Continuing on that New Yorker article from my last blog, Will Storr goes on about Psychologist, Brian R Little, “One of his consistent findings is that, in order to bring us happiness, a project must have two qualities: it must be meaningful in some way, and we must have efficacy over it.” In other words, we must be able to produce a desired or intended result over it. Another reason why retiring with no purposeful plans can lead to being well rested, but bored and miserable.
A project can be in our work or something we do in our off-time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, significant task. It can be quite small. Small is good. A string of small successful projects adds up. So, don’t put off the small ones, waiting for the big project to come along. It’s funny how the big opportunities present themselves when we are working successfully and happily on the small ones. Take action now.
It must be meaningful. Look for projects that leverage your strengths and/or you would enjoy doing. You will find it easier to choose meaningful projects amongst different options when you are going through a self-discovery process (check out Dream and Achieve at www.lancetanka.com).
You must be able to have impact. Leveraging your strengths and passions is a good foundation to having an impact. But also realize that you can achieve even greater results when you are working in concert with others. A great team has team members whose strengths complement each other.
In the sagely words of Aristotle, “Stop hoping for happiness tomorrow. Happiness is being engaged in the process.” So, value the process and be engaged today.