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Optimal Health and Livelihood: Creating Meaning in Your Work

“You really should try the Saturday morning class,” one member tells another on their way to the locker room. “The instructor is wonderful! She really puts her heart and soul into that class. The music is great and we get a terrific workout. I always leave that class feeling so positive and re-energized.”

Optimal health and livelihood

At the fitness center, we often talk about optimal health in terms of exercise, nutrition and maybe stress management. Another important component of optimal health is engagement in meaningful work. After all, the way you spend your time, day after day, whether your work is paid or unpaid, is what life is all about. Your time is your life, and your work is a big part of your time.

Chances are, the instructor described above, who puts her heart and soul into her class, gets a great deal of satisfaction from her work. Do you?

Describing how to create meaningful work is harder than describing how to design an ideal exercise program. As with an exercise prescription, many factors must be considered. Certainly the nature of your job has a great deal to do with the satisfaction you obtain from it. But creating meaning in your work goes way beyond finding the “right job.” You probably know people with “great jobs” who are still miserable and always complaining, just as you may know other people with “ordinary jobs” who enjoy going to work each day and seem to make the best of everything.

Ironically, the best way to get more out of work (and life) is to put more into it. Here are a few ideas for increasing the quality of your life by creating meaning in your work.

Cultivate commitment

To get more out of life, it’s important to see your work as more than just “a job.” Whether you work as an exercise instructor, health care professional, personal trainer or weight room monitor, you can bring to your work and your life a commitment to ideals and values that shines, even through the daily grind. Personal commitment is the difference between people who find satisfaction in their work and people who are simply passing time.

Take a moment to think about teachers who have been special in your life. Think about teachers in the broadest sense of the word, including teachers from your school life, coaches, youth group leaders, special subject teachers, trusted adult friends and mentors, religious leaders, colleagues and fitness instructors. What qualities characterize these special people? (more…)

July 15, 2015 at 6:51 pm Comments (0)