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How can we better value and approach the experience of work?

The Statesman
By Professor  

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist once said: “Don’t aim at success- the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it… For success, like happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”

The elusive goal towards the pursuit of happiness in modern times, identifies itself to be in an insatiable, culminating need for material acquisition and in consumption of things, as the path to achieving well-being. Principles of economics, aimed in maximizing pleasure (using a utilitarian calculus) stay embedded in explaining the relationship of variables like aggregate production, consumption, returns, income accumulation etc, in shaping the potential of a person’s well-being and quality of life.

An economic analysis emphasizing on such materialized pursuit of human nature, often discounts the real aspects affecting human happiness and well-being. These real aspects, often include the experience derived from the nature of our work and social relationships, shaping the degree of our optimal experience in maintaining a higher quality of life or being happy in a conscious, existential space. I discuss the behavioural essence attached in studying the value and nature of work here.