The work that we do, of excavating the Purpose of brands and bringing it to life in the day to day, fulfills this demand, of bringing a value to what we do, to construct a layer of meaning, to go beyond the mere repetition of Sisyphus, to find a motivation. Even if we need to push rocks, let it be for a good reason.


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