We first seek out work to pay the bills. Eventually, though, we realize that the paycheck just isn’t enough to endure the daily struggle of employment. Once our base needs are met, we start pursuing something more.
- After being kicked out of the Anglican church, John Wesley would preach in the fields and drew huge crowds. When asked how he was able to attract so many, he replied, “I simply set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” His passion was unquenchable, and people responded to it. What are you on fire for?
- Each month that you put a little money aside for retirement, what are you actually putting the money aside for? What’s your plan? I talk about things like passion in work to remind you, and myself, that we’re all put on this rock to fulfill a purpose, and that purpose doesn’t end until we stop sucking air. Don’t become obsessed with a dream of luxury that you can’t guarantee. Don’t fall into the trap of purposeless hedonism. It’s a great idea to invest in the possibilities of tomorrow, but you should never stop being productive with the one lifetime you’ve been given.
Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.
Currently, I’m employed as a software engineer at a huge corporation. The bureaucracy and overhead of a large organization can unfortunately result in times of unsteady work. I don’t want to get into the details of the seasonal ebb and flow there. Suffice to say there are times when the tasks that we are presented with to fill the gaps between major efforts are…less than gripping.
That’s not to say that they’re not important. We get paid way too much money to be given just meaningless busywork.
(Alright. Some of it is meaningless busywork. Not that much, though.)
Anyway, when a few of my comrades have a moment to sit together and talk about our individual drudgery, there’s a phrase that gets thrown around to justify our toils and trials:
“It all pays the same.”
In other words, no matter what tasks your days are being filled with, your salary, or the hourly rate you are paid, remains the same. The work may not be interesting, or challenging, but it doesn’t matter as long as you continue to get your regular paycheck. That’s true, right?
In a word, no.
Work must provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal growth as well as financial success. The irony is that if it does not provide all three, there will be a natural pressure to keep the financial rewards low. The search for money alone will always be self-defeating.
– Dan Miller
Our paycheck doesn’t tell the whole story. There are more rewards for your work than just the money you earn. We are paid on emotional and spiritual levels, too. Not every task does that well (especially not meaningless busywork).
The organizations loses out, too. You will never be as productive when doing a task that you are not skilled at or emotionally suited for. Despite your best intentions, your response to working at something that you hate will never compare to the quality you produce when doing something you love.
Understand, I’m not saying that every assigned task should be in your special ‘zone of excellence.’ It’s good to be stretched now and then. Important work needs to happen even if the right person isn’t available to do it. We just need to recognize and accept the inevitable loss. It won’t pay the same.
Question: What’s the one task that you hate doing, but has to get done at work? What can you learn from it?
- Last week, Dan Miller and his son Jared released their new book, Wisdom Meets Passion. The need for passion was a big thing for me to get my head around. See, I don’t hate doing my job, but I don’t have a passion for it. When I sought out purpose in it, I couldn’t easily lay my hands on it. Nothing about it moves me or frustrates me. I can’t see myself ever leading there. I realized I needed something more, and I began moving towards work that I could celebrate. I’m looking forward to getting this book and reading through it. Jared seems like a remarkable young man with a fresh voice that will only add to his father’s already impressive insights.
- It was announced last Friday that Paragon Studios, developers and maintainers of the long running MMO game City of Heroes, was being closed down immediately. City of Heroes will be shut down on November 30. Now, this was sudden, the reasons given by parent company NCSoft were vague (“a realignment of company focus”), and unsurprisingly the extremely loyal core fan base has responded with vary degrees of shock, sadness, and fury. There is an online petition calling for NCSoft to keep the game alive. There are grassroots plans to try to get the game under a new studio. However, the consensus is that these efforts have a slim chance of succeeding, despite what NCSoft’s mission statement might claim. I’ve played City on and off over the last several years. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone, and I’m going to miss the characters I was able to create. I don’t know if I’m going to find another game to replace it. I loved being able to fly.
Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up. Leave your replacement game suggestions in the comments, too.