Right Livelihood

More than 2500 years ago, a smart person in northern India named Siddhartha Gautama (aka Buddha) created the idea of “Right Livelihood.” It was one of eight ways of living he offered as a path to reduce suffering. We spend much of our lives at work or thinking about work. In this class we’ll explore the ideas of Right Livelihood and how they might apply to our work today.

Together we will tackle the following questions:

  • What are our values and how do they match with those of our job, our company, our industry?

  • What does our work produce and how does it do it?

  • How do we find a career that matches our desired lifestyle?

  • What are the shock-absorbers we need to be happy and successful in our work?

We’ll spend the 90 minutes or so together exploring some ancient ideas that might come in handy. It turns out we are not the first people to struggle with the question: how do work, life, values, and wealth relate to each other?

This course is open only to alums of General Management. And just to be clear, we treat all the readings as literature (i.e. as fiction with a story to tell) and take no position on spiritual or religious questions.