MORE IDEAS FROM THE BOOK
Three key conditions differentiate days when you have a full charge from typical days:
Creating meaning is an evolutionary process that grows by the day, as opposed to a grand purpose that suddenly falls in your lap.
Small wins generate meaningful progress. You might create a small positive charge for one of your customers today or work on a new product that will benefit people in the future. Over the weekend, maybe you’ll have a long conversation with a loved one that makes a difference. It is these little moments, not grand actions, that create substance and meaning.
Pursuing happiness for loved ones or for your community is a worthwhile goal. But trying to create happiness for yourself can have the opposite effect.
The more value you place on your own happiness, the more likely you are to feel lonely on a daily basis. Seeking your own happiness and nothing else results in feelings of futility. But if you spend as much time creating meaningful interactions as you do pursuing happiness, you will be better off in both areas.
While there is some overlap, the differences have clear implications for how people spend their time.
Meaningful work is driven by intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation.
The future of work lies in redefining it as doing something that makes a difference each day. Work is about productively applying your talent.
A healthy relationship between an employee and an organization starts with a shared mission, meaning, or purpose. A 2013 study of more than 12,000 workers worldwide found that employees who derive meaning and understand the importance of their work are more than three times as likely to stay with an organization.
One of the downfalls of the “follow your passion” advice is that it assumes that putting your own passion and happiness at the center of your world is what leads to meaning, fulfillment and joy. That is often not the case.
Those who make a profound difference, in contrast, begin by asking what they can give. Starting with this question allows you to direct your talents toward what matters most for others.
The result of trying to be busy is a poorly managed life. If you are busy throughout the day and bouncing from one thing to the next, you’re probably not focusing on constructive activity.
You are also probably not giving your full attention to the things that matter most, from working to spending time with your family.
What’s even more disturbing is that this is not pleasant mind wandering; instead, the distractedness tends to make them less happy.
We need at least three to five positive interactions to outweigh every one negative exchange. Bad moments simply outweigh good ones.
Whether you’re having a one-on-one conversation with a colleague or a group discussion, keep this simple shortcut in mind: At least 80 percent of your conversations should be focused on what’s going right.
The best way to produce sustainable increases in well-being is to appreciate what you already have and to continue creating new positive experiences with the people who matter most.
When you value what you already have, not only will you grow, you won’t feel the angst of wanting more. Any time you create experiences in the context of your existing resources and relationships, it has a compounding effect on your well-being.
Doing things for others and living a life of meaning is important. But without energy, you can’t do your best work.
If you want to make a difference for years to come, you have to put your health and energy first.
Numbers and statistics are necessary and great for exposing the truth, but they’re not enough to change beliefs, and they are almost useless for motivating action.
The huge amount of information we are receiving today can make us even less sensitive to data because we’ve become accustomed to finding support for anything we want to believe, with a simple click of the mouse. Instead, our desires are what shape our beliefs.