Monday, December 8, 2014

Feeling Good About Work

[W]hen we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it -- meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc. And the good news is that if we added all of those components and thought about them, how do we create our own meaning, pride, motivation, and how do we do it in our workplace and for the employees, I think we could get people to both be more productive and happier.[1]

So says behavioral economist Dan Ariely in his 2012 TED talk above. The concept of creation and challenge being a part of meaning and purpose is very similar to the idea of eternal progression, especially its later incarnation found in the writings of B.H. Roberts and John Widtsoe. Part of human well-being, happiness, and flourishing comes from our ability to create value in our lives and the lives of others. And it demonstrates why work is so important.


1. The studies referenced by Ariely are Dan Ariely, Emir Kamenica, Drazen Prelec, "Man's Search for Meaning: The Case of Legos," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 67 (2008): 671-677; Michael I. Norton, Daniel Mochon, Dan Ariely, "The IKEA Effect: When Labor Leads to Love," Journal of Consumer Psychology 22 (2012): 453-460.

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