Are you searching for happiness in your career? Is your primary goal to find bliss in your occupation, while all other factors fall secondary? But what if you can't find happiness in your work life? Well, maybe it's time to stop trying.
June Gruber, author of the recently released study, "A Dark Side of Happiness? How, When, and Why Happiness Is Not Always Good" says, "People who are striving to pursue happiness have a need to maximize their happiness, and those people are the ones who actually feel less happy and more disappointed." Which makes sense. If you're constantly trying to fit happiness into the equation, you're liable to miss the bits of happiness along the way. Sometimes asking for an overall big picture of complete happiness is really asking for too much.
Even if your job is dissatisfying, trying to search for the happiness in it, may end up fruitless and lead to more dissatisfaction. It's like love: they say it comes to you when you stop looking for it.
The study also found that it's better to have more tangible goals:
"For instance, people who highly value academic achievement will be disappointed when they fall short of their high standards," Gruber wrote. However, the disappointment that comes with something such as an academic goal, doesn't stop you from pursuing it. Instead it's simply "incompatible with achieving one's goal."
"This reasoning leads to the prediction that the more people strive for happiness, the more likely it is that they will become disappointed about how they feel, paradoxically decreasing their happiness the more they want it."
Srini Pillay who is an executive coach and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says, "Most people who are successful are realistic that happiness isn't a constant feature in their lives." Very true. If you don't know sadness from time to time, then the whole notion of happiness goes out the window.
"Anxiety is an everyday part of corporate America. Learning to manage negative feelings is even more important than generating positive feeling," continued Pillay.
Unfortunately, not everyone can love their jobs. It's called work for a reason. And while trying to find fulfillment in the happiness category, is admirable, sometimes it's like kicking a dead horse: it's not going to change. Instead of trying to seek out happiness, it's best to live, appreciate the little things along the way and when a moment of utter happiness happens, grab hold, relish it and realize "Wow, I'm really happy right now." It might be the best strategy to avoiding disappointment.
End of the day it is not to get stuck as this saying goes -" We are all busy making a living that we forget to make a life."
As Robert Frost says in his poem "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" -:
"And i have miles to go before i sleep, And miles to go before i sleep."