When it comes time to do a “goal review”, and envision your perfect life, just about everyone is going to dream up scenarios in which they are loaded with money, have yachts, a big house (or several), and all sorts of other features of material success and prosperity.
The question of the ages, however, isn’t whether it’s better to have money than to not have it. The real question is whether it’s better to do work that you find meaningful, and earn less, or do work that you hate and find meaningless, and earn more.
Since our jobs take up such an enormous proportion of our waking hours, many – maybe most – people will conclude that it’s better to do meaningful work.
So, if you want to do some work that you find meaningful, here are some tips for getting started.
Consider pursuing forms of education that streamline you into particular fields
If you’ve got a strong impulse to help others, enrolling on an accredited online social work program might be one of the best options you could hope for, as it essentially streamlines you into a field where you will spend all of your time working to help others.
When all is said and done, entrepreneurship is great, but it’s not always going to be the avenue to the most fulfilling work possible for every person. At least, not in the short-term.
After you’ve become qualified in a field such as social work, and maybe after also having acquired some on-the-job experience, you may then be in a position to create a related start-up that helps you to carry that skill set forward, in a more autonomous context.
Free yourself from the endless cycle of digital distractions – fill your free hours with more meaningful hobbies and pastimes instead
Writer and professor Cal Newport has recently released a book titled “Digital Minimalism” which does a great job of arguing that many online and social media resources are essentially structured to hijack our attention, and drain us of our precious time.
There’s no denying that a lot of us are completely caught up in the endless cycle of digital distractions. How much time in your working day do you spend looking up memes, never mind at home?
If you want to do meaningful work, take steps to free yourself from the endless cycle of digital distraction. Fill your free hours with more meaningful hobbies and pastimes instead.
Not only will the focused attention that you develop through doing this carry over to your professional life, but meaningful hobbies can easily become meaningful side hustles as well.
Spend plenty of time by yourself, reflecting on your values, and the role you want to play in the world
Another point made by Cal Newport – and that refers to the experiences of many greate entrepreneurs, thinkers, and writers throughout history – is that if you want to do anything meaningful, it’s important that you also spend plenty of time by yourself reflecting on your values, and the role you want to play in the world.
Seek out solitude from time to time. Solitude, in this case, does not merely mean being alone. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily mean being completely isolated at all.
What it does mean, is that you “get away from it all” and spend time with your own thoughts on a regular basis. This can give you the insight that you need to do meaningful things in your professional life.