Work

Work. This word often has negative connotations for it implies less time for leisure, fun, and “me”. It interferes with the things we would rather be doing.

Let me be clear I am defining work as any activity which takes away from our leisure time – cleaning the car, helping the kids, fixing the sink – not just our paid work. In my recent readings I have come across several positive interpretations on work:

“The function of work… [is] to give man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties and enable him to overcome his egocentredness by joining with other people in a common task.” – E.F. Schumacher

“[B]odily labour…was decreed by Providence for the good of man’s body and soul.” – Pope Pius XI

“A man builds himself through work.” – Maria Montessori

Work defines us, permits us to grow, and exposes our potentiality. How do we feel after we have tidied up the house, cut the lawn, or cooked a delicious meal? Great because we have accomplished a goal. Additionally, work often creates flow (see Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – March 2011). As part of the bigger picture every goal is a microcosm of our values and purpose: We clean regularly because we value an orderly and sanitary living environment. We take time to prepare healthy meals because we value our well-being and cherish longevity.

Keep up the good work!

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