3 Beda “happiness life” dan “meaningful life”

high performance imageMeskipun saling tumpang tindih, ada hal-hal yang membedakan hidup bahagia dan hidup bermakna. Riset Baumister dari Florida State University dan teman2 nya*) menemukan setidaknya ada tiga perbedaan. Pertama, tercapainya kebutuhan dan keinginan bisa meningkatkan happiness, tapi kerap tidak relevan dengan meaningfulness. Kedua, happiness cenderung berorientasi kekinian (present moment), sementara meaningfulness mengaitkan masa lalu, sekarang dan masa depan. Ketiga, ada orang yang merasa bermakna ? tapi belum tentu bahagia ? ketika ia membantu orang lain, tapi ketika orang merasa memperoleh hal tertentu dari orang lain, mungkin ia bahagia, tapi belum tentu merasa bermakna. Perbedaan yang terakhir ini menekankan bahwa happiness rupanya cenderung ?taker?, meaningfulness cenderung ?giver?.

Apa manfaat pengetahuan tentang perbedaan hal di atas dalam kehidupan dan kerja?

Setidaknya kita punya acuan dalam merumuskan bahagia dan kebermaknaan. Kebahagiaan cenderung bersifat natural, sementara meaningfulness bersifat kultural. Maksudnya, kebahagiaan berhubungan erat dengan kebutuhan biologis kita sebagai manusia demi perasaan suka dan puas kita. Sedangkan kebermaknaan tidak sekadar personal sifatnya, tapi lebih karena simbol-simbol budaya yang dipahami dengan pengetahuan, bahasa, serta hubungan kita dengan orang lain. Pengetahuan ini memberikan kita peluang untuk menambah intensitas, dan memperlama (ingat emosi pada dasarnya bersifat sementara) rasa bahagia. Penyebab kebahagiaan bisa sama untuk banyak orang,? tapi soal kebermaknaan, orang dapat berbeda-beda karena adanya keterlibatan orang itu secara aktif memaknainya. Tergantung wawasannya, orang bisa punya kebermaknaan yang berbeda-beda.

Wawasan ini dapat menjadi pengingat: Ada hal-hal dalam hidup dan pekerjaan kita yang mungkin membuat kita happy, tapi relatif kurang bermakna. Orang yang merasa bahagia bisa saja agak ceroboh, kurang peduli dan tidak punya perasaan cemas. Perasaan bahagia kadang cenderung dangkal atau ?selfish?.

Ketika dalam bekerja orang hanya memikirkan hal-hal yang kongrit dalam tindakannya, padahal bisa jadi itu kurang bermakna, mereka jadi fokus pada ?here and now? saja. Efek jangka panjang, pada keluarga, pada organisasi sering tidak mendapat perhatian. Saat kita merasa ?rugi? saat hendak membantu seorang teman, wawasan diatas dapat pula menyadarkan, itu efeknya pada kebermaknaan, bukan pada kebahagiaan. Atau, kalaupun rasa bahagia timbul pada akhirnya, itu karena kita mengalami kebermaknaan terlebih dahulu.

Bonus lain soal hidup penuh makna adalah efeknya pada tubuh yang lebih sehat. Penelitian Fredrickson dan teman2nya (2013) yang membandingkan orang yang mengatakan dirinya ?bahagia? dengan orang yang mengatakan dirinya punya ?a sense of direction and meaning?, menemukan bahwa orang yang terakhir ini kelihatannya punya sistem kekebalan tubuh yang lebih kuat.

Pursuing your happiness, but ensuring it contributes to your meaningful life !


*)Baumeister, R., Vohs, K., Aaker, J., & Garbinsky, E. (2013). Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life, Journal of Positive Psychology, Vol.8, No.6, 505-516.

Post Author: Taufiq Amir

Head of Management Program – Faculty of Economics and Social Science – Bakrie University I am passionate about teaching, researching and training.

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