Posts Tagged ‘autnomy’

thinking insomnia meaningful work van

"I believe in Meaningful work"

Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors. One of my best friends Bob, introduced me to his books, and they changed my life. They changed the way I saw and thought about things. I encourage anyone who reads this blog post, to go IMMEDIATELY and get his books. Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, and What the Dog Saw.

In Outliers, he spoke about “meaningful work.” Malcolm describes meaningful work as work that is complex: engaging the mind and imagination; allows autonomy: you are responsible for the decisions and directions you take; and work in which there is a relationship between effort and reward (more effort = more reward). It is fulfilling work, where even with the long hours you feel excited, and happy. You feel satisfied.

Why am I mentioning this? Well…I truly believe in meaningful work, and I cannot stop “doing.” While I was “doing,” because as you know I never sleep, I did the above composition/ sketch. The sketch came from my love of Mehndi, and it reminded me of my friend, a mehndi artist (Mishal Shah). Mishal and I worked together in India. He was a new architecture graduate, in the office. He was also a Mehndi artist. His mom taught him the art, and on weekends and special occasions they did mehndi for brides, grooms, parties, etc.

Mishal worked hard as an architect, but his “being” was different when doing Mehndi. He could talk about it for hours. I loved the sketches; and watching him do it, you couldn’t help but be amazed and impressed. He has great skill. I just love the art, and asked him if he could teach me. He would give me mehndi assignments, and review them, then give me pointers and answer all my mehndi question. I know for a fact that doing mehndi, was his meaningful work.

Doing mehndi is not like practicing architecture…especially if you are working for someone. When doing mehndi you are doing something FOR someone, and many times FOR a special occasion. The effort and reward are almost simultaneous. The person’s hand is in your hands, you are face to face with them. Their happiness and delight registers immediately, and Mishal had the privilege of being the reason for that.

My sketch is a dedication to Mishal for being the wonderful artist that he is, and for sharing his passion with me. I will always remember you for your generosity, kindness, and spirit. I also thank Malcolm Gladwell for his contributions, and for changing the world one sentence at a time.

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.