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Bliss

I was reading Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, and came across an entry in the index, something along the lines of "satisfying work", and turned to the referred page. He presents three major criteria for such work:

  • Autonomy
  • Complexity
  • Compensation proportional to effort (return on investment, ROI, to paraphrase)

To these, I might add some items, and modify others:

  • Autonomy (the ability to act freely, at liberty)
  • Agency (the ability to engage the work in a meaningful way, in deeper levels of change, rather than merely shallow ones)
  • Complexity in strategies (the number of final results to be had, and their relative sophistication)
  • Simplicity of tactics (the ability to make use of intuitive and reliable procedures, even in increasingly complex work)
  • "Certainty of Perfection" which itself breaks down into two other principles:
    • Transparency (the availability of rules, procedures, expectations, standards, methodologies, etc. to the actor)
    • Excellence (that the effort itself, in fact has complex states which stand as a demonstration of the mastery of the material by the actor, the ability to create a "tour de force")

These, and possibly other conditions, create, in their fullness, a state of ecstatic involvement with the effort and material. Such an ecstatic involvement and immersion tends to create some rather interesting by-products:

  • Mindfulness
  • "Gumption"
  • Determination
  • Professionalism
  • Sustained interest
  • Continuing accumulation of experience and mastery
  • Pride of craftsmanship
  • Authentic self-esteem
  • Respect for the work of others
  • Respect for others in general
  • Enlightened self-interest (cooperative self-interest)
  • Self-interested adherence to just standards
  • Exceptional resistance to unjust standards
  • Like you really need more? P:D

In case you hadn't guessed, this is the state I attempt to remain in, at all times. I wouldn't do without this addiction, even if I could. It's fabulous!

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