The Forgotten Link Between Doing Things and Happiness


We are hardwired to take action and complete tasks. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Our survival as a society is dependent on the acts of several individuals.

Everything operates smoothly because we each do our share. It stands to reason, then, that we have an intrinsic mechanism hardwired into our brain that rewards us for accomplishing things.

I’m sure you’ve witnessed this in your own life. When you finish a large job assignment or reorganize your closet, you feel pleased, accomplished, and happy. It’s a wonderful feeling, and it’s what motivates us to do tasks on a regular basis. It’s an incentive to get to work and get things done.

On the other hand, when we don’t have something meaningful to accomplish or don’t feel like we’re making a difference, we become depressed. People who do not have a rewarding job or who believe their work is meaningless are far more prone to feel down, fatigued, unhappy, and depressed.

The easiest approach to change is to find something, anything, that will make us feel useful. All the better if we feel like we’re helping people and making a difference in their life. Give it a shot. When you’re feeling depressed, urge yourself to do something constructive.

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Go clean the bathroom, tidy your bookshelf, or fill the dishwasher. Then use your sense of accomplishment to encourage yourself to complete another task. Continue to build on it, and you’ll feel your mood improving before you realize it.

Go out and do something helpful that helps others if you want to amp up this experience. Volunteer for a couple of hours at a food bank or an animal shelter near you. Offer to babysit for a friend with little children who haven’t gotten out in a week. Do something to help someone else, and you’ll feel even better than you did before.

Make it a long-term goal to build a career or start a business that will fuel this sense of contributing and giving back. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the hours you spend working each week contributed to your overall pleasure and sense of fulfillment? What can you do this week or month to help you get closer to your goal?

That is where you should begin, but in the meanwhile, keep volunteering, taking action, and doing things that make you happy and successful.

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