Word Of the Week #578: Meaning

September 2, 2015 by  

Meaning – a sense of importance or purpose.

Does your work feel important to you? Do you feel a sense of significance? Are your needs getting met?

This week features the final of the “6 Needs to Thrive at Work” that Michael Lee Stallard featured in his book, When workers thrive, companies do too.And as Stallard says “they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

He writes, “The final need is what philosophers call an “existential” need. It is the need for meaning. Engaged in work that is important to us in some way, we naturally put additional effort into it. When our work has meaning, we feel a sense of significance. This is energizing too.

The resulting sense of connection from having the six universal needs to thrive met makes us feel strong and grounded so that we are able to persevere and take on challenging work. When the needs are not met over time, we feel anxious and vulnerable, less equipped to perform at the top of our game.

Continued economic turmoil and change has made a lot of people feel anxious and vulnerable right now. It’s a good time to pause and reflect on our lives in relation to the six universal needs to thrive at work. Understanding these needs and how they are met in our day-to-day lives is key to employee engagement, for you and for the team around you.”

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If you’d like to know more about finding meaning check out this article written by Johanna Castro, How To Find Meaning In Your Job And Work Happily.” She lists seven key points and the one that resonated with me was #2.

She writes, “Understand your values. Work can only be really meaningful if it’s part of your life’s purpose and your life’s purpose will most likely be aligned with your values. Become clear about your values because they will help you find happiness in your job.

So how do you clarify your values?

Make a list of the 5 things that are most important in your life – Think about things like; family, friends, spirituality, money, career, work/life balance. Then ask yourself how your job is serving those values, and write down the answers.

Once you understand how your life values are being met at work, you’ll feel more aligned with your job.”

This week’s focus is on meaning. Are you clear about your values and what’s important to you? How much time have you spent clarifying your life’s purpose? Do you feel you are thriving at work? How about your home life?

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