“Is a happy life different from a meaningful one?” This question, posed in an article written by University of California, Berkley, explores how to live a good life and what exactly living a good life means. According to the article, happiness is what others give you and meaningfulness is what you give others. Reflecting on the way I live, I was alarmed to realize how much I seem to consume myself with this constant struggle to find meaning in my life and sacrifice the things that make me happy. After reading this article though I wonder, is it possible to achieve both?
In a job interview last week I was asked “what is your availability like in the summer?” This question is always a tough one for me in the professional world because every summer since I was 8 has been spent traveling, practicing and playing softball. That’s been my sole priority. In response, I said, “well normally I am busy coaching softball, but this summer I really want to prioritize my career first.” To my surprise the interviewer said something along the lines of, “softball is something you are passionate about. I don’t want you to feel like you have to sacrifice something that makes you happy.” That really hit me. If I am sacrificing something I am passionate about for my work, then I am pursuing meaning without maintaining happiness. But, what if I didn’t have to make that sacrifice. What if my passion and my work coexisted? I believe that the true key here is finding the perfect balance of happiness and meaning. If you are able to find harmony with your pleasures and your works, then I believe you can unlock your full potential.
Questions to reflect on:
What areas in your life is your work keeping you from enjoying?
If you found harmony with those and your work would you be more productive?
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