Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The sound of lawn mowers, trimmers, and blowers hit my ears as I walk through the neighborhood. People are out there doing work that needs to be done. I’m sure there are people who love to get out and mow the lawn. In fact, it can be fun and satisfying at times. But I don’t think that most people feel like they can’t wait to get home and mow the lawn every time it needs to be mowed. Seeing a job well done, or pleasing someone who wanted it done, can bring a sense of satisfaction, and sometimes even pleasure, but there are many times there is just something else we’d rather be doing.

Theorists such as Abraham Maslow (Self-Actualization), Joseph Campbell (Bliss), and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow), tell us we can find happiness through living in our optimal experience where we can get lost in the joy of what we are doing. Marcus Buckingham tells us to spend most of our time in activities that use our strengths. I love to follow my bliss, use my strengths, and seek out optimal experiences, but sometimes the toilet needs to be cleaned or the lawn needs to be mowed whether the tasks bring joy or just the satisfaction of getting a job done that needed doing.

When I get to the park I see birds and geese doing their work. For the most part there’s little complaining. They know the order of things. As human beings, once we get beyond satisfying our basic needs, we can move on to finding meaningful experiences. For those of us who have the opportunity to find work that uses our strengths, we are blessed. If you find that you need to earn a living doing work that needs to be done, seek out opportunities to find a little bliss. Take a walk, talk to a friend, laugh with a baby, or challenge yourself physically. Everyone needs a little time for relaxation and enjoyment.

20 minutes walking

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