Happiness Is... Work

For centuries evolved humans have searched to find the answer to the age-old question of "what is the key to finding fulfillment in your work?"

Some believe it is choosing a career path that doesn't even feel like work at all:
"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

Others have argued that it is finding enjoyment in difficult tasks:
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle

While there are even the few who believe to separate work and pleasure all together:
"Work while you work, play while you play." - Theodore Adomo

Well, Times Magazine recently put out a magazine all about the "Science of Happiness" and it had some pretty intriguing insights on how interconnected these two concepts of work + happiness are together.

The Scientific Connection to Work:

- THE PROBLEM: Task Oriented Living is a Never Ending
In our Westernized society, we are compulsorily task oriented and believe in the faulty theory that if we want to succeed we need to continually be getting things done a moving on to the next goal as quickly as possible.
"The problem comes, however, when we keep delaying our happiness in favor of getting more things done so that we can be even happier later - or so we think. This delaying process can go on forever. We get so hooked on getting things done because we think the payoff will ultimately lead to happiness but it doesn't." (Times Magazine, page 12)

- THE SOLUTION: Being Present
It seems counterintuitive but being present is the key to finding fulfillment in your work.
"Paradoxically, slowing down and focusing on what is right in front of you right now - being present instead of always having your mind on the next thing - will make you much more successful." (page 13)

- OVERALL: Happiness = Connection to the Moment
In a study of 5,000 people by psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, "adults spend only about 50% of their time in the present moment." (page 13) Basically, we are checked out half the time. But they also  found that when we are in the present moment, we are also at our happiest - even if it is work that we do not enjoy!

As always, feel free to reach out to me for an appointment if this topic is something you'd like to excavate in more together with a professional counselor. You can either email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.