"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us. If I offered you a choice between being an architect for $75,000 a year and working in a tollbooth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take? I'm guess the former, because there is a complexity, autonomy, and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work, and that's worth more to most of us than money. Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful.
For every difficult and complicated question there is an answer that is simple, easily understood, and wrong.
"I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity"
But what if we can't tell what's "critical" and what's "beneficial"? Sometimes it's not obvious. We often have to make decisions between one "unknown" and another. This kind of complexity can be paralyzing. In fact, psychologists have found that people can be driven to irrational decisions by too much complexity and uncertainty.
...Tversky and Shafir's study shows that uncertainty--even irrelevant uncertainty--can paralyze us.
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