I once read that sex is like play for grown ups. But that’s not true. Work is play for grown ups.
You might not think that work is fun, but hear me out. Work is all about problem solving. People have problems. They need to solve them. Farmers need to harvest crops. Fire fighters need to put out fires. Sales people need to close deals. Shelf stackers need to stack shelves.
Everyone who goes to work has a problem to solve. Solving problems feels good. When we solve a problem, we get a short-lived feeling of satisfaction. Then we get bored and go looking for another problem.
Boredom motivates us to do work just as much as hunger, greed or fear. Boredom is the glue that binds our lives together. And problem-solving is what gives our lives meaning.
Of course, some work is boring and some problems don’t give us satisfaction. Too many problems at once, or problems that are too hard or too easy to solve aren’t fun at all. But solving a Goldilocks problem that’s neither too hard nor too easy is the most fun anyone can have.
Some people think that Utopia is a place where all our problems have been solved. But that sounds to me like a definition of boredom. If you put me in a Utopia, I’d probably want to start creating some new problems.