Autotelic : (of an activity or a creative work) having an end or purpose in itself.

Definition of Work:

Work is the set of things you have to do that you don’t want to do(@naval)

When you want to do something: that is not defined as work

Examples of work at the moment: Things that I don’t enjoy : paperwork, bureaucracy, being a glorified secretary

Things that don’t constitute work: learning about medicine, talking to patients, clerking, practical procedures

Play is the opposite of work

When I do things that don’t constitute work, it feels like play.

Examples of play : music, exercise, reading for curiosity, learning about medicine.

There is also an element of improving, getting better every day. This is rewarding.

The way to maximise satisfaction is to pursue mastery.

To pursue it for its own sake. Because you enjoy the process rather than any outcome. An autotelic process.

Keep in this mind when thinking about career. The correct response to life is to treat it like play.

to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play

Alan Watts

Minimise work

Minimise the set of things you don’t want to do.

But accept a level of jumping through hoops especially in a hierarchical field, and also when you are early in a career.

But as you get older, time becomes more valuable. You want to do work you enjoy. Work that is skill based, that you can improve on, that is congruent with your values and that you are good at.

Choosing work : heuristics

  1. Congruent with your values
  2. You are good at it
  3. It is skill-based, allowing for improvement
  4. Not far away – ideally you can walk in the sun to, or short drive
  5. You like the people
  6. Long term compounding

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