The Doing . . . Or Completion?

Lots of folks extol finding meaning in the doing of a task.

If you find a deficit in a particular area of meaning, search for it in a productive way . . . But you have to approach it as you would any other important goal—by doing the work.

Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic (21 October 2021)

It’s been repeated so frequently, it sounds correct.

This morning I spent some time washing dishes. While I did, I thought about this. The doing the work isn’t what is meaningful to me. Rather, the completion of the work is.

I don’t particularly enjoy washing dishes. Here at the apartment, I wash all dishes by hand. Not once have I used the dishwasher. It’s not a task I relish in.

What I enjoy is the aftermath. I like looking at my kitchen and seeing nothing out of place. I like seeing no work that needs to be done. I am uplifted that work that needed to be done has been completed, thus I feel accomplished.

It is not the doing of the work as much as the work having been done.

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