…making them feel fulfilled is a MORAL OBLIGATION. That is what companies should aim for. What is the difference?
Seeking happiness isn’t wrong, it’s just limiting. It’s only one color on the rainbow of human experience.
Contrary to popular belief, life is not about being happy. Don’t get me wrong — happiness is important — it has us drop into and experience the joy of being alive and the joy of the moment. By all means, do things that bring you joy and happiness. And notice that happiness is merely an emotional state: fleeting, temporary and elusive.
Fulfillment, on the other hand, is consistent and has room for the full range of emotional experiences. For instance, you can be unhappy or stressed and yet very fulfilled. Indeed, that is an essential part of it.
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Being in the flow means that we are so involved in a task that we lose track of time and space.
It requires the right amount of challenge (stress) and the right amount of skills…a bit more might lead to anxiety and panic, a bit less would make us bored. The experience of flow is universal and it has been reported to occur across different classes, genders, ages, cultures and it can be experienced in many types of activities.
If you’ve ever experienced flow, then you’ve experienced some of the great benefits yourself. When you’re immersed in your chosen activity, you’re rewarded with a feeling of fulfillment. You have a purpose. You’re also freed from worries about the past or the future, as you turn your attention to only the present moment. Additionally, when you exit flow, you feel happier than when you entered it. And you even fine-tune your craft during your immersion—you know what they say: practice makes perfect.
Most employee engagement programs offer instant gratification packaged as tiny bits of happiness tokens hoping to improve productivity and overall moral at work. The real solution is to understand what drives those people so they can create that motivating environment where they can get into the flow.
Leadership is not about making anyone happy, it is the responsibility of providing the right amount of challenge and support simultaneously. Competition and disagreements are essential for growth. Diversity provides plenty of opportunities for perspectives to clash, cultural intelligence offers the solution to turn those differences into synergy instead of painful liability.
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