This is one of my favorite BBTL entries of Chet’s. Chet describes that we come into this world self-centered and other-controlling. Our focus is inward by necessity to survive. As we grow and mature we ideally grow beyond this state of being, to becoming other-centered and self-controlling. The truth is that not everyone makes that transition.
LA challenged me with the concept of living from an autotelic vs. exotelic perspective. Those are Scrabble words that give texture to being inward or outward focused in work and in life. It calls out what drives us.
Autotelic describes that state of being that does things for its own sake. The doing is the reward, not a future benefit that accrues. You do it for the fun of it. You do it because you love it. You aren’t waiting for the reward or the ‘likes’. You would do it even if no one noticed. The reward is in the pursuit or work itself.
Exotelic describes a state of being that does things for the reward, for the feedback, for the paycheck. One does it for the immediate gratification, to be noticed, for it to have meaning.
One state of being is energizing and self-sustainable. One is not. Both require great effort. The greatest minds and influencers in history were autotelic. Michelangelo. Leonardo. Washington. Einstein. Ghandi. Feynman. Mother Theresa. Just to name a very few.
Keep building your strong Core to become autotelic in work and in life. Know your Why. Know what you Love. Pursue that which gives life. Do it for the joy not the feedback.
What is your great work of love?