Friday, October 17, 2008

When Work isn't Work

I was standing in line at Kinkos recently, and fell prey to impulse shopping, picking up a copy of the book The 4-Hour Work Week. I had heard about the book before, and I started skimming through some of the pages, and it seemed pretty well written.

But one of the pieces of advice that I've held to closely over the years, find work that you love, runs against one of the basic assumptions behind the book - that work is something that is separate from the rest of your life, and something that should be avoided or limited as much as possible.

Michael Cage, in What I hate about the 4-hour work week, explores that thought even further. As Michael notes:

The world doesn't need any more people selling crap so they can live a playboy's life.

It needs people who are committed and passionate about who they are and what impact they want to be having. People for whom each day is an opportunity to do what they love, experience the ripples flowing from their efforts, and be well rewarded for it.

What is that thing that, if you were to choose to do it ... fully and without compromise ... would stir your soul?

Work can be difficult, it can be challenging, it can be frustrating sometimes. But if it's what you are passionate about, then those things don't matter.


Stephen Pitts said...

Unfortunately, many never find their passion, even less have the opportunity to make a living in their passion.

I have been blessed to have this opportunity and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts.

I have also had professions that I was not passionate about, but I was passionate about the job.

The idea that I could or should expect to expect to only have to work 4 hours a week is an insult to what I do and what I am passionate about. I don't think that anyone worth their salt would only want to be productive for 4 hours a week either.

William Slawski said...

I loved some of the jobs that I've had, and I didn't like others quite as much, but I always tried to find something in each that I could build upon, that might help me in the future.

It does help when you find that passion in what you do, and four hours just isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book, but I think work is not the only thing we can be passionate about. It simple puts the decision on the individual.
In my case, I work in what I like, too. But when I have a little spare time, I can choose to keep working or doing something else. I don't think having less working hours denies your right to continue doing what you like the most. Open your own business if you like, and work 4 and 4 with more variety