Work fascinates me.
Every time I come into contact with that particular word, it
touches a sacred part of me. It’s interesting, there’s this fundamental part of
who I am as a person that perks up at the idea. Like a hound tracking a scent. Work
is my bacon.
The best part is, once I realized that work was more than a
job, once I expanded my definition of the word and inscribed the idea of work into
a larger circle of meaning, the way I experienced the world on a daily basis changed,
for better and for always.
So what does that definition look like?
Funny you should ask.
encompasses all we do, paid and unpaid, throughout our lives. It’s what anchors
our life with regular experiences of meaningfulness. It’s an institution that’s a fixture in every stage of
life, but it’s also is the best way of escaping from life. It’s an endeavor that gives us the spirit of continuity and centrality
and pays us the psychological
salary of pride, honor and integrity.
Work is the organizing principle of life. It’s the iron rod
in the center and validation of our existence. It isn’t just our plight, it’s
our purpose. It’s where challenges ask us to tap into reservoirs of strength
and patience we didn’t know we had. Work
is how we create fulfillment, limited only by our imagination’s ability to
create scenarios that excite us.
Work is a daily routine that ensures our days have a cadence
and rhythm of movement. It’s a center of belonging where we connect to the
collective human heart. It’s a contribution to the world where we become
productive members of society. It’s where we go to find out what our true self
really is. Work it’s the prime means to
express our sense of who we are.
Work is an outlet
for coming alive through the pursuit of our ideas. It’s the thing we do to build
a stable life. It’s a platform we use to do art, hone skills, build a
reputation and make our mark on other people. It’s a holy arena for our highest
self and a home for all of our talents. Work is our necessity, our
pleasure and our playground.
is where we channel our ambition and satisfy the most primal and sacred
fundament of our being. It’s
where we practice the act of dreaming, doing and finishing, driving straight to
the heart of what it means to be a person. Work
is what informs our sense of self, contributes to our identity and provides us
with positive personal affect.
Work is what gives us a secure place in a portion of
reality. It’s our human imperative. It’s what gives us the chance to be as
smart as we are. It’s how we find satisfaction by creating value through toil. Work is how we
intentionally mold and fit our experiences in a way that excites us and feed
Work is the process
of creating something for the purpose of human flourishing. It is the creative
process of operating in the world, making things happen for others in exchange
for the stuff we want. It is the collaborative, purposeful spirit of
enterprise. Work is the mission and
endeavor that captures our imaginations, enlists and transfers our energies.
Work is how we accumulate psychic nourishment, realize our
species character and inhabit and intelligible moral order. It is a practice
that has internal good and engages our attention. It is what opens us up into a
chamber of consciousness that brings some measure of coherence to our lives. Work is done the service of an activity that
we recognize as part of a life well lived.
Work is putting our best abilities into play and having the
fruits of our labor rewarded fairly. It is being in touch with our environment
in a way that benefits our heart. It is the struggle to show ourselves––and the
people around us––our sense of individual agency, responsibility and
competence. Work is what sums up all of
the activities we do that make us the human beings we are.
That’s what work means to me.
What’s your definition?