What most people get wrong about volunteering through work

To experience real fulfillment, it's important to evaluate opportunities before jumping on board.

  • When looking for greater fulfillment in life, people often look to volunteer opportunities offered through work.
  • Giving back to the community is valuable work. But to find the right volunteer fit, it's important to think about how much time you have, the experience you want, and the growth you're looking for.
  • To get the most fulfillment out of your volunteer experience, focus on the organization. If you wouldn't want to work there, it might not be the right fit for you.
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Why we — despite the good and bad — fall back to a baseline level of happiness

Trudging toward happiness: What is the hedonic treadmill?

Image source: Shutterstock
  • The concept of the hedonic treadmill is that regardless of whether good or bad things happen to us, we always return to a set point of happiness and well-being. Hence, we have to constantly work to stay at a given degree of happiness, as though we were on a treadmill.
  • Several studies exist that back up this finding, including one conducted on lottery winners and paraplegics.
  • While this may seem like a bad thing, there are advantages; in addition, it may be possible increase your baseline level of happiness through certain activities.
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Why employees have the upper hand now more than ever before

Today, if a business wants to be successful, it should pay attention to employee fulfillment.

  • Employee satisfaction, as a concept, didn't emerge until the rise of the industrial economy and unionization. If employees were unhappy, management could predict a strike and stoppage of work.
  • Since then, the standard for management has been to consider employee engagement an accurate measure of satisfaction. Instead, research suggests the focus should be employee fulfillment: Do employees have the ability to reflect on and create meaning around their work?
  • Now, in the information economy, employees are often the means of value creation. This provides a unique advantage in which management must consider employee fulfillment in order to remain profitable.
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3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
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How to suffer like a total pro: Pete Holmes on ego, judgment, and feeling special

Suffering can buffer us, and make us more polished versions of ourselves — if we have the right attitude.

  • When you're going through a moment that tests your patience, even causes you to psychologically suffer, sometimes you have to step back and say, "Yes, thank you."
  • Suffering is like sandpaper, and, if we choose, it can buffer us and make us better versions of ourselves.
  • Also, it's critical to find a quiet place within where just the fundamental fact that you are participating in reality imbues you with enough value and dignity to draw upon at any moment. Regardless of exterior sentiments about you.
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