Work First, Meaning Follows

The Ariely TED Talk suggests that, doing work — putting yourself into it — creates its meaning for you.                                                         MH900233173

Don’t wait for or expect “meaningful work” to come along. You start working and that makes the meaning. You connect with some things; not with others. You put yourself into it – your values, your effort. Meaning emerges – for you. Boy, does that ever describe my law practice.

So, develop a bias for doing things. If you can choose, choose things that have the potential to generate “flow.” But understand: work first, meaning follows.

Do stuff and stuff happens.

The meaning that emerges is for you. Whether there is also meaning for others comes later and not from the same sources.

This is not exactly what Ariely is on about. And, it’s not what my Sunday School lessons led me to expect about meaning. So, maybe there’s a difference between meaning and purpose. Maybe, you choose work for its purpose, the challenge and the flow; but you create the meaning.

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