Monthly Message from the Work-Life Director
November Greetings from the Director
Giving Thanks for a Good Life
With the increasing pressures of work and economic recession, many of us are bummed-out, stressed-out, and burned-out. What can we do to move beyond the negative experiences that seem to permeate our daily lives?
“The way we think about work, leisure, and the way we live depends on how we see the big picture of life. On a day-to-day basis most of us deal with decisions about our lives ad hoc, sometimes losing sight of what is important to us. We know that work can make life miserable or rewarding,” writes Joanne B. Ciulla in her book, The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work (2000).
Knowing what is important to us – our values, world vision, the perspectives that shape our daily actions – ultimately shape our daily experiences. To live fully, Dr. William Irvine, author of A Guide to the Good Life (2009), advocates having a philosophy of life, citing a “life mislived” as one of the greatest human tragedies. Irvine writes that a philosophy of life will “specify what you must do, as you go about your daily activities, to maximize your chances of gaining the thing in life that you take to be ultimately valuable” rather than being distracted by the “various baubles life has to offer.”
What is your big picture of life or your grand goal for living? Whatever your orientation might be, it will guide your decisions about the work that you do, the way you give care, and the leisure activities in which you engage. A guiding philosophy should uplift you through challenging times, empower you to live life holistically, and help you live more fully in the moment.
For many, expressions of gratitude are central to living a good life. Feeling grateful, expressing thanks to others, and appreciating what one has in the moment are key to a life well lived.