do what you love to doDoes your job bring you joy? Do you experience the pure pleasure of serving others beautifully, work well done, and cooperative interaction with team members, every day? Do you relish the learning and discovery your work provides?

Or is work a source of consternation for you, with more politics than pleasure, more battles than beauty?

Does your life bring you joy? Do you experience the pure pleasure of serving others beautifully, work well done, and cooperative interaction with family members, friends, and neighbors, every day?

Or, not exactly?

Current research on happiness (Happy Planet Index) and engagement (Towers Watson Global Workforce Study) indicates that people around the globe don’t experience well-being consistently at work or in their personal lives. When we see a person who is legitimately thrilled at their work experience, we often wonder what they’ve been drinking or smoking!

For example, a recent thundersnow event in Plymouth, MA, caused the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore to express unbridled joy at getting those rare strikes on video. Cantore’s immense enthusiasm at the occurrence showed how much he loves his work!

I’m not suggesting that you need to spend every waking hour jumping for joy. But if you’re not genuinely inspired by your life and your work, you are likely eroding your well-being and life satisfaction.

I don’t suggest that you quit your job or disconnect from your family, friends, or neighbors, either. That’s not going to move you forward.

I do suggest that you choose to refine your daily life to include activities that are aligned with your purpose and values, and that serve others well.

By adding engaging activities – slowly but intentionally – you increase your personal joy, service, and alignment. Even an hour a week will boost your positive well-being.

How shall you start? First, identify activities that meet three criteria: you love doing them, they genuinely serve others, and they’re not against local laws (!).

Second, identify current and possible avenues that would enable you to engage in those “high impact” activities.

Those activities might include things like:

  • If you love learning and love books, create a book club. At work, try a monthly lunch meeting to review business books that might increase knowledge, efficiency, and teamwork.
  • Volunteer at a local non-profit. Stock shelves at a food bank or serve meals at a homeless shelter.
  • Start up a weekly music showcase at your local coffee house. Seek out musicians who would love to share their passions with a live audience.
  • Volunteer at local events that inspire you. I was just at South By Southwest in Austin, TX. That three-week event requires 14,000 volunteers to help it run smoothly!

Third, don’t just think about engaging in these activities. DO them. Add at least an hour per week of your unique “high impact” activities, starting NOW.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to refine your life and work. Take the time to engage in activities you love and that serve others well – it’ll do you GOOD.

What activities do you love to do and also serve others well? How will you include “high impact” activities in your busy week? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Grasko – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

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The music heard on these podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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