Last week, one of this blog’s treasured readers politely suggested that my take on life wasn’t practical for the real world. He suggested it was far more practical to compromise – to divide one’s life between a “tolerable” job/career to pay the bills and an “after(job)life” characterized by a passionate pursuit of something or other.
For the record, I am not a big fan of the so
So here it is at point-blank range: Hard work is worthless.
No, it is worse than worthless. It is downright harmful and should be avoided
at all costs.
I believe everyone has the potential for greatness. Realizing that greatness is everyone’s birthright. Pursuing anything else cheats you, cheats the real “real world,” cheats the Universe, and cheats whatever Power administers the Universe.
I see squandering the better part of one’s day when one is most energetic, most alert, and most creative on some “tolerable” job as a tragic waste of one’s gifts and time. Far better is to identify, develop and enjoy those gifts.
But, but, but, what about money?
Okay, I will concede (for the sake of expediting so I can get to my main point) that money is necessary. We all seem to need it and/or want more of it no matter how much we have already.
In my experience, I never put much (any) emphasis on amassing money. I tried a few jobs here and there whenever I thought I absolutely needed money. However, immediately upon being hired, I felt like I had just been sentenced to a prison term, that I had made a boneheaded deal trading my priceless freedom for a small fistful of dollars. I never lasted long in those jobs. It was always a matter of weeks before I ran out screaming (or was thrown out by some screaming boss).
Here is my “work” resume since graduating from
- December 1968 – January 1969, Case Worker,
New Jersey Board of Welfare, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Fired after two months. Became radicalized after seeing excessive poverty and dealing with an insensitive bureaucracy. (Not too many people hold the rare distinction of being fired from a civil service job.)
- Summer 1969, Truck Driver for Salvation Army in
San Francisco. Quit after 5 weeks when I earned enough to pay off a speeding ticket that I got in the desolate California desert of all places. (Yes, I lived on Ashbury Street, one half block from Haight.)
- Fall 1969, Factory Worker, Simulaids, Woodstock, NY. Made first aid training devices. Quit after two weeks. Bored out of my gourd.
- Winter 1969, Short Order Cook, Sled Hill Café,
Woodstock, NY. Quit after 3 weeks. Hated the late nights and having to deal with meat. (I’m a vegetarian.) Met some cool rock stars, though.
- Winter 1969, Welder in a gun factory,
Woodstock, NY. Made replicas of antique rifles. Quit after 4 weeks. Hated the entire scene.
- Summer 1970, Maintenance Man at a summer camp, New Paltz, NY. Quit after 4 weeks. Camp season was over and I got bored/grossed out stacking the urine
-soaked mattresses in the storage shed.
- Fall 1970 to present, retired from the idea of doing any type of work whatsoever – hard work, soft work, smart work, or whatever work.
But, but, but what about money?
Whenever I seemed to need money, it appeared. It’s the damnedest thing (or better put, the undamnedest thing) but I have found that it is all a matter of deserving and desiring. If I thought I deserved it then I desired it. And then it came. I’ve never gone without. It has nothing to do with work or effort or jobs or careers. It seems to do the trick because I live comfortably. (If you want to tour my home, click here.)
So in the meantime, instead of obsessing over money, I stay true to myself. I just do what I want to do and learn what I want to learn and enjoy what I want to enjoy and sometimes I get so wonderfully and powerfully caught up in some project and I start dreaming expansive daydreams and I go for it with every ounce of energy and enthusiasm and love that I can muster. And I will argue to my dying day that that experience is not work and should never be considered work. It is "fun" in the fullest, most glorious sense of the word.
And the money . . . it just takes care of itself.
Each of us is beautifully unique and generously endowed with all the tools to be great. Each of us has to discover that and develop that. That is our full time job. In my opinion, spending the better part of life in a “tolerable” job is not the formula for greatness (or even wealth, for that matter).
You have got to love what you do. That is the imperative. If
you aren’t in love with what you do, then you’ve got to find it. And by doing
so, you will transform this so