When it comes to work does following your passions always lead to the green pastures of happiness? Or are those dream jobs only realised when you pursue your heart’s desire?
Maybe so… that is IF your dreams seek the good of others, according to researchers at Oxford University.
800,000 Hours is a British think tank that looks into what factors make a fulfilling career. In fact they boiled it all down to a pretty simple formula: do what contributes.
SO… instead of putting the focus solely on yourself and your passions, why not slightly shift your mindset to see what you can do to contribute to the world around you?
I know there are thousands of new students who have stepped onto different campuses this week, carrying with them hopes, dreams and ambitions probably bigger than the average person, and that’s why I’d like to encourage these very people to take notice of the advice given by 800,000 Hours… do what contributes!
Whoever, wherever and whatever – think of something you can do in this new phase of your life to make changes in the world that contribute to boosting the livelihood of others. Research shows it will make you and others pretty happy.
I’m sure you didn’t need Oxford academics to tell you that in the first place, but it’s nice to have research back up your intuitions.
They’re useful career tips but I think they can be applied to the student life as well. Plus it’s probably a good idea to think about post-study or career options as well while you are still a student.
Another good piece of advice from them was to be wary of solely pursuing your passions and dreams in a selfish kind of way, whereby you basically live by the ‘what I want is what I get’ motto.
But don’t go to the other extreme of neglecting yourself either; knocking back things that you like or find interesting. If you do that how on earth can you give yourself – your qualities, talents, skills, etc. – to other people? The world needs you and what you can give and not the generic work of some kind of nameless entity.
So get a good start on the year and think about what you choose to take on – be it certain studies, jobs or extracurricular activities – to build yourself up as a person and others around you this 2017.
If you want any tips how to start your first-year out of high school on a high, I recommend you read Franchesca’s very own story. She’s a SOulsister who I think has learnt how to strike that good balance between pursuing what she loves while at the same time opening her eyes to the big picture of how and where she can contribute to the world around her.