Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feeling fulfilled?

I refuse to be intimidated by Susan Wise Bauer and the fact that, not only has she finished her book for this week, but she's also written a long and detailed critique of the book on her blog. She's an academic; I'm not. She's a writer; I'm not. So I continue to work my way through "Outliers" and glean nuggets of insight. Maybe by the time I finish I will be able to condense some thoughts into a critique; we'll see.

The quote from the book that I just had to write down today I wish I could send to all my children. But that would be nagging. Or interfering. Or at least perceived as that. So it will remain with me, but if it can ever naturally come up in conversation with any of them, you can be sure I'll be ready.

Outliers page 148 "When Borgenicht came home at night to his children, he may have been tired and poor and overwhelmed, but he was alive. He was his own boss. He was responsible for his own decisions and direction. His work was complex: it engaged his mind and imagination. And in his work, there was a relationship between effort and reward: the longer he and Regina stayed up at night sewing aprons, the more money they made the next day on the streets. These three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us."

This quote is so true. What I like most about it is that it takes success in life out of the "it's how much money you make" mindset. This is the impression I had been getting from the book and indeed, that may be what his premise is. But this quote elevates the definition to a higher level than merely material possessions and hopefully the rest of the book will continue in this vein.

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