In Hans Christian Andersen’s fable The Red Shoes, a young girl longs for a pair of pretty red shoes. She ultimately tricks the blind woman who cares for her into buying her a pair. Her love for the red shoes causes her to give them priority over the more important things in her life, and, as often happens in fables, karma is not on her side. The shoes become firmly stuck to her feet and force her to dance non-stop, to the point where she almost dies from exhaustion and starvation.
We can scoff at the little girl’s foolishness, but, in real life, we often do the same thing—we chase after the things that we think will make us happy and don’t realize that we’re heading down a dangerous path.
One study found that the people who experience the greatest job satisfaction aren’t the ones in the big, fancy offices; they’re the ones who approach their work as a calling, even when that work involves menial labor.
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