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The Quest for Meaningful Work

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Cal Newport recently wrote a thought provoking article about 39-year old Princeton professor June Huh, who despite not being a mathematical protégé, went on to win one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics later in life. It gives me inspiration and hope that while I have led a very steady, ordinary life, I still have time to turn my life extraordinary. The post is to highlight that a very distinguished professional like Huh himself only does about three hours of focused work a day.

As I get older, I desire to find meaningful work. I am careful to tread here, though, because when you open discussions on work, life, and meaning, there are lots of interpretations.

First, the most common is that some people work to live, and others live to work. Is there really a wrong way to go about life?

The second thought is that, “The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.

When I was younger, all I wanted to be was a Career Woman, but now, the more that I wonder, What is this all for?

What is this all for, if not to enrich my family?

What is this all for, if not to enrich my community?

This brings up the thesis of Cal Newport’s blog on slow productivity: “busyness and exhaustion are often unrelated to the task of producing meaningful results.”

“Being busy in the present moment has very little to do with whether or not in the future you’ll look back at your career with pride about what you’ve accomplished.”

So the search continues, onward, on the quest to find meaningful work.

And remember, that just because you are busy, does not mean your work is meaningful.

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