Meaningful Work is Hard
“It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.” — Tony Robbins
It’s tough stuff. Doing meaningful work means stretching past your limits and taking risks. As such, the most meaningful work often comes with the greatest challenges.
You become more as you grow past the hurdles. As you grow your ability to take on bigger challenges, you create new arenas and capabilities for deeper engagement and more fulfillment. It’s the place where you find your “flow” and get “in the zone.”
Failure comes with the territory. As one of my mentors put it, if you’re not failing enough, you’re not trying enough. You learn more when you fail, and a healthy habit is to carry the lessons forward.
By recognizing the value of meaningful work on our inner lives, and what we become in the process of growth, you set the stage for a healthy environment of meaningful progress. The key is to have a high tolerance for risk and failure and create a learning environment.
In the book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
, by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, the authors write about focusing on the progress and positive feedback, while embracing the failures along the way. It’s part of the journey of meaningful work.
Failure is Inevitable Along the Way
The most meaningful work also often comes with the greatest challenges. Teresa and Steven write:
“By its very nature, meaningful work is hard; people often get the greatest satisfaction from overcoming the most difficult challenges. Failure is inevitable along the path to innovation.”
Focus on Catalysts and Nourishers
You can’t avoid all the problems. Instead, you can respond to the problems, and you can focus on the wins along the way. Teresa and Steven write:
“Thought you should try to minimize obstacles and setbacks under your control, you can never create a problem-free bubble for your people. You can’t nourish inner work life if you drive yourself and your team crazy trying to avoid all problems. Rather, focus on providing people with the catalysts and nourishers they need to overcome the obstacles they will inevitably face. “
Failure is a Chance to Start Over Smarter
Teresa and Steven write:
“As legendary industrialist Henry Ford once said, ‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.’”
Grow your skills by leaps and bounds as you take on more meaningful work, and remember that the most important meaning maker in your life is you.
My Related Posts
- Sustain Virtuous Cycles and Halt Vicious Ones
- The Seven Major Catalysts that Inspire Progress
- Fear of Weakness, Fear of Failure, Fear of Who You Are
Photo by mkd.