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Your Job Can't Be the Only Meaningful Thing in Your Life

Finding Meaning 

To live a significant, worthwhile life, one has to do something beyond oneself. The two ways to transcend oneself outside of work are:

  1. Pursuing Mastery.
  2. Performing acts of kindness.

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    IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

    Your Job Can't Be the Only Meaningful Thing in Your Life

    Your Job Can't Be the Only Meaningful Thing in Your Life

    https://www.thecut.com/article/how-to-find-meaning-outside-of-work.html

    thecut.com

    10

    Key Ideas

    Identity and Work

    • Work, even if we find it unpleasant, provides us with meaning, purpose and structure in our lives. This is because we get a sense of identity from our work.
    • Advances in technology and automation are threatening to displace more than half of jobs in the coming years.
    • As jobs keep disappearing, economists and policymakers are talking about 'Universal Basic Income', a no-strings-attached monthly payment to cover basic living costs.
    • There are several challenges and questions as to what one will do to live a meaningful life, as finding identity and meaning through work is now vanishing.

    Finding Meaning 

    To live a significant, worthwhile life, one has to do something beyond oneself. The two ways to transcend oneself outside of work are:

    1. Pursuing Mastery.
    2. Performing acts of kindness.

      Emily Esfahani Smith

      Emily Esfahani Smith

      "When people say that their lives have meaning, they evaluate their lives as significant and worthwhile, as part of something bigger."

      Pursuing Mastery

      Pursuing long-term progress in anything that you consider worthwhile and losing yourself in it, without the greed or need of any external reward like money or fame, is the key to long-term well-being and fulfillment.

      It may be running, sculpting, cooking, or playing the piano. If you are honoring the craft and you're not there for some ego fulfillment, it will lead you to a meaningful life.

      Be Kind

      Helping others, being kind, and doing social volunteering activities like mentoring coaching, or even a small act of gratitude is a way to achieve meaning and fulfillment in life.

      Being kind makes us feel rooted and connected to the people around us, while enabling the community dynamics that enhancing our social well-being.

      Meaning from work

      Since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation spawned the work ethic, many believe that the job gives meaning, purpose, and structure to their lives. More than 50 percent of American workers today “get a sense of identity” from their job.

      But as technology improves and more industries become automated, there's a good chance we'll have less work. With less work, it is important to answer the question of meaning in life and from where will it come.

      Self-transcendence

      Meaning may be found in self-transcendence (or devoting one’s efforts and energies to something beyond oneself).

      Though there are many ways to become part of something bigger, two of the most powerful ways are pursuing mastery and performing acts of kindness.

      Pursue long-term progress

      Aristotle wrote that the fundamental part of a meaningful life is found in mastery, be it art, intellect, or athletics. Pursuing excellence is not always pleasant and requires exertion, not constant entertainment.

      A study found that people who continually developed themselves scored higher on assessments of life satisfaction and self-esteem than those who did not.

      Pursue activities for the joy of it

      Research shows when people pursue an activity for the sake of the activity itself - and not for any external reward, like money or fame - they tend to report long-term well-being and fulfillment.

      Be kind

      The key to a meaningful life seems to be thinking less about ourselves and instead to focus on others by performing acts of kindness, like volunteering, mentoring, coaching or writing someone a letter of gratitude.

      Research conducted shows that those who were more altruistic reported increases in meaning versus those who did not.

      EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

      SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

      One of the reasons why Stoicism is enjoying a revival today is that it gives concrete answers to moral questions.
      Aristotle gave us an alternative conception of happiness

      It cannot be acquired by pleasurable experiences but only by identifying and realizing our own potential, moral and creative, in our specific environments, with our particular family, friends and colleagues, and helping others to do so. 

      The Flow State

      Flow is the mental state where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time...

      Requirements To Enter Flow

      To enter flow, you need appropriated self-control, environmental conditions, skills, task and rewards. Besides that, you must know what you’re doing, be able to see whether or not you’re doing it well, and be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

      The last point is especially important, it's mastery combined with challenge that brings flow. Too much challenge and we get overcome with anxiety. Not enough, and our brain loses focus and looks for other stimuli.

      Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi
      Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi

      "In the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces."

      7 more ideas

      Finding your purpose

      Many seem to think that purpose comes from your unique gifts and sets you apart from other people. That is only partly true.

      Meaningful goals that foster a sense of purpose are ones that can ...

      Read

      Reading connects us to people across time and space.

      • Research shows that those who read the Bible more tended to have a stronger sense of purpose.
      • Reading fiction also seems to make a difference. By seeing purpose in the lives of other people, we are more likely to see it in our own.
      Find purpose in suffering

      Finding purpose is not just an intellectual pursuit, it is something we need to feel. That's why purpose can grow out of suffering.

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