Proof of Passion: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 23, 2023

3 min read


Proof of Passion: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work

In today's society, finding fulfillment and satisfaction in our work is a priority for many individuals. We strive to feel a sense of purpose and connection to what we do, and we want to be recognized and valued for our efforts. But what exactly makes us feel good about our work? What factors contribute to our motivation and sense of accomplishment?

One key finding is that the way we treat others' efforts can greatly impact their feelings of joy and meaning in their work. When we shred someone's effort in front of them or ignore their performance, we easily take away the joy and meaning they derive from their work. It doesn't matter how much the person loves what they do; there is no correlation between their love for their work and the impact of negative feedback. This highlights the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of others.

Additionally, people tend to value what they put effort into more than external evaluations from others. The more effort they invest in their work, the more they value it, and they believe that others would value it as well. This suggests that when we put effort into our work, we develop a stronger connection to it and a higher level of appreciation. On the other hand, when something is too easy or requires no effort, we struggle to feel a true connection to it. For example, the cake mix industry realized that by removing the eggs and milk from their product, people felt less connected to the final result. Effort and investment play a crucial role in our perception of value and meaning.

Furthermore, the presence of meaning in our work can significantly impact our motivation and satisfaction. Even in situations where the meaning may seem small or temporary, it still makes a difference. In a study involving Lego building, participants in the meaningful condition built more Lego structures than those in the Sisyphus condition. Meaningful work provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment that drives our motivation. Therefore, it is crucial to cultivate an environment where people care deeply about what they are doing and feel valued for their contributions.

Taking these learnings and findings into account, there are actionable pieces of advice we can apply to our own work and interactions with others:

  • 1. Recognize and appreciate the efforts of others: Avoid shredding someone's effort in front of them or ignoring their performance. Instead, take the time to acknowledge and value their contributions. By simply looking at what somebody has done and scanning it with genuine interest, we can dramatically improve their motivation and satisfaction.
  • 2. Embrace effort and investment: Understand that putting effort into our work is essential for developing a sense of connection and meaning. Avoid tasks that are too easy or require no effort, as they can diminish our ability to feel a true connection to our work. Embrace challenges and invest time and energy into tasks that matter to us.
  • 3. Foster an environment of meaning: Whether it's in the workplace or in personal projects, strive to create an environment where meaning is present. Help others see the importance and value of their work, and encourage them to care deeply about what they are doing. By fostering a sense of meaning, we can enhance motivation and satisfaction.

In conclusion, what makes us feel good about our work is a combination of factors such as recognizing and appreciating the efforts of others, embracing effort and investment, and fostering an environment of meaning. By understanding these elements, we can enhance our own satisfaction and motivation in our work and contribute to creating a positive and fulfilling work environment for others. Remember, the way we treat others' efforts and the meaning we find in our work can have a significant impact on our overall well-being and sense of fulfillment.

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