Searching for meaning, craving for finding meaning, is one of our primary motivations as human beings. Enter “find more meaning” into the Google search engine and you get about 1,320,000,000 results. Enter “meaning at work” and it’s more or less the same amount – about 1,130,000,000 results.
Meaning is an essential part of our existence, from children asking “why” questions to make sense of the world to adults seeking meaning at work or amid a midlife crisis. Not to mention, ongoing research indicates that experiencing meaning may improve our well-being and help us cope and thrive.
On average we’re occupied for 30 to 40 hours with work a week. That’s some 80,000 hours during a career – often more than we spend with our partners, friends, kids, or things we’re passionate about. It’s reality that many employees don’t feel engaged with their work. They lack meaning, lack motivation – instead experience work as empty just sapping their energy.
Meaning – it feels difficult to put our fingers on it. It feels like a big abstract question without any clear answer, no matter how much we contemplate on it. Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl suggested that “what matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” In other words, meaning manifests in what we actively and consciously choose to do.
Hence, how to experience meaning is a very concrete question that has everything to do with our values and priorities, and with how we spend our time. Of course, different people look for different types of meanings – and, moreover, different workplaces provide different meanings. Let’s have a look at the steps you can take to create and experience meaning at your work. Grab now your free ebooklet and find more meaning at work.
Dagmar Hopf. Azkua