The Five Life Tasks – 3- Work and Leisure>

This is the third in a series of presentations titled Life Tasks.

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This is the third in a series of presentations titled Life Tasks. When people come into my office I always think about these five tasks, because I know that, if they are fulfilled in each of these areas, they’re going to be happier people. This is true, also, spiritually. If Christians are accomplishing these five life tasks, then they’re going to be healthier people spiritually, as well.

The first one we covered was the issue of spirituality. The third life task that we’re going to talk about today is work and leisure. It’s our hope that people may be stimulated by these presentations to live a balanced life, working in all five of these areas. If they do, then it’s going to help them become better Christians and strengthen their families and congregations, and enable them to contribute to the spiritual health of the children around them.

This is the third in a series of presentations titled Life Tasks. When people come into my office I always think about these five tasks, because I know that, if they are fulfilled in each of these areas, they’re going to be happier people. This is true, also, spiritually. If Christians are accomplishing these five life tasks, then they’re going to be healthier people spiritually, as well.

The first one we covered was the issue of spirituality. The third life task that we’re going to talk about today is work and leisure. It’s our hope that people may be stimulated by these presentations to live a balanced life, working in all five of these areas. If they do, then it’s going to help them become better Christians and strengthen their families and congregations, and enable them to contribute to the spiritual health of the children around them.

So, let’s define our terms first. Work. What is work? Well, for our discussion today, work is any activity that’s useful for the community, whether for monetary gain or not. It could be gainful employment, but childrearing is work and it’s good for the community. Homemaking is work and it’s good for the community. Volunteer services are work and that’s good for the community. Any educational endeavor, where we learn how to do something better or more about our environment, is beneficial to us and to the community. And then, for children, play is work. That’s their work. They’re doing the work of development. So, we think about that.

What’s leisure? Maybe the best way to talk about that is the difference. Work and leisure time activities can sometimes be the same thing. I recently modified a little truck that I own, and I was trying to build a roll-cage for it. And I got to a hard part, and I had to hire somebody to do something I could not do. That was bend the tubing. So I went to Buck’s Welding, and there he was doing work for what I was doing for fun. It’s just that he was better at it than I was. So one of the differences is, that with leisure activities, we get to chose what we will do more freely than we do with work.

Thinking about leisure time, it is generally helpful if it is mentally and socially satisfying. And the choice of leisure activities is about what is mentally and socially satisfying to us. Extroverts may want to go meet with friends and introverts may want to curl up on a chair and read a book. Both are socially satisfying. You might think, “What would be socially satisfying about reading a book?” Well, it’s what happens if you don’t curl up and read a book when you’re an introvert that has social consequences or implications later. And quite often, leisure time activities are still good for the community. For adults, productive use of leisure time can be something that’s very helpful. Last summer a group of us went to Kentucky and used our leisure time to work on houses for people who couldn’t work on them themselves because of old age or poverty. And that was good for the community. It was our choice. It was our free time. And it was socially and mentally satisfying to those who were involved.

So, let’s talk about the importance of work and leisure. Work may be the most important part of life. I suppose most people spend most of their waking time working. I think that many people who are Christians would consider the area of work and leisure to be the most mundane of all the five life tasks – maybe even the least important. But I would have to disagree with this one. I think it’s the most important. I mean, you show me somebody who cannot find a way to be productive, and I will show you somebody whose life is very unhappy and who is in spiritual turmoil.

I have a friend who went to college, grew up on a farm in southeast New Mexico and, when he was twenty-five, he was blinded. He was applying fertilizer – liquid fertilizer under pressure – and he went to refill his tank, and the coupling blew up in his face, and pounded that fertilizer into his eyes, and he lost both his eyes. I would consider that since then, he has been productive with his life. He has a master’s degree. He’s married. He has two kids. He mows his own lawn. He overhauls his own lawnmower. He has lots of friends, lots of interests. But he was telling me recently that he was in therapy. I asked him what had come from it so far, and he said, “Well, I realize I need a job.” He doesn’t really feel fulfilled in his life, because he doesn’t have anything productive to do. I tried to recover the ground, I’m sure, that’s been covered in therapy about his children, his part in the family. He said that yeah, he knows that’s important, but his wife wants to quit her job and he wants to start earning the money in the family. He is educated. He does have a way to do that. It’s going to be more difficult for him, but he’s working on that. That kind of talks to me about how important it is to be productive in some way – in work.

One of the therapists at the clinic where I work has a client who’s been depressed for a long time – and sick. He has no job skills. But he’s getting better now, and so several weeks ago he got a job making double minimum wage. And we kind of had a little celebration during our supervision course there at the clinic, because we know that that’s going to be a huge thing for him – where he can get up, and get dressed, and go out of the house, and help other people during the day. It’s going to take his mind off himself, and he’s going to be doing something. People are going to compliment him on his work, and be appreciative, and so he’s going to feel like he’s worthwhile, and he will be. For him, it’s a gigantic step toward mental health. He has a purpose. He’s going to feel productive. And he’s making his own way in the world, instead of being taken care of by others. He’s already thinking about going back to school, because he wants a better job than the one he has now.

We can think about these two examples – my blind friend and this fellow – and see that work is very, very important. But let’s talk about the importance of leisure for a little bit. With children and adults, the ability to play is one of the big criteria for mental health. Did you know that? The ability to have fun and to play is very important for mental health? For children, as we mentioned already, playing is their work, because they’re doing the work of development. With kids, playing for the fun of it, without any particular goal, leads to new discoveries. There’s exploration involved. Mastery of the envirornment. I remember when I was in the third grade, I was coming home from school down this long street. And at the end of the street (I lived in California) there was a gigantic eucalyptus tree. I remember seeing the head of one of my friends sticking up out of the top of the leaves of that tree. “I gotta try that!” Mastery of the environment. I just had to find a time when my dad didn’t see me do it. It also helps children broaden their perspective.

Since I’m a play therapist, I understand all about how this works. But a lot of people…I have to always be educating parents. You know, “Why should I spend X number of dollars to let my kid play in your office? He can do that at home.” So I thought I’d tell a little story about that. The first year I started working at public school I got a call one day from a second grade teacher. She told me that one of her students was having nightmares at home, and he was distracted from his work about it – it was so terrifying to him. So I was on my way down to her classroom one day, and I looked on the wall, and her class had all these pictures that the kids had drawn. I saw one and it was a bunk bed with two little boys in it, their mouths and eyes wide open, with this big frozen scream. And there was this big, psychadelic monster coming toward them. It was really quite a graphic picture for a second grader. And down in the corner was the name, Michael. And I said, “Oh yeah, that’s him.”

So we went to his room, and I took him to my office, and he was a very subdued child. I talked to him a bit, and asked him if he would like to play with my toys in my office. So we agreed that we’d start doing our work. After he left, I told his mother, and she said that they had given him a flashlight, because he was so afraid at night to be in his room. He would clean his room up every night so the monsters would have no place to hide. So this wasn’t just necessarily nightmares. It may have been some kind of – maybe not a hallucination – but you know how kids imaginations can run away with them when they’re frightened. We couldn’t figure out anything that was causing the problem, so we just started doing play therapy. What I do is sand tray therapy. He wouldn’t play in the sand tray. He would take the toys and play on the floor. And it was usually super heroes beating up on other people. But there was this one hairy monster I had that he wouldn’t touch. He would cover it up with other toys – heap them up on it – and wouldn’t touch it. And I figured that probably is representative of his fear – whatever is causing this nightmare or fantasy that he was having at night. About week six, he pulled that monster out, and I had a little metal three-car parking garage. He was up on top of that with this big monster, and a super hero beat it up and threw it off on the ground. The next week he played up in the sand tray with farm animals and tractors and things. His play completely changed after that. Maybe that was more like week ten. It took a while.

I called his mother after that happened, and said, “How’s Michael?” And she said, “Oh, things are going much better. He doesn’t clean his room up anymore.” I said, “You’re probably the only mother in school that’s happy when her kid doesn’t clean the room!” But we both realized that that meant he wasn’t as frightened as he’d been. So play is a safe way for kids to deal with scary things. Kids do that. They process scary events – even unconscious things – in play. Quite amazing how it works – that you can just take a child, and play with a child, and kind of hold what’s going on unconciously with them, and be supportive of them, and they will heal themselves over time.

So, yes, as a play therapist, I’m all for kids being able to play. But what makes it therapeutic is when they play in the presence of someone who understands what’s going on – something unconscious – an unconscious process. It’s like we contain it with them.

So let’s think about play for adults – leisure time activities. If a person works seven days a week, long hours at the same tedious work, it won’t be long before he is a very unhappy person. Very few people can do that. To do that kind of work with long hours, seven days a week, you have to like what you’re doing – to continue on long term at something like that. If you don’t like it, it’s not going to be happy.

Every month, when we go to Durango, we always stop at the Chevron station in Cuba, New Mexico. We do because they have the best homemade burritos along the route. You want to get a number 4. That’s beef and cheese with green chili. She knows how to make them so that they don’t drip all over you while you’re eating them in the car. So it works really good. There’s a man at the cash register and this lady that makes the burritos. We usually get in there about 10 o’clock in the morning, and she’s been there since 6, and a lot of times she’s still there at 10 o’clock at night. And I don’t know if she has to do that seven days a week, but I know that she works long hours. And she generally maintains a pretty good attitude, but I think they probably own the station and work it all the time – just the two of them – without much help. They’re going to be able to do that for awhile, but they won’t be able to do it forever. How do I know that? Well, let’s go to Exodus 23:12.

Ex. 23:12 – Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day, you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant, and the stranger may be refreshed. We just can’t keep doing that long term. We have to take some time off – some down time.

Now we tend not to think of leisure time as a spiritual activity, and yet, here it is! Built into the Law of God. Holy time. That ought to say something to us about the importance of time away from work, as well as time at work.

Okay, so we’ve defined work and leisure. Hopefully, we’ve demonstrated to you that they are both important to a healthy life – both to children and adults. Now, let’s look at each of them and think about why each one of them is important.

Let’s think about work first. What I’d like to do here is talk today about what makes for good work. What is good work? I have a list of things that we’re going to go over about what makes work satisfying to people. This isn’t just something I dreamed up after eating too many of those green chili burritos late at night and having a bad dream. This is based on research – on lots of surveys with people about this issue.

One of the things that really is important is to be able to use one’s talents, skills and abilities in one’s work. I learned a long time ago that if we do not use our two major talents somewhere in our life, then we’re not going to be as happy as if we were using them. That means that it’s important to know what we can do well. Johnson-O’Connor is a great instrument for that, but it’s expensive. What does it cost? It used to cost like five hundred bucks to take it? So it’s very expensive, very thorough. They test everything practically. I have a friend that scored high in almost every area, except he had a useless left hand. They even find out about your manual dexterity and all that sort of thing. But there are other ways. We’ve also discovered that we tend to like what we’re good at. So you can ask people what they like, and you can get pretty close to what they’re good at it. So an interest inventory is quite frequently a very good way to determine what people do well – or are good at.

The second thing to talk about is the opportunity to learn new skills. That’s really important – to be able to make some progress in your knowledge. At the mental health clinic where I work, my supervisor is a very experienced family therapist. So I’m learning more about how to do that from him. We also have trainings periodically where we all go to learn to do new things. And they pay for it. So that’s a really good place for me to work – very satisfying to learn new skills and be able to put them to work where we are.

The third thing – autonomy. To have some freedom to influence task performance and the outcome. When I was working at public schools there were plenty of children who needed services. There were services I was equipped to provide, and there were services no one else on site could provide. However, the administration did not want me to provide them. They wanted counselors to stay away from counseling because it was a risk management issue. They wanted me to teach classes that could be taught by nearly anyone with modest preparation. And they wanted me to manage programs that could be managed by nearly anyone on site. So that became somewhat of a frustration for me, because I didn’t have the freedom to influence my own task performance and the outcomes of them. There were two reasons, by the way, that was a problem. One was they didn’t want to get sued for counselors advising people or counseling them on psychotherapeutic issues. And the other one was the National School of Counselors Association had correctly realized that as budgets get tighter they would start phasing out people that didn’t impact classroom activity every day. So they were trying to position the counselors in a classroom role, so that they would have more job security – harder to drop them from the budget. What the kids needed wasn’t their concern. It was all about self-care. So my autonomy was being eroded in the public school, because it was a sick and highly politicized system. My satisfaction with the job kept getting lower and lower. I wondered if it got worse while I was there or I just understood more how it really worked. I’m not really sure which one it really was. But now I have a job where I get to do what I was trained for, and I have lots of support, and ultimately I get to decide how I’m going to do therapy. So that’s a very good feature of any job – to have some autonomy.

The fourth area is control over demands – both psychological and physical – the demands the job places on us and the demands the adminstration puts on us. Every time my current supervisor proposes that I take on a new client, he explains what he thinks the work will entail and asks me if I would feel comfortable doing that. And if I don’t want to do it, I don’t have to. Isn’t that a great job? Where you just get to do the stuff you want to do? So I get to choose whether I’m going to be a family counselor with them, or a home coach – to go to their home. (I always turn that down, because as a minister, I’ve visited more than my share of homes over the years. So I’m trained to do something different and that’s what I enjoy doing.) Or I can be an individual therapist with only a child or perhaps with a parent. So that’s really good, because I get to do what I like and what will help me grow. I get to pick the cases that are going to stretch me, if I want to, and what will keep me fresh. Also, I get to choose when I will come to work, and when I go home, and how many days a week I want to work, when I take vacation and how much vacation I want to take. Sounds too good to be true, right? The down side to that is – balancing factor is – all those great choices also impact how much money I’m going to make. So if I want to make income, then I have to put in the time. But I do have total latitude about when I work and how much.

The fifth one – cooperation and esteem from colleagues at work is something that makes work worthwhile. Yesterday, I was at my clinic and I was in one of our playrooms on the phone between cases, and Dora came in. Dora is a young married woman – one of our therapists. She has this wonderful sense of humor and very high energy. She makes all of us laugh. Kids just love her! She was telling me about a family that would be coming in soon, and she had some ideas about what to do with them, and she was asking me what I thought. She was showing me some exercises on paper that she wanted them to do to help them learn to communicate better, because that was their problem. She was asking my opinion. See, she values what I think. I’m not the boss. I’m just on a par with her, but she has respect for me as a therapist. And that feels really good. That never happened at public school. So I was looking at these exercises, and I asked her, “Where did you get these?” And she said, “Oh, I made them up last night.” I said, “You made these up? These are great! Can I have a copy?” And she beamed, and that felt good to her, too. So we got to be cooperative and appreciative of each other. That is a very nice feeling for both of us to have in that situation.

The sixth one that they talk about is democratic decision making and conflict resolution procedures. In one of the churches I worked for in the past, one of my peers was fired. And since he was a very caring pastor, his firing outraged many of the people in our

church – both young and old – that had known him over the years. Some of the people that knew him were discussing it on an Internet forum after his firing. And never to let things rest, one of the administrators at that church went on that forum – asked for special permission to go on the forum; was granted it – to explain why this very popular minister had been fired. In his explanation, he detailed much of the HR materials that the organization had in place. He said it all had to do with a simple request for a job transfer. So he was telling about the organization’s policies about things like that. One of the young women who had been following this forum got on the forum and said that she worked in Human Relations for a very large east coast company. That’s what she did day in and day out. And she explained that one of the primary purposes of HR is to provide conflict resolution procedures to protect employees from administration, because in any company the administration has all the power. So there needs to be a system of checks and balances so that people are not treated improperly. She said that such procedures are highly prized by employees, because it makes their working conditions better, and they feel safer in the face of all the powerful administrators that any company may have. Then she pointed out that all the HR material he had submitted was all in favor of the adminstration, rather than the individual – no protections afforded against the various political agendas of leadership in that organization. So that makes it not a good place to work, because you’re at the mercy of people who have more power in the organization than you have – no democratic decision making about requests for job transfer, for example. If you’re looking for work, it’s always good to think about what kind of decision making procedures are in place, and how are conflicts between management and employees resolved? Is the deck stacked? Or is it a level playing field?

The seventh point we might talk about – what makes work good – is the meaningfulness of the work that we do. I’ve noticed that one of the most satisfying feelings humans can experience is that of making a difference in the lives of other people. I got an email just the other day from a young woman who called me to counsel with me about some romantic issues that she had. She wrote me this email to tell me that she had just been baptized, and that she really appreciated the time that I spent with her on the phone, and some of the presentations she’d listened to. That just makes me feel so good. It makes all the effort so worthwhile! Some jobs, however, are harder…they do have productive value and meaningfulness, but a lot of time people discount it. I was thinking about all the people I see working service jobs, or the computer techy that you talk to on the phone, or the waiters in restaurants. Many of them don’t know their job well, and they act like you’re doing them a favor to be there. Yet, on the other side of that, it’s just so expanisively wonderful when we encounter somebody who’s good at what they do! We like it so much. It’s not a useless job. When you’re hungry, and you want something to eat, it’s so nice to be served by someone in a restaurant that knows what they’re doing, and goes about it in a pleasant way. Or, if your computer crashes and you’re desperate, it’s so amazing when you find somebody that actually knows what they’re talking about, and can speak English! Most of those people, I think, probably have a higher IQ than I do, but it gets lost in the translation if they can’t communicate.

I remember years ago – this is my own personal story about this – I built a color TV from a kit, because it was cheaper and we didn’t have any money, and I like stuff like that. So I put all the components in egg crate cartons, and I just laboriously followed the instructions and soddered. Back then there was no such thing as an integrated circuit board. Everything had to be soddered on there. It was a tube TV. It worked great for a year or so, and then the picture tube went dark. We could hear sound, but the picture tube had no light. So I called technical services of the company, and when they got me to the right department, the tech guy asked me the model. I told him. He asked me to open the manual to page 189, without so much as a hesitation, and asked me if I saw the schematic on page 189. I said, “Yes, I did.” He said, “Can you locate tube socket XXX?” I said, “Yes, I can.” “And component YYY?” I said, “Yes, I can.” “Do you see the brown wire that runs between them?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Replace that wire.” I said, “Are you sure?” He said, “Yes sir.” I replaced that wire and my TV worked again. He was doing meaningful work as far as I’m concerned. I am sure it was tedious work to him, but to me, he was sent by God. He was making a difference. His little corner of the world is working very well – or was working very well. I think, a lot of times, people don’t really realize the work they do is meaningful to others – if they would make it that way.

I think part of the problem, though, is some folks have lost track of what makes life meaningful. They don’t understand that productive work is one of the most satisfying things we can do. And it makes us mentally healthy – and spiritually healthy as well.

The eighth area that they’ve noted really makes work meaningful is the integration of family and community life with our work. That’s very hard to find today for lots of folks. Mom and dad and kids all go different directions in the morning, and come back in the evening, and nobody knows what the other has done all day long. The kids work at school. Parents work in separate jobs. When my father was a boy, they had twelve children in their family, and they all worked together on the farm. It was all completely integrated. Elaine and I have worked in the ministry together, and now we work in our little office together, maybe three, four days a week, doing our ministry work – our bookkeeping, and our tape making, our creative work, things like that – our Web work. So we’re together a lot. She travels with me quite frequently. And it’s really fun and satisfying to be involved together. We have different tasks, but we’re on it together. We’re all pulling the same direction.

I know a man who is a business consultant. He’s always traveling. I think he makes a lot of money, so he takes his wife with him sometimes on those travels. It’s probably not as satisfying as if she were working with him, but still better than being separated. So there are ways to kind of work around some of it. If you can find a way to make your family part of your work, that is generally very good.

Then the last thing that they talk about is good safety conditions. Very important. I mean, what good is a job if it shortens your life, or injures you, so that your life is diminished in some way? A lot of work injuries.

So when thinking about job changes, or starting a career, these are some of the most important core items that people need to think about. These are things that people say make the most difference in their job happiness. I think these might differ in priority to different people, but things to think about.

I share my office, in my private practice, with a woman who’s significantly older and wiser than I. In fact, she was one of my instructors. She mentioned to me one day, after she’d asked me if I wanted to share an office with her, that she was still trying to create the perfect little life for herself. That kind of perked my ears up. I said, “Well, what would that be for you?” She said sufficient income to do the things that she wanted to do, sufficient satisfaction from her work to make her work fun and worthwhile to her, and sufficient leisure time to work refreshed and do the things she wanted to do outside of work. She was being very intentional about organizing her life, her productivity and happiness. She realized that someone else could not be responsible for that. She had to be, and it wasn’t going to happen unless she made it happen. So, that was her’s alone and she was very intentionally shooting for that. And I don’t think she’s arrived at all of those things yet. That was like three years ago – three, four years ago. But she’s still working on it, and it’s fun to try to make it that way. I think all of us can think about those kinds of things, and we can make life better for ourselves. And if we do them, we’re going to be happier. If we’re refreshed and have some free time, that’s going to help us spiritually. All things to think about.

I want to ask you a question now. Is work important to God? Well, there’s so much to talk about there. Let’s go to Proverbs 10:4.

Prov. 10:4 – He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. So work produces good things for us, and there really are no real shortcuts.

Prov. 13:11 – It says in Proverbs 13:11, Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase. There are always those schemes. People are always trying to find a way to get rich without any work. And I suppose some people do that, but every time that happens, somebody else somehow is usually diminished in some way, I think. God’s way is not to get rich quick. You know, there was that ad years ago at Smith-Barney – “We make our money the old fashioned way. We earn it.” That’s God’s way – the old fashioned way is to earn it.

Prov. 12:24 – The hand of the diligent will bear rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. A big clue here why work is important to God. Why will the diligent bear rule? Well, um, what do you think? I think it’s because the diligent are like God. He’s diligent. We’re becoming godly when we become diligent in whatever we’re doing.

Let’s look in Ephesians 4:28. I think this really is the point of it all.

Eph. 4:28 – Let him who stole steal no longer. But rather, let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. God’s way of life is about taking care of each other. We talked in our series on Development, when we’re young our job is to be taken care of and develop, and when we get older our job is to take care of other people. Adults take care of each other and children. That’s what God’s way of life is about. If we don’t earn anything, then we don’t have anything to give other people, or to offer them. So we have to have something to be able to help others. We get that by working.

Another one to look at is in John 5, verses 16 and 17.

Jn. 5:16-17 – For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” So God is a worker. He produces. He takes care of people.

To work and take care of others helps us to become like God. So as we become like God, we become more sound-minded, more spiritual, more loving. That’s why work is good for us mentally and spiritually. It’s not some big secret. Psychologists and many other people have noted this for many years.

Let’s just talk just a little bit about leisure. God tells us to rest one day a week. It’s a law. What’s even more interesting is that we know that God rested, too. I don’t think He needs to rest, but maybe He wants refreshment or change of pace. I think that this does mean, though, that leisure is going to be a part of life forever, and that we can balance work and leisure. If we do that, then we’re going to be well off. If your job is mentally and socially satisfying, you don’t need as much leisure as people that work in high-pressure, unpleasant work. With the work I do now, it’s so much fun, I only rest so I can work more later. I know people that work in high-pressure, high-paying jobs, and they value all the vacation and down-time they have, because work isn’t so much fun for them. It’s difficult.

It always seems like my work and leisure always comes back to the same thing. You all know that I like to work with kids, and you know, also, that I built a little 4×4 truck, as a leisure activity to take my mind off of my work as a refreshing break. But one of the first times I took it out, I was at the staging area at the Rio Puerco airing down my tires, when a truck drove up behind me and stopped. I turned around and looked, and there were two teenage girls sitting in this little Toyota pickup smiling at me. One of them said, “Hey, mister, I like your truck.” And then they drove off. I thought, “Huh, this truck is a kid magnet!” It seems like it always gets back to that. Since then I always wind up talking to teenagers that are down there four-wheeling, because they like to look at my little truck.

Some people work at jobs they don’t like, so they can have time and money to do what they want to do in their leisure time. I think, in our society, that has to be a viable way. What’s tough is when you have a job you don’t like for long hours, and no leisure time, and no money.

What makes leisure satisfying? There’s a term that we use to describe this. It’s called flow. When you get in that state where you’re working, and time is flying – you’re not even aware of it – and you’re so involved in doing what you’re doing, and you look up

and time has just flown by. You’re using your abilities and you’re producing something good. You’re meeting some challenge. You’re accomplishing something or helping someone. I am more of a social person, but I seem to be happiest when I’m alone working on one of these presentations. The time just flies by. And it’s my hope they will help people and so add to the meaning of their life and mine. And I just get lost in it.

I asked one of my little clients last week, after our session, if he was going to go home and do anything fun that evening. He gave me this great big grin, and pulled out out one these little computer game things out of his pocket. So I definitely know he was going to get in the flow that evening with that game.

So, if we’re lucky, we can find a job where we can get in the flow. And if not, then we can set about either finding another job, or some leisure activity that allows us to be absorbed in productive effort.

Well, that concludes our discussion on work and leisure. I hope those who are unhappy with their work, or those who are contemplating career changes, or beginning careers as young people, will add this material to their consideration, because work and leisure are very important to mental and spiritual health.