MIndfulness, Meditation, and Finding a Happiness in Your Career

I was on the phone with my sister today to catch up and I started telling her about my interest in mindfulness and meditation. We spoke for a while about the initial research I have done and about how some of the primary goals of mindfulness are to be able to observe your own thoughts and emotions, label what they are, experience them non-judgmentally, and make decisions based on that non-judgment.  I also mentioned the meditation class we all attended this morning at the Zen Buddhist Temple. A few things our teacher said really resonated with me. First, I loved when she spoke about how we see intellect as residing solely in the mind. Thus, we become totally disembodied and forget to be present in our own bodies. I really enjoyed the incremental mindfulness exercise in which we focused on various parts of the body and “awakened” them so to speak or brought our attention to them in order to truly relax. The teacher also shared with us the Indian scripture that went something like, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

This got me thinking about a similar idea that came up in my psychology of entrepreneurship class. In a book called, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” the author, Cal Newport speaks about two mindsets when going to start your career. He says there is a passion mindset one can have that is defined by the question, “what can the world offer me?” On the other hand, he describes a second mindset he deems the craftsman mindset that is defined by another question, “what can I offer the world?” Newport goes on to speak about how the three pillars of a satisfying career are impact, control and creativity. He says that we are better able to achieve these three things when we try to make a difference in the world and thus we should use the craftsman mindset when trying to find ourselves.

In life, sometimes you seem to learn similar lessons in very different places at similar times. I thought it was interesting to speak about these two intellectual experiences together because they are in direct conversation with each other. Both the teacher in the Buddhist Temple and my reading for a business class were telling me that service and social impact may create the most satisfaction and happiness in one’s life. Food for thought I guess while I continue the job search.


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