“Hide not your talents, they for use were made.” ― Benjamin Franklin
At its very core, your work is essential to us.
Back in the beginning, families were responsible to accomplish everything for their existence: hunt, farm, build, sew, cook, clean, etc. Until one day when somebody noticed their family was better at farming than building and decided to barter with a neighboring family. “If we grow extra food and give it to you, will you build an extra house than we can live in?”
Our understanding of work was born. Both benefited from the arrangement: better food was grown and stronger homes were built. In the end, all of society benefited. And each individual was able to pursue contribution in their area of giftedness and passion.
But somewhere along the way, we lost our focus. We no longer worked to benefit others, but ourselves. Work became selfish. Work became that thing through which we make money so that we could do the other things we really wanted to do (credit: Dorothy Sayers). As a result, work became something to avoid or shortcut if possible. And today:
- 70% of Americans hate their work or are completely disengaged (source).
- The 4-Hour Workweek is a New York Times Bestseller.
- Americans are working less and less.
- CNN defines retiring before 65 as the “ultimate dream.”
Meanwhile, we still need your talents and abilities. We still need you to work hard and do it well. Your work contributes to the good of society and moves us forward (in most cases). We desperately need your contribution. It makes us better as people. It enriches our lives.
Please don’t view your work as something only to be endured or avoided. Instead, rethink your work. Regain focus and motivation to use your passions and abilities to contribute good to a society in need of them.
Utilize your strengths. Develop your talents. Study your craft. And encourage others.
And at the end of the day, we will all be better because of it.