Finished things cease to be a shelter for the spirit; but work in progress is a delight.

What did Max Frisch mean by:

Finished things cease to be a shelter for the spirit; but work in progress is a delight.

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This quote suggests that there is a unique joy and satisfaction found in the process of creating, building, or working towards something. When a project or task is completed, it no longer serves as a space for growth, learning, or creativity – it’s no longer a "shelter for the spirit." In contrast, work in progress provides an opportunity for continuous development, exploration, and discovery, which is seen as a "delight."

The idea of finding joy in the process rather than the end result is a concept that can be applied in many aspects of today’s world. In the context of personal development, this could mean focusing on the journey of self-improvement rather than just the end goal. For example, someone trying to lose weight might find more satisfaction in the daily routine of healthy eating and exercise, rather than just focusing on the final weight loss goal. This mindset can make the process more enjoyable and sustainable.

In the professional world, this could mean finding fulfillment in the daily tasks and challenges of a job, rather than just working for a promotion or raise. It encourages a focus on continuous learning and growth, which can lead to more job satisfaction and success in the long run.

In the broader societal context, this quote could be a call to enjoy the process of societal development and progress, rather than just focusing on the end goal. This could apply to anything from environmental conservation efforts to social justice movements. By finding joy in the process, we can sustain our efforts and make more meaningful progress towards our goals.

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