How to Live a Significant Life: Take Initiative

Has work become less interesting and significant? Are we further removed from the purpose of our work than before?

“As the business of earning a living has become easier
and simpler, it has also become less interesting and
significant; and all personal problems have become more
perplexing. This fact, plus the fact of the disappearance
of any education adequate to deal with it, has led to the
development of all kinds of cults, through which the baffled
worker seeks some meaning for his life, and to the
extension on an unprecedented scale of the most trivial
recreations, through which he may hope to forget that his
human problems are unsolved.”

The Great Conversation; Robert Hutchins; p 56

What kind of education helps us deal with these perplexing problems?  Hutchins would say “the Great Books.” But what would the Great Books tell us? They would tell us how to ask questions, how to look at the big picture of any given situation. Thus, we could learn the wisdom and power of initiative, the act of moving toward the goal of our work in the shortest way possible. Initiative is not waiting for leadership, it is leadership. That is what the Great Books, written by non-conformist leaders, might teach us about how to approach our work.

Share Button

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply