Work Satisfaction

There is an important distinction between job satisfaction and satisfaction with one’s work. Being satisfied with the work you have done or something you created or co-created has become almost a privilege. Production in capitalism has mostly different objectives like rent seeking rather than satisfaction with one’s work. Compromises between both are a major learning process about the functioning of labour markets. Remote work, for some, contributes a lot to more job satisfaction. For others a healthy work environment is the top priority. Many people however focus simply on pay packages and this is often out of sheer necessity to escape poverty eventually. Trades have a tradition to allow satisfaction with one’s work, more than most jobs in industry. Flat hierarchies and subordination to your own standards, rather than pressure from supervisors, are much more common. Recognition of your work adds to the pay you receive. Job turnover is related to job satisfaction but also to satisfaction or even identification with the product of your work.

There is more to work than pay. Recognition in form of winning a price in a competition may help to keep awareness high that pay is only one element of remuneration. “meilleur ouvrier de France“ is such a kind of recognition. It encourages people to try new things and test new ideas. This is a major source of satisfaction with one’s work. We might even feel sorry for someone shouting “I can get no satisfaction”. He probably has to try in a simpler or different fashion rather than to try harder. The city Dijon in Burgundy seems to have a pretty high number of people with high levels of work satisfaction and happy to show it.


Gärten sind eigene Welten. Selbst im gleichen Garten sehen verschiedene Menschen unterschiedliche Dinge. Man stelle sich nur sogenannte Farbenblindheit vor. Jahreszeiten bieten zusätzliches Ansichtsmaterial. Animalische Perspektiven würden für erstaunliche Überraschungen sorgen. Nach den Vorarbeiten mit dem Polinatorprojekt online hatten wir die Gelegenheit eine konkrete Realisierung einer solchen Gartenwelt zu durchwandern.

Der reale 3-D Eindruck ist überwältigend und bringt die virtuelle Erfahrung des Gartens im Lauf der Jahreszeiten in die reale Welt. Zu jeder Jahreszeit, selbst im Hochsommer, ist viel Farbe im Spiel und das auf mehreren Ebenen. Paradiesische Gartenwelten erschließen sich bei der Bewegung im Garten. Das wirkt wie ein Ansporn zu eigenen oder besser gemeinschaftlichen Anstrengungen einer vergleichbaren Realisierung. Genau das ist auch Teil der Ausstellung und des Katalogs „Zukunft der Gärten“ im Vitra Design Museum.


We all value special skills and specialists. In Berlin is a whole week devoted to the special event of the #SOWG. These are the special Olympics world games. Berlin is booming with special people all around. Already the arrivals of the athletes to Berlin tests the public transport system as much as private infrastructure to welcome persons with special needs. Rather than the waste that is produced for normal Olympic games the same incredible amounts of money should be devoted to make cities more welcoming to special people every day. We have become as societies so used to speed up things as much as we can that we have forgotten the value of allowing people to live their lives with their own speed and rhythm. Looking at the huge numbers of private sponsors for the SOWG it becomes obvious that many people care to support these special people on their journey. I am more willing to pay taxes for such efforts than the public money wasted for football, like TV-rights or stadium buildings. The joint experience of love and joy with these extraordinary persons makes us all happy and rich. Happiness is the new “wealth of nations”. Inclusion brings happiness to more than just the normal. We wish you all a happy #SOWG. The stars are you. 

J for Joy

Talking about joy is fun. Its feels better than just cracking a few jokes, and this is not bad at all. The starting point of much joy can be a simple joke, because of the simplicity of emotions and the bonding between persons. However, laughing about jokes is often abused in the form of laughing at the expense of someone or a specific group of persons (serious publication “L’empire du rire” CNRS, 998 pages). This explains to me the difference between a joke and joy. Joy is the emotion resulting of a joke, but also of many other experiences. The simple joy to meet another person, an animal, the sun, rain, wind, music, art or just less pain is more probably more intrinsic. To receive or to give a present is often associated with a joyful moment, sometimes lasting quite a bit. For some psychologists, emotions can be problematic, if a person can no longer regulate them effectively. Many persons tend towards excessive use of alcohol or other drugs to experience positive emotions like joy. Negative emotions of another person, strangely enough, may also contribute to the joy of another person (“Schadenfreude”), e.g., if a dictator is finally overthrown.
Much more inspiring is joy in connection with religion. As a critic of religious ideas, the attempts of religion to define joy for individuals and society probably explains the success of religions. Representations of Buddha, show the happy or joyful monk, Christians define joy with the advent and the birth of an unconceived child, fighting fiercely any modern forms of contraception and science advances for birth assistance. Restricting jokes and joy to the “carnival” period reflects the Christian doctrine to control and monopolise the definition of joy. Therefore, it is no surprise to witness that many persons feel more inspired by Asian traditions like “Ikigai” or “yoga” in their daily routines to experience joyful moments. I always found it very odd that Christian fundamentalists would not say Merry Christmas before the 25th of December after they have been to church at midnight. The priest or pope as the master of joy is a very strange idea. Affect inhibition or deferral is a powerful psychological tool. As in this blog entry I deferred my joy and laughter until the last line. So now, please join me in a wholehearted JOYFUL LAUGHTER, so the people around you may believe you’ve gone completely mad. It might be the beginning of more lasting joy, just keep practicing. Joy is within us not depending on outside stimuli,  joyful1  although they might help.