Finding Meaningful Work…….vs. Meaningful Life?

In a recent survey of 120 people who are dissatisfied with their work, the number one thing that was identified as a missing ingredient is “meaning.” The search for meaning in one’s job and career path is particularly pressing as one ages. No matter what your profession a brush with your a friend of loved one, brushes with mortality or  can make you acutely aware of how precious your time is and life is. The hourglass granules continues to move through your life cycle, whether you are valuing your time on this earth or not.

Craig, a co-worker in our office says that when he is confronted by a serious illness, death of a friend or family member, questions of mortality arise within. When asked how these moments affect him, he referenced the importance of the following;
  1. Time is precious, so use it wisely.
  2. Perspective on what is important in life changes.
  3. Tell people often that “you love them.”
Since life is precious AND time is fleeting, how do you make the most of each day? 

  • How do you make the most of your life? 
  • What really matters in the long run? 
  • Are you staying connected to the people and purpose that matters most to you? 
  • Do you feel and/or gratitude in your life?
  • If your identity is only in your work, what will you do when the work goes away?

Go beyond work as a focus in your life. Life balance, fun, social time, exercise all matter much more in the long run. Meaning and purpose are important in life, but being fully alive, present and mindful will get you connected to your feelings and serve as a compass for change, satisfaction and fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, depression, and isolation will all serve to create more distress and suffering in your life.

However, there are remedies……….spirituality, social connection, taking risks, exercise, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, fun and engagement in life will go a long way to breakout. As Cheryl Sandberg says in her book Women, Work and the Will to Lead provides ways to challenge yourself and breakout. She describes how “you have to lean in” to your fears and take charge of your life. Take the reins and guide your life in directions that make you happy. What is the last adventure you pursued? It may be time to break out of old thinking and behavior patterns. Link to the Book

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.