Autotelic  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Autotelic is defined by one "having a purpose in and not apart from itself". It is a broad term that can be applied to missionaries, scientists, and innumerable other vocations.

Autotelic is used to describe people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity. This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.

Autotelicism has relevance in context of leadership, motivation, and managing change in people. In a world where people can become entrenched by routines — leaving them feeling tired, unfulfilled, and even in pain —, there is an increasing interest in conscious business and value-based business.

"An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of dull and meaningless routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life."

Origins

Etymology: Greek autotelēs, from aut- + telos, meaning self + goal.

The Oxford English Dictionary cites its earliest use as 1901 (Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology I 96/1), and also cites a 1932 use by T. S. Eliot (Essays I. ii. 24).

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Autotelic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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