Joy for human beings lies in proper human work

Raphael Reiter
July 16, 2023

"Joy for human beings lies in proper human work. And proper human work consists in: acts of kindness to other human beings, disdain for the stirrings of the senses, identifying trustworthy impressions, and contemplating the natural order and all that happens in keeping with it." - Marcus Aurelius

The stoics believed that Joy, true unshakeable inner Joy, was to be differentiated from fleeting, impermanent moments of happiness from overeating, over-drinking, over fu*king, and overspending on luxurious experiences and objects. For them, Joy came from living life in symbiosis with the logical flow of Nature (Logos) (soooo similar to the Tao.)

The Summum Bonum - the highest good - for the Stoics was indeed to live with a good soul (Eudaimonia) with the purpose of serving the community, the empire, and all the citizens of the world. Duty was more critical than purpose, and this is what we should focus on, as purpose has too much engagement from our Egos.

And so the question is this: Do you serve your team, your products, your company, and your colleagues in a way that can bring you true joy? Remember that "Joy for human beings lies in proper human work." Freud said that too, much later, explaining that there were two essential human needs: Love (+ sex) and Work. Another story for another time.

For today, focus on what really matters in your work. Prioritize in a way that makes your duties a better workplace, serving your team as a true leader naturally does.

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