Happiness is commonly associated with pleasure and contentment. These are fairly subjective states of being, and their causes are equally subjective. However, when it comes to work or social life, employment clearly has the greater effect on happiness. Whether a job provides a social life, supports it, or interferes with it, it is tightly bound to happiness. For many people, work is their source of happiness in life. They follow their passions and don’t regard what they do as work. Their co-workers become their friend group, merging social life and work life into one. They often have jobs that make an impact on the world, and offer them contentment and self-fulfillment. These impassioned people see an outside social life as inconsequential, and they willingly and consciously give it up in favor of work they love.
A job that regularly interferes with a normal social life creates an unbalanced life and lessens happiness. Hourly workers must often work overtime or on holidays, interfering with planned activities. Salaried workers frequently bring their work home with them, or they worry about their work responsibilities while at home. Others have to report to work at a moment’s notice any time of day or night. Some jobs require employees to work away from home for months or even years at a time. Conversely, an active social life rarely imposes on happiness gained from work. Positively or negatively, work has the greater influence on happiness. Passion-filled people draw happiness from their work. People whose jobs fund diverse life experiences receive happiness indirectly from their work. Those whose work encroaches on their personal lives also have their happiness impacted, albeit negatively. Work clearly has a more powerful connection to personal happiness than a social life does.
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