When meaning is attached to anything you do it makes it much easier to stick with it. According to author, Shawn Achor in his bestseller Before Happiness, meaningful goals keep you three times more engaged, motivated, and productive. Lack of meaningful targets is the highest measure for depression.
Author, Stephen Covey, wrote, “There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase; to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economical well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love and be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.” How can you bring meaning to your work (and your life) in the areas of living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy? I recommend spending some time meditating and journaling on this passage and here are some thoughts to help point you in the right direction.
Finding meaning in your work and life can be achieved several ways such as:
- Developing interests through a side hustle
- Adding value to a person, cause or community
- Mentoring or collaborating with a co-worker
- Donating money to a cause you’re passionate about and staying connected with the cause to find out how your money is making an impact
- Developing a niche in your business that aligns with your passions, like focusing on helping veterans find affordable housing or becoming an expert in environmentally friendly construction
- Providing experiences instead of giving things as gifts
- Becoming a master networker by connecting people you think will benefit from knowing one another
Always keep advancing towards your targets by:
- Keeping positive, visible reminders and messages around you like vision boards or screen savers
- Meeting with one new leader a week related to your passion (do your homework to make the most of your time together)
- Along with a blueprint of what you want to accomplish, having an action plan. The more productive activity toward your goals, the more likely you are to attain them.
- Sharing your aspirations with people in your office to inspire them and keep yourself accountable.
- Sharing personal goals with loved ones; it makes them feel part of the process.
Start each day by visualizing having accomplished your goals and the steps you took to achieve them. This will put you in a great head space to take on your day. Determine who adds energy to you and who takes it away. Surround yourself with people who bring out the most and best in you. Rate your contribution to your most important relationships, personally and professionally, so you’re always striving to improve them. Invest in your strengths for your biggest return and strive for progress every day. We feel the best about ourselves when we live with intention.
I hope you will take 20 minutes to watch this video with more of my thoughts on making the work you do matter.