I saw a Viktor Frankl video this morning on the meaning of life. Dr. Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor. It’s a short video and to the point. Aim high to achieve results and that the drive for finding meaning in work and in life is one of our highest drives.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says that to experience Flow, we must have tasks that make us reach just beyond our grasp. Tasks that are too easy, don’t increase our skill levels and we find them boring, they don’t help us grow. Ones that are too hard discourage us from trying because we’ll have more failures than successes. Tasks that are just beyond our reach stretch us and make us better than we are. Dan Pink calls them Goldilocks tasks. Being better than we are is good right? And it makes us feel good as well.
As we become better at what we do, we’ll become happier, more productive, and our value will increase. Self-worth as well as our value to the world around us, will go up. As more managers and businesses adopt these ideas and make Goldilocks tasks a priority our workplaces will become sources of meaning, not just a way to pay the bills.