How to Choose a Job That Makes You Happy

Society has almost brainwashed us into believing that we should only pursue jobs that promise the potential to make a lot of money. One author offers advice on how you can work, earn a living, and be happy doing it.

What the Experts Say

Often we choose a job we think will provide us with ample financial benefits or “security.” Unfortunately, once we accept that position, we may not find it satisfying or rewarding. Believe it or not, there are careers that will make you happy and can become lucrative.

Robert H. Frank, author of an intriguing article published in The New York Times, suggests the first step is to become an expert at something. Frank, an economics professor at Cornell, cites recommendations from other professors and psychologists. They encourage their students and patients to focus on an activity that absorbs them thoroughly. Then, they suggest preparing for a career that “entails tasks as similar as possible to that activity.”

Don’t worry about the money. That’s what the experts say. Choose your desired activity (graphic art, building furniture, studying languages, etc.) and practice it and engage in it for thousands of hours. If you love it, you’ll stay interested. The longer you do it, the more of an expert you’ll become.

Your Expertise Will Pay Off

When you participate in an activity whole-heartedly for a long period of time, you will, no doubt, get better. If you become “the best”, your services will be in high demand—thus bringing you higher pay. Additionally, with technology, your skills will be available to anyone, anywhere. Get great at something, and no matter where you do it, your skills will be worthy and profitable.

And even if you’re not making top dollar, doing what you love will bring an unequivocal amount of deep satisfaction. Frank reminds us of a psychological state called “flow.” Flow is when you become completely immersed in what you’re doing, and the rest of the world disappears. Time drifts by, without you noticing, and you get into the flow. Flow is recognized as one of the most intensely fulfilling states we can experience. If you’ve got a job with “flow,” you are one lucky duck.

Are You on a Mission?

When it comes to job satisfaction, it’s also been proven that you have to feel on par with your company’s mission. If you don’t believe in their basic principles, then you can never be completely happy working with them. Frank points out an outstanding example of such a theory.

He describes two possible job scenarios: One is working for the American Cancer Society and writing ad copy to discourage teen smoking. The other is working for a large tobacco company creating ads to encourage smoking. Both jobs offer the same perks and salary. Which would you choose?

When Frank posed this question to seniors in his class, almost 90 percent said they’d choose to work for the ACS. Then, he asked them how much more money would the tobacco company have to pay them to get them to work there instead. Astoundingly, the consensus from the students is that the tobacco job would have to pay 80 percent more than the ASC position.

We all need to earn a salary to survive. But after the basic bills are paid, if you’re happy every day doing what you love, you really don’t need a lot of extra money. A satisfying existence is worth more than being miserable with extra money in the bank, right?

And who’s to say you can’t have both happiness and financial abundance?

Immune Shroom
Immune Shroom

Meditation Helpful for Disruptive Students

Some elementary schools are replacing detention or other inconsequential punishment with meditation insteadsuccessfully.

Acting Out

We all know the kid who disrupts the class with unsavory behavior. He or she runs around the classroom, doesn’t follow directions, acts disrespectful, or starts fights with other students. Some classes have more than one kid who engages in this type of behavior.

Traditional “punishments’ such as detention or suspension don’t work. Kids get bored sitting in a room, fake-reading after school; and it has no connection to their recent misbehavior. Suspension might be what the student wants—to avoid going to school.

One elementary school in Baltimore, however, is having great success with their “mindful moment room.”

How it Works

When a student becomes persistently disruptive in the classroom, the teacher asks them to go to the meditation room. It’s in that space that the child is encouraged to partake in self-soothing, calming behaviors like mindful breathing and simple yoga poses.

The mindful meditation room has plush pillows, soft lighting, and warm colors. The kids are encouraged to engage in deep breathing in order to get their bodies and mind more still. They are also given an opportunity to reflect and then discuss their previous actions.

Does it Work?

According to the principal, teachers, parents, and students of Robert W. Coleman Elementary, meditation instead of punishment is working quite well. They’ve noticed that the children’s focus and attention spans have increased. The Holistic Life Foundation partnered with the school to create the meditation room. Kirk Phillips, one of the coordinators, said the program is amazing. “You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.”

Parents are also claiming that they are seeing changes at home. They’re finding that their kids are less stressed out.

There’s also been noted a greater awareness of surroundings. The students have been more participatory in the community like helping out cleaning up parks and creating local gardens.

One high school practicing the meditation room programs reports that suspension rates dropped significantly, and attendance is the highest it’s been.

It’s great news to hear that change is occurring. Since traditional styles haven’t been working all that well, why not revert to an ancient practice? Especially one that been proven over thousands of years to reap mental and physical benefits.

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