All day long, our brains are chugging away, one thought after another. Do I press snooze or go for a run? Oatmeal or smoothie? Black shirt or blue shirt? Time to go to work. Work, work, work. OK, work’s done. Do I go for a run? What’s for dinner? Go to bed or open one more reddit link?

When we work, is it because of what we want to give to the job? Or because of what we want the job to give us? In the first situation, we are motivated by the work itself; we have clear goals and reasons for participation and, if they are no longer being met, we are free to switch our focus to something else on which we want to spend our time. In the latter situation, we are motivated by the effects of the job, such as money or career advancement; the job is not inherently special to us; it’s simply a means to an end.

Take a moment and reflect on why it is that you do what you do. Have some meta-thoughts: thinking about why it is that you are thinking what you’re thinking. The only way to change the future is to notice the present decide to act.