18 Jun Life Inspired by Purpose
A life inspired by purpose is a goal many of us aspire to realize in our lives. However many of us fall short of our aim due to boredom, unsatisfying work, a lack of fulfillment or a sense that we aren’t making a difference.
Most will agree that our work is the first place we seek to find satisfaction and purpose. While 51% of Americans are satisfied with their job (Gallup Poll 2017), more the 71% are currently looking for a new job. One could surmise that many of these job seekers are searching for a more fulfilling job, more money or a better work environment.
It is laudable to look for a new job when you aren’t happy at work, but many of us resist change due to uncertainty, fear or depression. There are hundreds of research articles attesting to the significant health issues associated with unhappiness at work. Increased risk of cancer heart disease, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and even pregnancy complications are linked to our negative work environment. One study even showed that there are more heart attacks on Monday mornings. They suggested they were linked to the person’s negative feeling about going to work. Mental health concerns including burnout, low self-esteem, anxiety as well as relationship problems and even a less satisfying sex life are all linked to our job.
Many of us find fulfillment in our work or other activities. In these cases, we experience a sense of well-being, energy, and a drive to reach our goal. We are able to handle life challenges and develop skills to handle adversity. (Ryff,c, 2014)
Often we find our passion in a cause or group. Through this engagement, we create new friendships, strengthen our social network, and community engagement. According to a Mayo Clinic article, this volunteerism has significant health benefits including, increased physical and mental activity, increased life satisfaction, reduced stress, and longer life. A Carnegie Mellon study confirmed these findings and added lower blood pressure, decreased loneliness and less depression from volunteering. No wonder Aristotle said, “The essence of life is to serve others and do good.”
While self-fulfillment and passion enhance our spirit, boredom robs us of joy and happiness. Bored people don’t see an environment as rich or lively. They see a very gray world. They may be bored from a work environment where they performed repetitive tasks or one the requires a lot of focus or is tedious. Others are so used to the daily stimuli of our cell phone, video games, television, or cable (John Eastwood, Univ. of Toronto), they find it difficult to have a quiet moment.
Boredom is a health risk. Doctor see more depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, anger, hostility eating disorders, and poor social skills in these individuals (John Eastwood). Bored people tend to have more chronic pain, are low performers at work, a risk-takers, and tend to cheat on their partner.