Happiness at work is heavily surveyed and it is proved that an average human spends over 90,000 hours at work over his/her lifetime. People still figure out how to work on feeling happy or coming in terms with your work. Just like everyone, you may be also thinking that happiness should be the primary goal of having a good work-life.
Do you want to know why it is better to stop trying to be happy at work? Because happiness, just like other emotions, is a fleeting emotion and not permanent. If being happy is your primary goal at work then you better make it vocational.
As a thorough work professional, you need to focus on the meaning and priorities of your personal and professional life. People who feel that sense of well-being and self-awareness are found to be more productive and have about 1.7 times better job satisfaction.
Here is the catch again: you need to find meaning in your work, and not happiness. But what is the big difference?
There isn’t much difference but you need to know how finding the priorities in your life can impact your work-life balance.
Make your work more meaningful!
How to make your work more meaningful? This question has made many psychologists, poets, philosophers, and researchers wonder, too. Based on some extensive research, it is concluded that meaningful work-life depends on some factors. Read on to understand the five factors with explanations of each factor for learning how you can make your work more meaningful.
5 Factors for a Meaningful Work Life:
– Get what you need:
This is a significant one because your happiness is dependent on your wants and needs. If your wants and needs are fulfilled, you can correlate them with your happiness, but the frequency of both good and bad feelings are not relevant to finding meaning. Finding meaning doesn’t depend on the emotion. You may become the MD of a company but the quest for meaning is still going on.
Take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and you will realize what exactly your needs are.
– The Time Taken:
Time is always related to happiness. You were happy in the past, you are happy in the present and you may be happy in the future. Now, let’s say you have become the MD of a company. That willingness and hope you just felt by imagining this makes you want to leave the hit of emotions to seek something deeper and bigger, and that is what ‘meaning’ is.
Many people feel demotivated by thinking how far their career destination is, but remember, all good things take time.
– Public and Social Life
Social life and the connections with like-minded people can always bring happiness and meaning to life. If you help others via your connections, that is finding the meaning. On the flip side, if you seek help by someone via your connections, you are happy. Humans naturally feel happy when they are able to help out a friend/colleague or get help when they are in trouble. Having connections has a great impact on your mind, so make sure that your circle is a positive one.
– Challenges to the Work-life
Challenges, in general, affect our happiness adversely. You can undergo stress or heavy struggles and they may decrease your happiness, but if you observe, they should be there to find meaning in your life. For finding the meaning, you are ready to take the path that is less taken and still strives to succeed. You are ready to figure all out just for the sake of finding the meaning.
This adrenaline rush that comes from a problem-solving attitude and then succeeding is a great motivation to keep going.
– Identify Yourself
Personal Identity is again a deciding factor of happiness. How you see yourself and how you choose to express yourself decides your pull or vibe.
Prioritizing Meaning Over Happiness:
Now that you know on what factors you finding the meaning of happiness are dependent, here is how you will prioritize your meaning over happiness:
1. Journal: Keep a diary or a journal of all the activities you do. Understand and identify which tasks make you push yourself out of comfort zone. Feel fulfilled when you are doing the smallest of things for your clients. Pick those actions that make you happy like coaching your junior employees etc.
2. Keep your values in place: You need to keep your values in place when you are thinking of prioritizing your meaning in the work. Make a list of all the values you want to keep intact such as self-development, discipline in life, etc.
Apart from these, you need to focus on your relationships- professional and personal, so that you can have a way or a purpose while doing your work. Keep this in mind, if you are living with purpose and find the meaning of your work and life, you may not always be happy. You need to find the meaning of your life to be productive and great at work. Happiness is just a temporary emotion and you may or may not have it while finding the purpose of your work and life.
Not everyone is going to be happy all the time. However, sometimes being unhappy can progress into depression, anxiety, and other unhealthy things. If you or someone you know is struggling with these types of issues (work-related or not) BetterHelp has counselors available to help you through life’s ups and downs.