kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Make life and work meaningful

A lot had been written on happiness at work, yet judging from Gallup statistics that show 85% of employees aren’t engaged, few know how to attain it.

That goes with a number of Malaysian teachers who are opting for early retirements.

It is also important to figure out how to feel better about the time you spend earning a living.

Many would set happiness as the primary goal but many ended feeling the opposite.

Happiness is a short-term state, like all emotions, it is not permanent.

We should make ‘meaningful’ as the alternative career goals.

People who focus on meaning in their personal and professional lives are more likely to feel an enduring sense of well-being. ( Emily Esfahani Smith)

Research shows that making work more meaningful is one of the most powerful and underutilized ways to increase productivity, engagement, and performance.

In one survey of 12,000 employees, 50% said they didn’t get a feeling of meaning and significance from their work, but those who did reported 1.7 times greater job satisfaction, were 1.4 times more engaged, and were more than three times as likely to remain with their current employer.

In a recent study, Shawn Achor and his research team found that nine in 10 people would be willing to swap a percentage of their pay cut for more meaningful work.

Making work more meaningful is said to be better than happiness, and philosophers, scholars, artists, and social psychologists have struggled to come up with an answer to that question for years.

According to research on happiness and meaning conducted by psychologist Roy Baumeister and colleagues, five factors differentiate meaning and happiness:

Getting what you want or need. While happiness was found to correlate with having your desires satisfied, meaning was not.
While happiness relates directly to the here and now, meaning “seems to come from assembling past, present, and future into some kind of coherent story.” It is the time frame to seek something that reflected a bigger-picture and long-term values.
Connections to others or our social life are important for both happiness and meaning, but the character of those connections informs the type of fulfillment they give you.
Helping to other people leads to meaning, while having others help you leads to happiness.

Stress, strife, and struggles reduce happiness, “but they seem to be part and parcel of a highly meaningful life,” according to Baumeister. Some challenges may increase chances of finding meaning at work.

An important source of meaning is actions or activities that “express the self.” But they are “mostly irrelevant” where happiness is concerned.
Psychologist Pninit Russo-Netzer said to steer your professional life toward ‘meaning’, that can ultimately lead to happiness as well, we can bring the four practical for use:

Keep a journal of activities. Identify the projects and tasks you find deeply satisfying.
Align your values and actions when choosing what to prioritize.
Focus on relationships, not just deliverables. .

Share “best-self” narratives with coworkers. In the spirit of helping others, assist people in identifying what types of activities lead them to authentic self-expression and meaning.
Opting for meaning and purpose may not make you happy, at least in the short term. It needs self-reflection, effort, and overcoming frustrating issues initially.

But when you can handle your work situations mindfully, with an eye toward contributing to others while honoring your personal identity, you’ll find opportunities to practice the skills that help you find the intrinsic value in your work.
Tags: life, meaningful, work
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