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The Why of work: Purpose and meaning really do matter


It’s a question all of us should ask ourselves. Why do we do what we do? In particular, why do we do the work that, for many of us, occupies most of our waking hours for our entire adult lives?

Ralph Waldo Emerson left us a quote worthy of one of those inspirational wall posters: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

That thought may feel warm and fuzzy, but the question remains: Why do we do the work we do?

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