A big goal that most people share in common is that everyone wants to do something that they love. Whether that’s working a particular career, not having a career at all or focusing on something else, everyone has a passion that drives them. It’s exciting to think about getting to a point in your life where you only have to do what you love, but that’s not a reality for everyone.
You might find yourself in the more common situation, where you’re doing something you don’t really enjoy but it accomplishes something that’s necessary. It buffs out your resume or pays the bills. Not all parts of life that are like this are bad, but if they go on long enough, they can begin to feel defeating.
If you tend to get discouraged when you think about your daily routine, try instead to find meaning in what you do. There’s always something good that comes out of what you do, but sometimes you just have to try a little harder to look. If you give it a shot, you find that you love the benefits that come out of it for you.
- Attach Work to Your Dreams
It’s common for people to lose the joy they once got out of their own lives if they lose sight of why they started on their path in the first place. Write out a list or make a dream board—make something visual that will serve as a reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’ll help refocus you and give you a new sense of drive to accomplish your goals.
- Recognize the Little Things
This can take some practice if you don’t already do it. For even just an hour, make the purposeful intention to value all the little things that happen in your life. This means being grateful that the sun rose, that it’s not raining and that you had food on the table for breakfast. It means you appreciate the full weight of a completed project, successful employee correspondence or a meeting that went well. Don’t take anything for granted, and if you have to, create more meaningful moments for yourself.
- Help Others Until It Becomes a Habit
It’s human nature to be self-serving. After all, a human’s basic instinct is to survive, which means that when it comes down to it, you’ll do anything you have to in order to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. That in itself isn’t anything bad, especially since it can’t be helped. But, if you indulge selfish tendencies too much, it can actually lead to feeling unfulfilled. Instead, reverse the process and try to help people out whenever possible.
Helping people has been proven to be a secret to happiness. Even if it takes extra effort on your part, you’ll have a distinct feeling of accomplishment when you help someone and see the happiness they feel when they realize they don’t have to do something alone. In turn, this will also make you feel happy, because you’ll know that you did something good for someone else and helped make their day better. That feeling can sometimes be what turns your whole perspective around.
- Reflect on Your Own Growth
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in life. It’s constantly moving and there’s always something new to think about. Especially as you get older, responsibilities get bigger and you can lose yourself in what you do. Sometimes it’s good to take a moment to put things on pause and reflect.
When you can, go somewhere quiet, like a park bench or a porch swing. Get comfortable and think about who you used to be. When you were a kid, what did you dream about doing? What did you love to do? As you got older, these things probably changed. What replaced them? Think about if your younger self would admire who you are now. Chances are good that they would.
As an adult, you help people every day. You successfully bring home food and sometimes eat yummy stuff just for fun without asking anyone permission. You don’t have to go to school anymore and no one assigns you chores. Your younger self would probably love your current life, so try to find that same value but thinking about all the little things you can do that are great. It’s a method of stress relief and it’ll help you be more of a thankful person.
- Ask How You’re Going to Save the World
There are no superheroes out there who can fly or have super strength, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of regular heroes that help people every day. You don’t have to be a firefighter or policeman to make a difference and save the world. You can do that right from where you are and easily turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Ask yourself how you can make a difference in the tiny world you’ve created for yourself. Help people at work or at home. Tip your waiter a little extra or return the shopping cart back to where it’s supposed to go. Good actions work like a domino effect, so spreading goodness will cause a ripple effect. You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single jump, but you can help that single mom pick up her fallen purse while she’s carrying her small kid. It may not seem big to you, but it could mean the world to them.
Finding meaning in what you do is possible if you just think differently. Sometimes it means refocusing on what got you started in what you do, but it always means different things for different people. Try multiple methods of finding purpose in your life and then hold onto what works. You’ll eventually accomplish what you set out to do and then you can move onto the things that make you truly happy, without sacrificing your joy anywhere along the way.