Meaningful Work: Doing Work You Love

When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home. ~Betty Bender

Work can add to your life or subtract from it. You’re not just trading your time for the money you get from work, but you’re also trading your physical, emotional and spiritual energy.

Having a fulfilling job can add to your life. It can contribute to a richer, more meaningful life. Most people long to make a difference in the lives of others. They find meaning in jobs that can contribute to society. Credit: Walt Stoneburner

For some people, working can involve daily stressors as well as daily humiliations… search for recognition as well as search for meaning.

Working in a job you hate is an assault to your spirit as well as your body. It can suck the life out of you. It can deplete your soul. It can lead to a 9-5 sort-of-dying instead of contributing to a richer, more meaningful life.

Even if you don’t hate your job, it can still be toxic your health. If you don’t have a healthy work-life balance or if you’re often overworked, you can end up dealing with a lot of stress. Of course, some jobs are very stressful.

Work-related stress can lead to burnout as well as other stress-related illnesses.

Job stress-related expenses cost American businesses over $200 billion a year. But, the cost to families are even greater: increased divorce rate, increased family conflicts, increased problems with children, increased substance and alcohol abuse as well as serious illnesses.

Sadly, most people can’t quit their jobs because of family and financial obligations. So, it’s very important to manage your stress during work hours and participate in stress-reducing activities when you’re not working. Finding a healthy work-life balance can help you reduce your stress and avoid stress-related illnesses.

Finding Meaningful Work and Doing Work You Love

Having a fulfilling job can add to your life. It can contribute to a richer, more meaningful life.

If you want to find a meaningful job, you have to clarify your values and have a greater understanding of yourself. Why? We are bombarded with mixed messages in our culture. We define ourselves by how much money we make, the status of our work, the kind of car we drive or the kind of house we live in. However, when we define ourselves based on our spiritual values, we are a lot more than what we do and what we can afford to buy.

Clarifying your values can help you find meaning in your work and in your life. You can make better choices when you understand what truly matters to you.

It will take some inner work in order for you to understand yourself more fully. By understanding yourself and your values, you have a greater chance of cultivating acceptance of yourself and honoring your own true being.

If you don’t take the time to understand yourself and what truly matters to you, you can end up getting caught up in doing the least important things in your life. You can end up getting caught up in your own fears, anxieties and insecurities — and losing sight of what is most important to you.

Even if you find a high-status and high-paying job, you still may be very unfulfilled if it doesn’t feed your heart and soul.

By not understanding and honoring your true self and your true value system, you can end up in a job that creates a lot of stress and unhappiness in your life. Self-awareness and self-acceptance can help you choose a better path.

Most people want their work to be more than a way to earn a living. What would make you truly happy? What kind of work would give your life more meaning? Listen to your heart. Listen to your longings. You can get some insights from the common threads that bind your interests and longings. Your spirit speaks through what calls to you and what you love to do.

Finding meaningful work and doing work you love will not be quick and easy. You can explore jobs that involve activities you’re passionate about. In the process, you are more likely to enjoy your work. More importantly, you are more likely to uncover your purpose in life or you can let your purpose find you.

Most people long to make a difference in the lives of others. They find meaning in jobs that can contribute to society.

It can be a challenge to find meaningful work, but the payoff can be huge. Doing work you love – one that is consistent with your true self and your true value system — is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and bring more happiness into your life.

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