Work, Community and Happiness.

I say it all the time, we are all in marketing grad school.

And since all our work in this imaginary university of mine is collaborative, I have to share this with you.

Maybe you’ve seen it.

Read it. Twice. Study it. Let’s talk about it. Be old school just this once. Print it out and highlight things that make you think, like I have. Ask the trees for forgiveness.

It’s that good.

There is so much to learn in this report by Jane McGonigal about the Engaged Economy.

If I tried to talk about it all, my post would be too long so this morning as we start out the week, I’m just going to pick one tiny little point.

It’s about happiness.

Of. Course.

It seems that there is a growing sense among scientists that contributing to large-scale group projects (communities) is a fundamental part of happiness.

From the Engaged Economy:

in the relatively new field of positive psychology, or the “science of happiness,” one of
the most oft-repeated findings is that the desire to join communities and contribute to
projects much larger than ourselves appears to be a natural human instinct. University
of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman, considered the founder of positive
psychology, has even argued that the evolutionary purpose of positive feelings such as
joy, optimism, and happiness, is specifically to encourage human cooperation. In the
conclusion of his seminal work Authentic Happiness, Seligman writes:

Positive emotions are part of a sensory system that alerts to us the presence of a
potential win-win. They also set up an action repertoire and a mindset of collaborative
activities “that broadens and builds abiding intellectual and social
resources.” Positive emotions, in short, build the cathedrals of our lives.

He encourages readers to look for cathedrals to which they can contribute and to become of
service to “something much larger than you are” as often as possible.

Positive emotions build the cathedrals of our lives.

Don’t you love that notion? Fascinating choice of words.

The last lesson in our book, Brains on Fire; Igniting Powerful Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements, (the bonus lesson only because we thought of it last) is Movements Fight an Injustice. Yes.

We all want to believe that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

We want to create meaningful, positive change in world. We want to collaborate. It makes us happier. It triggers positive emotions. It’s in our DNA.

Finding the shared passion, the cause, the calling that stirs your employees and your advocates can change lives. And create sustainable communities that can ignite movements.

Someone interviewing me for TOWN magazine last week ask me this simple question:

Why this job?

My answer:

I don’t have a job. I would make a horrible employee because I absolutely hate work. Seriously, I really don’t see what I do as a job. Brains on Fire is more of a calling. A cause. A community. A movement. We believe we are igniting positive, meaningful change the world.

Our goal is nothing short of changing lives.

Making a mark on the world is part of human nature. It makes us feel good. I also love this from the article:

The economy of engagement is also an economy of feelings, in which positive emotions—pride, curiosity, love, and feeling smart—are the ultimate reward for participation.

So dream with me a moment.

Imagine a world where no one worked. Where we all instead join forces and push forward social change. Where we only support (buy products and services from) organizations who support our passions.


What passions would you work on for free?

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