4 Steps to Create Meaningful Work Today
Whether you’re already on the path to fulfilling your purpose or – like many people – still grinding it out at a job you hate while trying to figure out what to do next, it’s completely reasonable to want to be happy at work.
Most of us spend more time at work than we do sleeping, exercising, pursuing hobbies or enjoying time with family. And with so much of your time devoted to working, wouldn’t it be nice to actually feel good about what you do?
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing you’re living a life filled with purpose, there are documented benefits to living a meaningful life. Meaning makes people measurably happier and healthier; and studies have shown that people with a purpose live up to a decade longer than their peers.
So how can you create a meaningful life for yourself? Here are four steps you can take right now.
Define what meaning represents to you. When you think about living a life that’s filled with meaning and purpose, what does it look like? Close your eyes and picture your ideal scenario. Be really specific and try to visualize how it feels to have what you want. Now picture what it looks like to engage in meaningful work and imagine how you feel doing it. Spend as much time as you need to get a clear and vivid picture. This exercise will help you define what meaning looks and feels like and will serve as a guide when you’re creating your new reality.
Assess where you are today. It’s time to take an honest inventory of your current job or career. Write down everything that’s meaningful – or lacking meaning – in your work. Now compare that list to the ideal scenario that you visualized in the last exercise. How does your job today stack up against what you really want? What, if any, opportunities exist for change within your current environment? This is your chance to objectively assess where things stand, so be as detailed as possible.
Pick a joyful destination. You’re clear about what meaningful work looks like and you’ve been honest about where things stand in your current career. Now it’s time to set goals that will guide the journey from your current state to what you really want. Close your eyes again, and this time picture yourself one year from today in the most meaningful, fulfilling work scenario you can imagine. What are you doing? What specific changes have you made? What steps did you take to arrive at this situation? Write out a detailed description, using the present tense, as if you’re already living that life. Then commit to making this wonderful vision a reality.
Take a leap of faith. Let’s face it, your vision is only as powerful as the steps you take to make it real. Yes, it can be terrifying to leave everything that’s familiar (even when the familiar sucks) but the truth is that fear loses its power when you face it. And you can absolutely live a life that’s meaningful if you trust that you’re supported by forces greater than you. Stop believing all the lame excuses – that you’re tired, busy, unworthy, afraid, have nothing to offer – and put one foot in front of the other until you arrive at your destination. Your future self awaits.
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Eva Bart-Williams is a mental performance and life coach who helps women own their power and reach their true potential. Eva coaches clients worldwide via video conference and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .