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You Owe it to All of Us to Feel Good

I love this quote by Martha Beck, a Harvard PhD and executive coach:

"Everything I've ever taught in terms of self-help boils down to this - I cannot believe people keep paying me to say this - if something feels really good for you, you might want to do it. And if it feels really horrible, you might want to consider not doing it. Thank you, give me my $150."

It's not always that black and white, of course. If it were, we would all just "follow our bliss" and all our problems would be solved. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do in service toward something greater.

For example, as much as I talk about it, I don't always enjoy sitting down to meditate or do yoga. But I do them because they've reduced my anxiety by about 90% and completely changed how I approach life.

But it is true that if you're unhappy the majority of the time you are at work, you can do better. I'm not sure where the exact percentage is. Should we be overjoyed 70% of the time? 80%? When do we stop seeking and just enjoy where we are? 

I believe the best approach is to just start listening to your intuition in small ways. Feel into what you want to wear, or what you want for lunch, and then your intuition will be clearer when it comes to bigger things like which projects to take on and when it's truly time to leave your company.

Pay attention to what feels good and what doesn't (I'm not talking about indulgences that feel good in the moment but make you lose respect for yourself right after).

Which parts of your job truly bring satisfaction and which don't? How can you get creative and amplify the positive parts?

It's an ongoing exploration. But for many it's a revelation - you actually deserve to feel good.

If that activates your Catholic/Jewish/fill-in-the-blank guilt, just know that truly feeling good usually derives from doing work you're great at that serves and inspires others. 

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