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How to Juggle Happiness, Purpose and Virtue?



First:  Happiness.  Some organizations conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys to determine how happy their employees are.  Others facilitate Employee Engagement Surveys to evaluate how productive they are.  People can be satisfied but not necessarily engaged.  But people who are actively engaged do tend to be more satisfied.  What does being happy mean to you?

  • Dr. Martin Seligman is known for championing positive psychology, the goal of which is “to increase not just human happiness but human flourishing”.  Try the (free) “Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire” which measures overall happiness at www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu
  • Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman authored “First, Break all the Rules:  what the word’s greatest managers do differently”.  Their Q12 (12 questions expressed in the extreme) Engagement Survey continues to be an excellent measuring stick for human capital

Second:  Purpose.  When people come to talk “careers” with me, often their biggest challenge has been finding work that satisfies their longing for a sense of purpose.  I’m seeing more and more business people transition into the not-for-profit sector because they’re tired of focusing only on the bottom line.  They want to contribute to something of social significance and work with people who share the same personal mission and values.  To them, work is much more than making a living!  If you’re looking to identify or confirm your sense of purpose, consider:

  • “The Pathfinder Career System”  www.cashlehman.com is a comprehensive career assessment with a facilitated discussion about behaviours, career interests and roles where you’re most likely to be successful.  One of the 10 Lifestyle Priorities identified is Purpose
  • Tom Rath’s “StrengthsFinder 2.0“ book and access to an on-line questionnaire showcases your talents and signature strengths which can lead to a greater sense of purpose

Last, but not least:  Virtue.  people talk about Character, Code of Conduct, Ethics, Integrity, Professionalism but look at how many public figures are unable to walk their own talk!

  • The Virtues Project www.virtuesproject.com is a wonderful resource for individuals, parents, educators, leaders, community developers, communities of faith.  They define Virtues as  ”The very meaning and purpose of our lives, the content of our character and the truest expression of our souls…We can awaken a virtue by choosing to live it”.

Your question may be:  where to start?  I’d suggest you scan these resources and see where they take you.  I’m betting a meaningful path will present itself to you.  Here’s to finding your passion and your purpose!