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Artful Work by Dick Richards

November 16, 2008

Artful Work: Awakening Joy, Meaning, and Commitment in the Workplace by Dick Richards is one of those books you read when you’re feeling blah in your job.  Richards was a graphic artist and his fascination with the process of creating art led him “to a careful study of artistry and to the belief that all work can become artful – artfulness is the key to passion and commitment.”

Richards says,  “Joy arrives on the wings of discovery and surprise.  It inhabits us when we excel.  Joy is not a goal of artful work but the result of doing something challenging and doing it well — so well that the doing leads us into realms we did not expect.  We surprise ourselves.  Joy occurs when we transcend who we think we are and what we think we are capable of creating.

Richards explores the changing face of work and how artful work is turned into “job.”  He believes that since all work can be artful, four questions about artfulness and your particular work need to be addressed:  Do I care about the work itself?  Can I express myself through the work?  Am I committed to the meaning of the work?  And am I tenacious enough to do the work well?

Some interesting questions to ask ourselves about our work.

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