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NOTEBOOK – One Good Read: Finding purpose at work


The article was titled “How to Be Happy.” How could I not read it? Can such a pursuit really be resolved in one quick read? As it turns out, no; the New York Times story is actually rather lengthy. It covers several specific areas of your life where you can make a few adjustments to be happier. Some of it borders on platitudes (“Spend time with happy people,” “Money doesn’t buy happiness”), but a lot of it is good, insightful stuff. Consider this, from the “Find purpose at work” section: “Ideally, we will find work that has meaning to us. But not everybody can quit their day job and pursue charity work or join Teach for America. As a result, it’s important that we find ways to find meaning in our day-to-day work. Studies show that we get satisfaction from all kinds of work — not just our dream job. Yale researchers studied custodians who worked in a hospital. Far from seeing the drudgery of their jobs, the janitors had unofficially broadened the definition of hospital custodial work. Many of them viewed their work as including providing comfort to patients, helping families find their way around the hospital and providing a clean, pleasant environment for doctors and nurses to do their work and for patients to heal.” I love that. There’s a lot more. Read it. You’ll be happy you did.

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