The Correlation between Happiness and Meaning


BNet bloggers Marshall and Kelly Goldsmith recently posted a piece entitled “’Employee Fun Day’ Won’t Create Job Satisfaction” in which they revealed the findings of a recent survey they administered to determine the correlation between respondents’ experience of happiness and meaning both at and outside of work.  Their results are somewhat surprising.

The survey was designed to determine the relationship between participation in “stimulating” activities with overall satisfaction, both at home and at work.  “Stimulating” was defined as those activities that provide short-term gratification (happiness) without long-term benefit (meaning): ‘employee fun day,’ gossiping, watching TV, surfing the Internet, etc.

Like the Goldsmiths, you’re probably not surprised to discover that those who spent more time engaged in ‘stimulating’ work activities enjoyed less overall job satisfaction.  As the Goldsmiths explain, while people generally like to have fun, they expect their professional lives to be elevated and meaningful.  What they didn’t expect the survey to reveal, however, was that the same theory applied to the respondents’ home lives as well.  The more ‘stimulating’ their personal activities, the less satisfying their home lives.  It appears that whether at work or at home, people find greater satisfaction when they are participating in meaningful activities.

The Goldsmiths conclude that “While a little fun is great, a lot of it can do more harm than good.  Rather than watching another TV show, it might be good if we challenged ourselves by finding ways to help other people in need.  Finding meaning can be more important than finding amusement.”

How Happy and Meaningful is Your Life?

We hope that you find your professional and personal lives to be completely satisfying.  If not, it’s time to ask yourself why.  Are you distracted by ‘stimulating’ activities that may provide temporary happiness but not lasting satisfaction?  And how gratifying are the responsibilities found in your current job description?  As you revamp your career, it may be time to take your employment into your own hands by becoming a full-service financial provider.

Launch a Full-Service Financial Practice

Would you find meaning in helping small businesses better manage their finances?  At Universal Accounting, we understand the needs of the small business like nobody else. UAC has designed a curriculum specific to the needs of small businesses, and Universal Accounting offers the most complete small-business accounting course anywhere. The Professional Bookkeeper Designation assures clients that you have the skills necessary to fulfill their small business accounting needs. For you, the training designation assures you have had the applicable experience to provide the quality service to your small business clients.

To launch a full-service financial practice you must add tax services to your offerings. Not only would it be more convenient for you clients, but it would also increase your income. Tax professionals charge $100+ per hour preparing individual and business tax returns. Many tax preparers make more money in the months leading up to the April 15 tax deadline than others make all year long! Since all individuals and businesses, small or large, are required to file taxes, tax preparation is a respected skill that will always be in demand. And many of your current clients would probably by happy to have you file their taxes as well as perform the standard accounting services you may currently provide.

By combining the Professional Bookkeeper designation with the Professional Tax Preparer designation, you will earn a terrific income all year long. It is easy to cross-sell from one service to the other, making it easier to find clients, raise your billable hours, and give you a raise to boot!  Consider how could achieve true job satisfaction and enroll in these two powerful programs now!


Goldsmith, Kelly and Marshall.  “’Employee Fun Day’ Won’t Create Job Satisfaction.” 25 August 2010

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