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Meaningful Life and Work: Being a Positive Force and Making a Difference in the World

The ultimate question: How can I make life and work meaningful? Science can answer that question. Studies have shown meaningful life and work increase motivation and happiness.

Can Seeking Meaningful Life and Work Lead to Happiness?

Seeking meaningful and fulfilling life and work can impact so many areas. It not only helps you excel at your position and be more motivated, but it helps your own well-being. Studies have continued on the meaning of life and work and finding this.

When you think about “meaning,” you can take it down to one word: why? Why am I doing this? What’s important about it? When you view work as just a paycheck, the meaning to you is money and money alone. That doesn’t increase satisfaction or happiness—that makes a person only return because they rely on it.

Not quite a recipe for happiness, is it? When you think more about the why of your work and the purpose of doing what you do, that’s when it starts meaning something and leads to meaningfulness. Seeking meaningfulness in your life and work can undoubtedly increase happiness.

In fact, while most people seek out happiness, they’re navigating it wrong. Instead, you should seek out meaning in everything you do, which will create happiness. Think about it—daily, mundane cleaning tasks, for example, may never fill you with joy if you’re on the course to find happiness. But cleaning the house and doing dishes leads to creating a clean, safe environment for you and your family. See the difference?

How Do I Seek Meaningful Life and Work?

Okay, so you want to be happy. Who doesn’t? But, how can you start the journey to seeking a meaningful life and work?

The first step is seeking a balance between them. Some people can merge the two together—but others don’t have that luck. A work-life balance is essential to seek full meaningfulness. The ultimate happiness comes when you have a meaningful balance of work meaningfulness and life meaningfulness.

In both, our interpersonal relationships make a huge difference. Are we encouraged and lifted up by our coworkers and by our family members? Do we work solely to bring a check home?

In short, viewing the tasks we do in both home and life should be viewed as building up to meaning something. Building a family and creating a generation of traditions and happiness? Perhaps viewing your job as a piece of essential happiness to people instead of a series of tasks you do each day?

What Steps Do I Start With?

You don’t need to walk out of your current job in order to start finding meaning in your line of work. There’s meaning in everything we do, and seeking that is part of the key to happiness and unlocking that meaning. Taking steps each day to create and find the meaning in life and work can make happiness follow. But how do you start?

  • Find what you love that’s part of your current position. Remember, you don’t have to quit your job to find meaningfulness in it. It takes a mindset change. Think about the tasks you do. Which ones of them do you like? Make a list of those and enjoy the moments where you can do them.
  • Identify your values. What’s important to you? What do you want the result of your life and work to be? Make a list of your ultimate goals. Is it to help people be happy? Is it to help the earth and the environment for the next generation? Compare those to your lists of items you love from your current position. Does anything align? Focus on those if they do, and keep working on those items.
  • Find meaning in life outside of work. It’s not all about work. If you are stuck in a job that you can’t seem to find any meaning in, start outside of work. Take the time to create a list of things you love and would like to explore—steps you can take to creating meaning.
  • Take steps to care for others. A big part of the meaning is not only caring for yourself. It’s making a difference in the world. Who is nearby that you can help? Is there a family member, neighbor, or friend that may need something that you can provide? A hug, an ear to listen, or more. Better yet, is there a charity you can get involved with? You can create a huge difference with little actions each day.
  • Take steps to care for the earth. Taking care of our world is crucial to finding meaningfulness. Not only is the world our home, but it’s also sustaining life. Taking steps to care for Mother Nature is crucial. Treating her better—through recycling, reusing, reducing, whatever you decide to do—helps not only your generation but the future. Teaching your family to do the same will creating lasting habits that will impact the world.

Final Thoughts

Finding meaning can sound daunting. After all, it’s a philosophical question: How can I find a meaningful life and work? Most people strive for happiness most of their lives without stopping to think about meaningfulness. It’s important to think about both on your journey. Take the next steps now! There’s no better time than the present to start working on creating a meaningful life.

Further reading:

Our recent articles articles about sustainable living and green jobs.

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