54,000 Hours Has a Profound Impact on Your Well-Being
The average adult spends the majority of their waking hours at work. If you actually add up those hours over the span of a 30-year career, the total equals approximately 54,000 hours. Work demands a huge chunk of our time and energy, which is why it’s so important that we enjoy what we do. As one of the six major components of well-being, it’s easy to understand why the element of work and career is such an integral part of our overall well-being.
So why is it, then, that so many people have to go through the motions on autopilot to get through their work day?
Why do we settle for less-than-ideal jobs when there are so many possibilities available to us in today’s modern society?
Why is it that most people think that work is something you do and not something you look forward to or get excited about each and every day?
MORE THAN A PAYCHECK
Even though we have more opportunities now than we did a century ago, or even a decade ago, we still seem to resign ourselves to the philosophy that work is something that just needs to be tolerated in exchange for a paycheck.
Unfortunately, this line of thinking is harmful – and potentially even lethal – to our overall well-being. According to studies on the subject, the risk of having a heart attack can spike up to 20% on Mondays. Research also reveals that 80% of working adults experience a sense of dread on Sundays due to not wanting to go back to work. These numbers seem to suggest that the majority of adults are settling for jobs that they simply don’t enjoy or get excited about. It’s easy to get caught up in a less-than-ideal work situation and then stick with it because it feels comfortable. But that complacency is causing a lot more discomfort than we think. What if we could assess our work and career well-being regularly to ensure that we don’t ever risk becoming another sad statistic?
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAREERS
First, it’s important to recognize that we all have different types of careers – as students, 9-to-5 workers, stay-at-home parents, full-time family caregivers, etc. Not everyone has chosen to go to work in the traditional sense, but that doesn’t mean that what they do every day is any less valid. A full-time family caregiver works just as hard and just as much – and probably even more – than someone who works 40 hours a week. It is also just as important for them to understand how their work and career well-being affect their overall well-being. It is for this reason that this well-being element includes all career paths.
No matter the type of work you’re involved in, have you ever asked yourself whether you prefer Mondays or Fridays? It may seem like a simple question, but it can give you a lot of insight into how you’re doing in the work and career department. If you prefer Mondays, you probably feel incredibly engaged at work, enjoy your work environment and associates, and have a sense of pride in what you do. If you prefer Fridays, then you likely don’t enjoy your day-to-day work responsibilities, don’t feel like there is room for growth within your company, and are unhappy with the acknowledgement and compensation you receive. Of course, these are just generalizations, but they are a few of the factors that can contribute to low or high levels of job satisfaction.
WORK SHOULD MOTIVATE YOU
Your work should energize you and make you feel like you have a purpose in life. It should make you feel excited when you wake up in the morning because you just can’t wait to get a head start on the day ahead of you. It should make you feel alive and excited to live life to the fullest. And as a society, it’s time that we change the narrative about how we feel about our jobs. If you personally don’t feel happy in your current work situation, it’s time to take a hard look at why that is and what you can do to improve in this well-being element.
People often think about wellness in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc. – but it’s so much more than just that. Well-being is made up of positive, meaningful and happy outcomes that lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity. It is how one feels regarding their life as a whole, which is why overall well-being consists of six different elements.
ONE OF SIX ELEMENTS You might personally feel like you’re doing great at work and that there’s nothing for you to improve on. This is a great sign because it means that you likely are doing well in this particular element. But just because you are at 100% in the work and career element, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at 100% in the other five well-being elements. We strongly suggest taking a honest look at all six elements every few months to ensure that you are doing well in all areas of your life. It’s time to take charge of your well-being and stop leaving it up to chance.
To help you do that, the Strengths Performance Centre developed a well-being self-assessment program that can be used to measure all six of the elements that make up our overall well-being: work and career, loved ones, emotional and mental, interaction with others, physical, and financial. We’ve also added a section for you to lean-into your natural talents, your Strengths, in order for you to be at your ultimate best.
Reach out to us today by phone (613-421-4722 ext. 7) or email (well-being@StrengthsPerformance.com) to learn more about how this self-assessment tool can help you, your loved ones and your organization develop healthy well-being habits that will lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity. Best of all, it can help lead you in the right direction so that you can learn to love Mondays again.
Co-authored by Antoine Carrière & Julia Borsellino