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!