Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life. He advises organizations, including Oxfam and the United Nations, on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading lifestyle philosophers. His works, including The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live and The First Beautiful Game: Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis, have been translated into more than a dozen languages.www.romankrznaric.com
The desire for fulfilling work – a job that provides a deep sense of purpose, and reflects our values, passions and personality – is a modern invention. Open Samuel Johnson’s celebrated Dictionary, published in 1755, and you will discover that the word ‘fulfilment’ does not even appear.1 For centuries, most inhabitants of the Western world were too busy struggling to meet their subsistence needs to worry about whether they had an exciting career that used their talents and nurtured their wellbeing.