Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Traits of a Rich Life

Cal Newport, in his post, points to previous research as identifying three traits that must exist for a person to feel that they have a rich life.
Thirty years of research has identified the following three traits to be crucial if you want a rich life:
· Autonomy — control over how you fill your time.
· Competence – mastering unambiguously useful things.
· Relatedness — feeling of connection to others.
My mnemonic is ARC (Autonomy, Relatedness and Competence) for these three. Looking back now, I can see that a big reason I left my job was my perceived lack of autonomy. I did have the freedom to pretty much choose my own projects, but I still had to show up and be there for long hours, and that tied me down in many ways.

Just one small caveat that a list of this kind shouldn’t be taken as the final word – several other traits can also be included and it will still sound like a very logical ingredient for a rich life.

What I like about these three in particular (ARC) is that we can choose to work on supplementing whichever trait we feel is lacking in our lives.

Related Post: The Competence Trap