Is Work a Pain?

“In a culture that sometimes equates work with suffering, it is revolutionary to suggest that the best inward sign of vocation is deep gladness—revolutionary but true.” ~ Parker Palmer,The Courage to Teach

Do you prefer leisure to work?  Not surprisingly most people do. What is surprising is that they report more optimal feelings of being “in the zone” when engaged in work.

This strange, yet revealing, paradox may explain why so many U.S. retirees experience depression and ultimately return to work.

While we clearly associate leisure with pleasure, we seem to have an unwarranted prejudice against work: We automatically associate it with pain. This belief is so deeply rooted that it distorts our perceptions of actual experiences. It’s a learned response that severely limits our potential for happiness at work.

To achieve professional satisfaction, you must experience—and consciously record—the positive emotions you feel on the job.

What positive emotions do you feel at work?


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