06/02/2014 10:32 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2014

A Guide To The Pleasures Of Work

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You might think this bit would be easy, but one of the hardest things about our working lives is knowing what we ideally want to do with them. It’s simple enough to sense what is boring and soul-destroying, but identifying what would satisfy us is a greater challenge. It’s a good deal less straightforward than asking oneself what one wants to eat or drink, sadly because finding one’s way to good work relies (along with many other things) on having a firm grasp of our eventual preferred destination.

Indications of what jobs might appeal to us tend to come in garbled and indirect forms, for example, in those moments of curiosity and envy we sometimes feel when we hear what someone is up to; for example, when we learn that a friend of a friend has started up a project to take Australian high school students to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; or that someone you were at university with has become a chair designer; or when at a party someone tells you about how neuroscience is changing advertising; or there’s a magazine feature on a guy who bought a chain of budget hotels, repackaged them and sold them on, pocketing a fortune in the process…

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