It may sound counter-intuitive to say that searching for happiness and pursuing one's life dream in the workplace only leads to further dissatisfaction, but a recent study, published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, suggests exactly that, MSNBC reports.
"People who are striving to pursue happiness have a need to maximize their happiness, and those people are the ones who actually feel less happy and more disappointed," June Gruber, the co-author of the study wrote in the report.
Gruber states that there is an "obsessive preoccupation" with being happy in a career, which most likely is contributing to society's high rate of job dissatisfaction, according to the news source.
The report explores the notion that while happiness is absolutely necessary in some respects – such as its ability to "facilitate the pursuit of important goals," its importance in social bonds, its ability to broaden attention spans and its proven record of improving overall health – it could possibly have a negative side as well.
The authors outlined four questions that may shed light on whether or not the continual pursuit of workplace happiness is really beneficial. The study inquires about the degree of happiness one should strive for, the time, place and appropriateness of happiness, wrong ways to pursue it and wrong types of happiness. Answering these questions is a personal responsibility that may lead to a deeper awareness of the occupational problem at hand.
According to Psychologist Simon Rego, focusing too hard on career happiness leaves you absent from the present moment, invariably leading you to push what you want further away, MSNBC stated.
Gruber concludes the report with a comparison of happiness to food, stating that food, of course, is necessary, but there is a limit to what foods are good and appropriate.