Monday, January 25, 2010

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?

Over the last two decades life at home, work and beyond has sped up for a vast majority of people.

Questions about what makes us happy – or not - have come to the fore. Among the many weigh-ins on any subject I look for the surprisingly obvious, and a recent BusinessWeek survey by Marshall Goldsmith and Kelly Goldsmith on contentment hits this mark.

The long and short is that those who find happiness and meaning at home also find it at work, with an outtake being that we need to take a closer look at ourselves rather than casting blame for dissatisfaction around our office, employers, colleagues or who we live with.

At work we need both high short-term satisfaction (aka fun) and high long-term benefit (aka meaningful purpose) on the up together, but one of these on its own won’t do it.

And at home the correlation is similar, not different, suggesting the determining factor is ‘who we are’ not ‘where we are’.

Some outtakes from the research are: watch less TV, surf the web less for non-professional reasons, minimize the number of “chores” you do, exercise, spend time with loved ones, and challenge yourself (rather than depending on others).

This is a useful departure point for building out optimism in the new decade. A great worklife feeling starts with a hard look at “me”.