Every one of the athlete's muscles were tensed in exertion to win the race…The artist strokes the brush over the canopy and is transported into a different world and dimension…The scientist's forehead is furrowed in absolute concentration over his experiment to prove his theory …The chef focuses intensely as he applies the garnish to his exquisite masterpiece…The novelist smiles as she unravels a mysterious twist to the saga…The architect measures the final plans for the skyscraper with exacting precision…

When you're engaged in a project, do you ever feel completely overtaken by the particulars that it entails? Your focus is total, your concentration complete.

You are totally in tune with the moment, and yet at the same time, you yearn for its completion. You imagine how accomplished you'll feel, how exquisite the product will turn out. Eagerly you await the final stroke when the brushstroke has been painted, the final moment when the race is over, the final touch when the book, building, or whatever project, big or small that you've been working on, has finally been completed.

Once that long anticipated moment passes, after the initial moment of euphoric joy, does an emptiness overtake you?

And yet surprisingly, do you ever find that once that long anticipated moment passes, after the initial moment of euphoric joy, an emptiness overtakes you? The creative space that has been so engaged in the project has now become empty, and, as a result, you've become restless. You wonder how to regain and rechannel the intense concentration, the absolute absorption, the total exertion.

But why? If the point of our work is in its completion, if the beautiful end result is our sought-after goal, why, then, at its completion, isn't our satisfaction enduring?

But perhaps the point is the steps along the way. Perhaps the means is an end in itself. And perhaps the exertion in and of itself, without the completed product has value, and, in fact, the greatest value.

Man was born to toil, states the book of Job.

We all have what to contribute. Whether it's a special gift we are working on for a loved one, whether it's a community program that we're co-ordinating or whether it's some project that we're dealing with at home or at work.

Productivity is the essence of life. As long as we are still breathing we long for more and we yearn to continue doing. Because happiness is only when we're utilizing our creative powers to contribute to our world.

So, finish that project, that race, that artistic masterpiece or that essay or project. Take a moment to appreciate your handiwork. And then move right on to the next project.

After all, we were all born to create.