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“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” -Pearl Buck
Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892 – 1973) was an American writer and a Noble Prize winner in Literature. Her bestselling fictional novel “The Good Earth” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel and became one of the 100 outstanding books of 1924 – 1944. Her trilogy (The Good Earth, Sons, House Divided) were admired for their rich and accurate details on Chinese culture and life. It was owing to the fact that she spent her first forty years in China where she was known as “Sai Zhenzhu”.
Buck’s quote is about enjoying one’s work to achieve excellence. True indeed, study and even common sense would testify to that. Joy at work is necessary for high performance and productivity. Dr. W. Edwards Deming said, “Management’s overall aim should be to create a system in which everybody may take joy in his work.” Intrinsic motivation and self-satisfaction both play big roles in achieving joy in one’s career.
The huge number of self-help books dedicated to joy at work, says a lot about how it is needed yet rarely found. Gallup, the Washington-based polling organization surveyed employees around the world and came up with a conclusion that only 10% are happy employees.
John Ruskin might be able to help in his quote: “In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”