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Tired of work? Let's find meaning in it!

Tired of work? If you’re reading this passage, you probably are. But here, we wish to bring up the idea that it might be possible to find a way to actually take pleasure and find meaning in it! How? Well, we believe the key lies in finding our own core values and beliefs.

Core values and beliefs are defined by experts as follows:

"The root beliefs that a person or organisation operates from. They are the principle perspectives that guide a person or organisation's behavior with others."

In short, they are the primary reasons for many of your everyday actions, interests and decisions. They also represent what we want. To give two examples: 

1) A person with a core value of trust and loyalty in relationships might deeply loathe someone cheating on a partner, while another without this value might simply shrug or laugh it off. 

2) A person with a core value of only focusing on the result/ending of things (but not the process) may think cheating in an exam to get good grades is perfectly fine as long as they don’t get caught in the process, but another person who finds the process equally/more important as the result may find this action unacceptable.

Ever wondered about your own core values? Try asking yourself what they are. It is surprising how all of us act according to them but how few of us can state them out clearly immediately. However, this concept correlates directly with us being able to live out a fruitful life. Psychologists find that the degree of satisfaction we feel towards life depends largely on whether we can comfortably follow our core values in it. 

Core values can act as a base for us to shape our interests and goals in life. In short, our own perception of the meaning of life comes from core values. Therefore, we suggest taking the time to ask ourselves what these values are. It might take time to feel and listen to your heart, but we would slowly figure it out. We can then find meaning in everything we do in life by seeking stuff in it that aligns with developing such interests and goals(which align with core values and beliefs).

Going back to the topic of work, we believe that we can seek the aspects in work that help fulfil our life goals. Focusing on these aspects when working would make the process much more enjoyable. Lets see some examples where we can apply this concept:

  1. A doctor with a life desire of wanting to prove his/her ability to the world may find interest in work through completing high-difficulty tasks like conducting emergency surgeries on patients which no ordinary person can do. He/She can turn the everyday routine of work into a challenge for himself/herself. Completion of these tasks would give a sense of accomplishment and purpose. 

  2. A school teacher with a life desire of wanting to make the city a better place to live in may do so by influencing his/her students with proper moral concepts and accompanying them in their life to help them grow up to be better people. If these students can take part in making the future upon receiving education, then the teacher would feel proud that he/she managed to play a role in it. 

Even when a person cannot find any direct method of linking the workplace to his/her personal goals, the future possibility of being able to do so may also be sufficient to provide meaning. For example:

  1. An office worker who has a life goal of establishing a stable family in life may view his/her current work as a stepping stone to doing so because it provides work experience and salary as resources for providing for his family in the future. The current money that he/she saves up may prove useful in future family expenses when he/she finds one. Thinking this way allows him/her to understand what he/she is currently working hard for, providing meaning. 

Our conclusion is that work can definitely be meaningful for everyone. The key is to seek out one’s core values and the subsequent life goals that stem from it. We can then find aspects in work that align with such goals. As we understand what purpose in life we are fulfilling in the process, the process would be much more enjoyable.

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