How’s your happiness level?
It’s not every day people ask us this question. Often people at work or at school ask us, “How are you?” and often they don’t even mean to hear the answer! Just when you are about to sincerely say you’re doing great because you finally got that promotion or had high grades, they immediately move to the next line, “…anyways, something came up and I need you to do something.”
But very rarely do people ask us, “How are you? How is your happiness level? How happy are you today?” (But if people did that, that’d be weird, wouldn’t it?)
Yeah, how happy am I today?
Happiness can come from many things. It could be an event, such as a successful first date (whatever your idea of a successful first date is), or winning 1st place in a competition; it could be reaching a new milestone in your quest for spiritual growth, like achieving a certain level of maturity so that petty things no longer bother you or eat on you like they used to in past.
But did you know that there is one thing having to do with your happiness that you can have control over? This one thing to consider is our environment. This is especially helpful to young people contemplating a new career or even the not-so-young who intend to pursue a different career path.
Carefully choosing our working environment or even our place of residence is essential in our being happy and by environment it means more than just the physical environment or whether it is in the city or in the country. It’s even more than just whether your workplace or your home or your apartment is immaculately tidy or chaotic. It even means more than the kind of people around you!
MORE THAN THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT, IT’S WHAT YOU DO IN THAT ENVIRONMENT
Who wouldn’t want comfort and convenience? Many of our graduating students dream of having a job in an office, but there will always be those who would be excited to pitch tents or sleep in hammocks in some mosquito-infested village undersupplied with running water to teach literacy to the women and children in that community.
Sometimes it’s more than just the physical space or the people we’re with; it’s what we do in that place and with those people. When we find meaning in what we do, whether in good times or in bad, we are more likely to continue in that path. We become willing to sacrifice a little bit of momentary pleasure for lasting happiness.
CHOOSE A PATH THAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING
Once a year, our school conducts a career guidance week for graduating students and just recently, after the full implementation of the Kto12 program in the Philippines, the career guidance program has been specifically re-designed for incoming Senior High School students. Often, students would come up to me and ask what’s the most in demand or profitable profession in the country or in the world today. If I base my answer on research, I can easily pull up the records or refer to the Bureau of Labor and Employment’s pamphlets. But if that is all they need to know to choose a career, I would only be giving them half the right answer. In fact, I could be doing them a great disservice.
In choosing our career paths, we need also to consider our happiness. For some, this may sound a little selfish or self-centered but recent studies have proven the significant link between happiness and productivity. Employees who are happy with what they do are found to be more productive in the workplace and so part of the questions I ask my students during career coaching sessions is, what is it that makes your heart sing? What are the things you are willing to do for free in order to make a difference in the community?
One student said he loves playing basketball. How much does he love playing the sport? I learned that his father is a regular employee but enjoys taking time to coach him and other kids. Perhaps he, too, can identify a need in the community related to what he loves doing and build a career around that need. He can search deep within himself, find his gifts and use these gifts to serve that need.
They key is in getting to know our true self and finding our purpose. Only when we get to serve our purpose can we be truly happy in any career path we choose.
You, too, have gifts unique to only you. It is never too late for you to choose or redesign your career path. If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. If this article blessed you, we’d be very grateful if you could share it with friends, too!
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