Are you tired of feeling like you are just going through the motions in life? How would things be different if you felt excited or passionate about your life?
Some of the best facts about the importance of engagement in life come from the work area where disengagement has been closely studied. According to the recent Gallup Employee Engagement Index, 42% of the global workforce said they are disengaged at work. This is a tragic situation for the employees and the company or organization for many reasons.
Gallup’s research found that engaged employees get the work done correctly and are productive. This helps companies pass their competition by 72% in earnings per share. However, disengagement cost US businesses 350 billion dollars a year.
Engagement is important at every stage in life because it relates to your ability to be happy. Retirement in no exception.
You may wonder how engagement is connected to happiness.
First of all, feeling engaged in what you are doing is one of the three types of happiness described in A Primer in Positive Psychology (2006) by Christopher Peterson. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyl refers to it as flow. It is a wonderful state to be in.
Engagement is being involved in activities that use your strengths and attract and hold your attention. Athletes refer to it as “being in the zone.” Others say it is being focused. Characteristics of being engaged are:
- Having high levels of concentration and focus
- Being unaware of feelings in the moment
- Feeling invigorated afterwards
- Losing track of time
- Using your strengths
- Living your values
- Being authentic
Being engaged in an activity creates positive emotions, like happiness, afterwards that build psychological resources. It can be thought of as psychological capital that builds your cognitive and behavioral repertoire for future actions.
Being engaged helps you manage stressful areas in your life by creating positive emotions that can undo the physiological effects of negative emotions, such as anxiety. Cognitively, you experience enhanced verbal fluency and attention, increased openness to information, and greater working memory when you are engaged.
Engagement can be experienced at any age level and in all kinds of activities. Whether at work or play, the activities are often perceived as voluntary. You do not have to be an expert to be engaged in what you are doing. For instance, you can get very focused when you are curious and learning something new.
To practice being engaged, find something that you are curious about or interested in that uses your strengths. Focus on being absorbed in the present moment and let yourself enjoy what you are doing.
Comment below on what kind of things you find yourself getting engaged in and what that does for you.
Until next time,