How to Enjoy More Satisfaction & Meaning in Your Work & Life | Blog
How to Enjoy More Satisfaction & Meaning in Your Work & Life
“Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.” – Alan Watts
That quote gets me every time. In a way, this whole blog could be narrowed down to that one sentence. Where do we find satisfaction and meaning? It's right here, in real-time, in the experience of the moments we have throughout our day.
If you're like me, you often find yourself on the hamster wheel of “getting things done.” The to-do list becomes the guide for the day and the measure of how I'm doing. I get task-oriented, and pretty soon, I'm moving through my day(s) on autopilot, focused on getting things done or moving on to the next thing yet rarely feeling satisfied or fulfilled.
Years ago, my sister and her husband decided even though they and their four children were quickly growing out of their small home, they did not want to buy a bigger one at that time. She said, “We would rather put our money towards experiences we can have as a family rather than a larger mortgage.” I've thought of that comment many times over the years.
What if we put our energy, efforts, focus on the experiences we are having versus what we get done or what we've attained? What if, on the road towards growing our businesses or achieving our desires, we were able to take-in, drop-in fully, to the experience of the moment versus seeing all our doing as a “means to an end”?
In the thousands of conversations, I've had with leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs from around the world, it is common to hear one version or another of, “I'll be able to enjoy myself when this is done.” or “I'll be able to finally relax when I'm on holiday, when this business gets sold, when the client says yes, when the project is complete, etc..” It's also common when I ask them how long they've been saying that to hear, “A long time.” Meaning, there is always another project, a bigger goal, the next thing.
Years can literally go by as we move from one thing to the next, justifying our preoccupation with achievement and the tasks of work and life. Our minds are full of our schedules and what needs to get done. We live in the habit of doing. Our eyes are trained to see what is not done and we miss the opportunities, support, connection, or gifts that are all around.
We live in the misunderstanding that rest, fulfillment, joy, and happiness are at the end of the to-do list. As a result, we skim across the surface of our lives, rushing on to the next thing, never really dropping into the moment or to the experience. We miss pieces of conversation, moments to relate, comfort, or be comforted by others. We miss the scenery, the acts of love and genius happening all around us.
A habit of focusing on tasks and what needs to get done robs us of the pleasure and fulfillment available along the way.
The richness of life, intimacy, connection, fulfillment are in the opposite direction of doing. It is in the simple, everyday moments when we show up fully with our presence. It is in the space – not the action. It is in the experiences we have throughout our days.
This is why we can get a lot done in our day but not feel nourished by the day. We can accomplish many wonderful things, but life can feel empty. Fulfillment is impossible when our minds are constantly looking ahead at the next thing to get done.
Fulfillment, satisfaction, and connection reside in the moment. We get touched by life and by others in the moment.
What is possible when we shift our orientation from getting things done to moments of presence?
A life of meaning is a byproduct of these moments.
When we drop in and experience our life via moments of presence, we naturally experience more of what life has to offer us. Accomplishment becomes a byproduct of a fulfilling and meaningful life. Fulfillment and meaning do not come from a task-oriented life.
Are your days full of tasks or full of experiences?
“A habit of focusing on tasks and what needs to get done robs us of the pleasure and fulfillment available along the way.”
A life of experiences adds up to a life of meaning, fulfillment and riches beyond measure.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 4-month virtual Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring Program. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin, Twitter and Insta