Building a compass (pt 1)


Booking under: Keith

Stop! Before you read on, take a moment and ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do you work?
  • What’s the meaning of life?
  • How is work related to the rest of your daily life?

If you thought answering those questions was tough, you’ll understand how I felt as I took some time to reflect on my workview and lifeview. It’s..


macbooks and notebooks

Notebooks and Macbooks – just like my workplace!

As I shared previously:

Work is the application of our skills and talents to create some value in society, for which we can be rewarded (monetarily or otherwise)

So there you have my definition of work. But why should we do it? Why not just laze around? Here are my thoughts on why work:

  1. It’s important to work since we need to make a living.
  2. It’s beneficial to work since each of us can create value that serves others as well as our selves.
  3. It’s practical to work since sitting around and doing nothing can get boring really quickly.
  4. It’s fun to work since people can become professionals at what they love.

While the above list should not imply any order in terms of importance, I think these are the reasons why society has organized itself to value work. If people don’t find work fulfilling or they hate it, perhaps it’s because they only focus on items 1 and 3 above.

I think good work benefits society, and a worker should, in return, be rewarded for his/her contributions. Most importantly, I feel that a worker should feel fulfilled at work. Otherwise, simple monetary rewards may keep him at his job but not bring out the best performance from him. Experience and growth might entail higher earnings, but I’m of the opinion that fulfillment and interest are likely the most important factor.


city man person thinking

As long as we are alive, we should ponder the universe and our place in it.

Well that’s all nice and dandy. But what about the meaning of life? While I’m sure no one (including myself) can give a perfect answer to such a grandiose question in a short blog post, here are my thoughts so far on life, the cosmos, and why we’re here:

  1. The origin of the cosmos came from divine design. I have little doubt that the big bang occurred. But many contemporary scientists agree even that is not a comprehensive explanation. After all, what caused the big bang? How can a universe emerge from absolutely nothing?
  2. Life on this planet came from design as well. I accept natural selection as a scientific fact, and there is good evidence that modern human beings can trace their genetic material to ape-like beings. Still, I believe the sophistication of human beings compared to other creatures is evidence of a designer and creator. Evolutionary theories that suggest human beings just randomly developed into the world-conquering species we are seem unsatisfactory to me. That said, my knowledge of science also makes me increasingly skeptical of old testament creation accounts.
  3. As I shared before, I think the meaning of life is to learn about our world and create value in it, using the talents that we’ve been given by God. My view on the meaning of life depends on my belief in God, for whose existence I think there is plenty of evidence, but no certain proof.
  4. I think we are created to be in community with others. As Aristotle once said, man is a social animal. A healthy life involves fruitful interaction with others, and helping others allows us to grow as people and find meaning in life.


notebook on desk

Wow that was a lot of thinking and writing! I hope the deep pondering didn’t bore you, and hope you’ll take some time to reflect on your workview and lifeview as well. It’s been a great exercise for me and I think everyone would benefit by doing it.

What do you think work and life stands for? Feel free to share and tune in next week for Nicole’s thoughts. It’ll probably be more insightful and less boring!


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