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vchizzle
10-16-2012, 12:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=siu6JYqOZ0g
I actually struggle with this quite a bit. So for me, it's a fairly moving piece. Somewhat inspirational, somewhat depressing. :dontknow:

LSchefman
10-16-2012, 10:34 PM
If you have this struggle, and wish to break free, understand that you will face a wall of external criticism and self-doubt that must be broken through in order to take the first real step along that path. Every setback and difficulty will tempt you to abandon the plan and return to a safer place. Few people who love and worry over you will pat you on the back and say, "Don't worry, we're behind you." The opposite may happen.

Ever read about the Egyptian Book of the Dead?

In it, there were magical spells and incantations that the soul must utter in order to pass the tests that lead to the Afterlife and so on. There are monsters and demons, and a heart-eating crocodile that must be avoided. If one can take the path and pass the tests, heaven awaits.

In this life, doing what you love is akin to heaven, but there are no magical spells and incantations, and there is no Book of the Dead. You have to write your own, and you have to keep re-writing it to be able to keep doing what you love. Because there are lots of crocodiles that will eat your heart.

That's my only admonition. Good luck thinking it through!

On a personal level, I'm glad I did.

sergiodeblanc
10-17-2012, 12:00 AM
The question is: either/or, the correct answer is: both.

vchizzle
10-17-2012, 09:41 AM
If you have this struggle, and wish to break free, understand that you will face a wall of external criticism and self-doubt that must be broken through in order to take the first real step along that path. Every setback and difficulty will tempt you to abandon the plan and return to a safer place. Few people who love and worry over you will pat you on the back and say, "Don't worry, we're behind you." The opposite may happen.

Ever read about the Egyptian Book of the Dead?

In it, there were magical spells and incantations that the soul must utter in order to pass the tests that lead to the Afterlife and so on. There are monsters and demons, and a heart-eating crocodile that must be avoided. If one can take the path and pass the tests, heaven awaits.

In this life, doing what you love is akin to heaven, but there are no magical spells and incantations, and there is no Book of the Dead. You have to write your own, and you have to keep re-writing it to be able to keep doing what you love. Because there are lots of crocodiles that will eat your heart.

That's my only admonition. Good luck thinking it through!

On a personal level, I'm glad I did.
Seems you've become pretty successful in taking that route too:beer:
I can't say I'm going to make any life altering decisions. I simply can't afford to.

LSchefman
10-17-2012, 10:00 AM
Seems you've become pretty successful in taking that route too:beer:
I can't say I'm going to make any life altering decisions. I simply can't afford to.

I love what I do while working on music. I'm never bored or frustrated by that.

Then there is the whole business aspect. Some of that's fun, some is a necessary chore, as with any career choice. The sailing isn't always smooth. But one weathers the storms.

Edoko
10-17-2012, 02:26 PM
Money no object?
(ring, ring)
Hello, Paul? One of each in every color please.

ACE
10-17-2012, 06:04 PM
If money was no object would you be an "owner?"

vchizzle
10-17-2012, 07:05 PM
If money was no object would you be an "owner?"
I am either way. Use, try not to abuse, but make that baby work. Do what's necessary to get it done. Play it like ya mean it. I suppose I'd "collect", but nothing would go unplayed.

Albrecht Smuten
10-18-2012, 07:18 AM
I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.
It's like asking "What if eating and having a shelter was no object" and then suggesting "live like eating and having a shelter was no object". You simply end up with no shelter and having nothing to eat.
Working for money is a substitute for hunting. Maybe you would like to spend all your time in your cave, drawing murals, but you need to feed first.

We are so lucky that we have only 8 hour working time, which leaves us with about 8 hours of free time everyday (counting 8 hours to sleep) plus free weekends. That's a lot of time to do whatever we want and we, in fact, have almost TWICE as much free time than working time (72 hrs vs 40 hrs in a week) with these numbers (I know it's not accurate, I just wanted to make it simple).

If you want to do something you can't make money from, you have plenty of free time to do it. Be glad that you're not a 19th century factory worker.
(furthermore, there are fairly uncomfortable means to prolong your free time, if you're not satisfied. Move to smaller apartment, so you can pay lesser rent. Eat cheaper food. Smoke cheaper tobacco. Drink cheaper wine. Don't buy as many guitars. Then you'll be able to work only part time and have even more free time)

Did I miss something essential about the video?

AP515
10-18-2012, 10:09 AM
I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.
It's like asking "What if eating and having a shelter was no object" and then suggesting "live like eating and having a shelter was no object". You simply end up with no shelter and having nothing to eat.
Working for money is a substitute for hunting. Maybe you would like to spend all your time in your cave, drawing murals, but you need to feed first.

We are so lucky that we have only 8 hour working time, which leaves us with about 8 hours of free time everyday (counting 8 hours to sleep) plus free weekends. That's a lot of time to do whatever we want and we, in fact, have almost TWICE as much free time than working time (72 hrs vs 40 hrs in a week) with these numbers (I know it's not accurate, I just wanted to make it simple).

If you want to do something you can't make money from, you have plenty of free time to do it. Be glad that you're not a 19th century factory worker.
(furthermore, there are fairly uncomfortable means to prolong your free time, if you're not satisfied. Move to smaller apartment, so you can pay lesser rent. Eat cheaper food. Smoke cheaper tobacco. Drink cheaper wine. Don't buy as many guitars. Then you'll be able to work only part time and have even more free time)

Did I miss something essential about the video?

Well said. I am all for pursuing your dreams, but being sensable isn't betraying your dreams. Besides, making work out of what you love to do often makes you hate what you used to love.

LSchefman
10-18-2012, 10:52 AM
Did I miss something essential about the video?

Yes, you did.

Watts is NOT telling people to cut the soles off their shoes, climb a tree, drop acid, and learn to play the flute!

What he's saying is that, in picking a career, pursue something you love doing, figure out a way to make a living from it, and you'll have made a better career choice - for yourself. I happen to agree.

He is NOT saying, "Do what you love and something good happens by magic." He is NOT saying "Don't bother preparing or being practical about how you go about this work."

He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that he has observed that people who do pursue what they love find a way to make a living at it.

I believe in the principle that if you love what you do, you don't mind working harder at it. And for the most part, hard work gets noticed and leads to financial reward. And you enjoy what you're doing for a living, which is a benefit in and of itself.

A person who loves, and is fascinated by, science makes a better scientist, and will likely work harder because he or she loves it, and be successful at it. A person who absolutely loves the law makes a very fine lawyer, and can achieve more - I've seen it many times. Same with many other careers. In fact, a person who works more diligently out of love for the subject does better research, prepares more, and can out-perform someone with more talent/smarts.

Take music as an example (since this is, after all, a guitar forum):

People who love music, and prepare for careers in it - and the field of musical endeavor is certainly much more than trying to be a rock star - have a far greater chance of making a living at it than someone who doesn't eat, breathe and think music all day long. I know many musicians actively engaged in making a living as musical directors, producers, engineers, session players, church musicians, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, orchestra players, broadway show pit orchestra players, and teachers...the list goes on and on.

If the goal of becoming a "star" is what one longs for, that isn't about simply loving music and learning to make a living from what one loves, it's about something else, isn't it?

Here's a good example: One of my close friends loves music with a passion, but hasn't the aptitude for being great at it. So he became an entertainment lawyer, who has gone on to do great things, not only for himself and his family, but for his clients (who include Grammy and Academy Award recipients), his friends, and the music community in my city.

He combined his love of music with his aptitude for law, and has a career he really enjoys. That's an example of a terrific career choice, and it goes along with what Alan Watts was talking about. My friend is one of the happiest and most fulfilled people I know. And he's become nationally recognized in his field.

Some people love business, and get a kick out of closing a deal. Some people love making guitars as much as playing them. Some people like healing the sick. I do a lot of work with video editors, and they absolutely love what they're doing. My brother is an artist, and he can paint until he falls asleep - he loves making images. He also heads up the fine arts department of a college, and really enjoys teaching.

The point is, if you pursue what you like doing, your chances for success increase. That doesn't mean you have to be stupid about it. It's important to be honest with yourself not only about what you love, but your aptitude for doing it.

Now the fact is that some people aren't driven toward a particular thing, and their interests might be family, or leisure activities, and just working to be able to do those activities is a great thing. I'm all for that. It's a matter of preference. The video's premise is not wrong.



Well said. I am all for pursuing your dreams, but being sensable isn't betraying your dreams. Besides, making work out of what you love to do often makes you hate what you used to love.

Yes, exactly, one must be sensible.

Making work out of what you love doesn't necessarily make you hate what you used to love (and I realize you're saying "often" and not saying "always"); the way that usually happens is if you fail at it for some reason, and/or if the work entails something that you don't love along with what you love (for example, working with people you dislike, etc).

My own work involves something I love, i.e., composing music to picture, and something I'm not crazy about, namely, generating business for my work. I try to keep those activities separate in my mind. Therefore I can enjoy the actual work, and not mind the part about selling it to clients so much. It's a matter of keeping things in perspective.
So I've set up my company to work in a way that works best for me, yet still allows for making a career out of it. There are certain compromises involved, and that's fine. You can pick and choose the compromises you have to live with. Or you can change careers - it's not the end of the world when you do (and I've done it so I know)!

vchizzle
10-18-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.
It's like asking "What if eating and having a shelter was no object" and then suggesting "live like eating and having a shelter was no object". You simply end up with no shelter and having nothing to eat.
Working for money is a substitute for hunting. Maybe you would like to spend all your time in your cave, drawing murals, but you need to feed first.

We are so lucky that we have only 8 hour working time, which leaves us with about 8 hours of free time everyday (counting 8 hours to sleep) plus free weekends. That's a lot of time to do whatever we want and we, in fact, have almost TWICE as much free time than working time (72 hrs vs 40 hrs in a week) with these numbers (I know it's not accurate, I just wanted to make it simple).

If you want to do something you can't make money from, you have plenty of free time to do it. Be glad that you're not a 19th century factory worker.
(furthermore, there are fairly uncomfortable means to prolong your free time, if you're not satisfied. Move to smaller apartment, so you can pay lesser rent. Eat cheaper food. Smoke cheaper tobacco. Drink cheaper wine. Don't buy as many guitars. Then you'll be able to work only part time and have even more free time)

Did I miss something essential about the video?You must live in a far different world than I do.
Hmmmm. where to start. I work, doing something I have zero interest in. Rotating shifts every 2 weeks. Working hours I hate. 40 hours a week? Rarely. Either working 12 hours/day or working weekends or both. So I see my family for approximately 1 hour/day during the week and 1 weekend day for 50% of my year. I've been doing this for 16 years. I was extremely close to making different choices(a long time ago) that may have led me in a different direction that I would've doing something I actually had interest in. I chose my direction and there are people far worse off, doing worse jobs for far less money than I make. My job, while not making me rich, certainly has afforded me a lot of nice things. I'm certainly not wealthy, my perspective might be different if I was.

The big thing that I took away from this video is to choose something you love, or at least like to do, whether it's going to make you wealthy or not. Why toil away at something you despise your whole life all for making money if you are unhappy all of the time? I'm an objective individual. I understand that the message in the video is done in an extreme, avant-gardist sort of fashion and maybe that's why you balk at it, don't understand it or think it's foolish. If I were talking to a young person that was "preparing for life", my message would be to go after something that will make you happy first. It's much harder to get out of a job you loathe later when you have larger financial and family responsibilities.

vchizzle
10-18-2012, 11:59 AM
Well put Les.

Fox77
10-18-2012, 12:35 PM
You must live in a far different world than I do.
Hmmmm. where to start. I work, doing something I have zero interest in. Rotating shifts every 2 weeks. Working hours I hate. 40 hours a week? Rarely. Either working 12 hours/day or working weekends or both. So I see my family for approximately 1 hour/day during the week and 1 weekend day for 50% of my year. I've been doing this for 16 years. I was extremely close to making different choices(a long time ago) that may have led me in a different direction that I would've doing something I actually had interest in. I chose my direction and there are people far worse off, doing worse jobs for far less money than I make. My job, while not making me rich, certainly has afforded me a lot of nice things. I'm certainly not wealthy, my perspective might be different if I was.

The big thing that I took away from this video is to choose something you love, or at least like to do, whether it's going to make you wealthy or not. Why toil away at something you despise your whole life all for making money if you are unhappy all of the time? I'm an objective individual. I understand that the message in the video is done in an extreme, avant-gardist sort of fashion and maybe that's why you balk at it, don't understand it or think it's foolish. If I were talking to a young person that was "preparing for life", my message would be to go after something that will make you happy first. It's much harder to get out of a job you loathe later when you have larger financial and family responsibilities.

Sounds quite tough. So is there a possibility for you to change to a different job? Maybe something you'd be more interested in or - if that isn't possible - something that gives you a better trade-off between your earnings and the time you can spend with your family?

AP515
10-18-2012, 01:51 PM
Yes, exactly, one must be sensible.

Making work out of what you love doesn't necessarily make you hate what you used to love (and I realize you're saying "often" and not saying "always"); the way that usually happens is if you fail at it for some reason, and/or if the work entails something that you don't love along with what you love (for example, working with people you dislike, etc).



We agree. I guess my perspective comes from doing what I like (maybe not love) from the beginning. When I was small (say 8 years old), when someone would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say an Astronomer or a Geologist. Not the usual response I suspect. But I grew up rather poor. I was one of the janitors of my high school during my junior and senior years. I would clean the locker room and sweep the gym floor at 6:00 in the morning and then play basketball with the team at 6:30 on the same floor. Some might be embarrassed to clean toilets when their friends were in the halls chasing girls. I was grateful to have the work. There was no opportunity to attend college without working. I worked days and went to school nights for 12 years to get my BS. So while I did not become the astronomer I dreamed about at 8, I am still in a career I enjoy and the sciences are still hobbies of mine. Did I really know at 8 what career would be best for me? I got close, but I am probably a better Engineer than Astronomer. The economy is also probably better off with the products I help to market than it would be with one more planet discovered around a distant star.

LSchefman
10-18-2012, 06:17 PM
I was one of the janitors of my high school during my junior and senior years. I would clean the locker room and sweep the gym floor at 6:00 in the morning and then play basketball with the team at 6:30 on the same floor. Some might be embarrassed to clean toilets when their friends were in the halls chasing girls.

When I was 15, my summer job was "riding stable hand." Saddled and bridled 'em, curried 'em and cleaned their hooves. But 8/10 of the job was the shovel and the wheelbarrow. ;)

11top
10-18-2012, 07:37 PM
I see both sides. However, let me just say this..............That's why "work" is a four letter word.





Also, in the subjunctive case it should read........"What if money were no object." Sorry, the :evil: made me do it.

Albrecht Smuten
10-19-2012, 07:18 AM
You must live in a far different world than I do.
Hmmmm. where to start. I work, doing something I have zero interest in. Rotating shifts every 2 weeks. Working hours I hate. 40 hours a week? Rarely. Either working 12 hours/day or working weekends or both. So I see my family for approximately 1 hour/day during the week and 1 weekend day for 50% of my year. I've been doing this for 16 years.

I'm sorry to hear that and I in no way intended to belittle your struggle. Fingers crossed with resolving your situation and btw I think it's a great thing that you still find the strength to be an active musician (which is one of the conclusions I was trying to make).


Yes, you did.

Thanks for clearing that up. Maybe I didn't get the message (or the importance of it) because it's just so fundamental for me - I switched careers when I was 20. The whole grammar school I knew I would go study psychology at university. It was 50/50 real interest in the subject and vain intellectual challenge. And I was so very lucky that my parents supported me that I didn't have to work. During the study my artistic skills developed more and more and I started to question, whether I really wanted to be a psychologist, but making a living as a freelance artist was impossible (lack of skill, lack of contacts, lack of knowledge how the market works).
After two years I became fed up that my parents had to support me, dropped the school and became a graphic designer. Again, I was VERY VERY lucky I got the job I knew nothing about and managed to maintain it.

Learning about the job (thus more or less "attending another school") ever since made me a pro. Not an artist, but close enough. The thing is... I don't enjoy my job entirely. I work in an agency, so I don't pick my commissions and have to do whatever I'm told. And I have to deal with some stupid people I can't tell off, because they are clients. But life is just like that and I don't care, because it allows me to work on my personal stuff (being my own boss) in my free time. Developing my art skills and playing three instruments in two bands, doing some songwriting. I, in fact, want to be a rock star ;)

In some fields however, there are no money in. Some industries in some regions cease to exist. Sometimes you have to requalify yourself. I was kinda talking about what to do, when this happens - don't let any video tell you, that if you (for some reason) do a job that you're not interested in, it's a bad thing. It's not. You can always do, what your heart desires in your free time (as long as you have some, which sadly isn't VCHIZZLE's case :( )


Anyway, sorry everybody if my post sounded too harsh. I'll behave myself next time ;)

docbennett
10-19-2012, 09:36 AM
Watching this video validates what my wife and I did with our 27 y/o daughter this past week. She was a professional basketball dancer for the NJ Nets at age 17 (they made an age waiver especially for her). She has danced since age 4, and has won natinoal competitions since she was a teenager. She has been hired by the industry as a consultant numerous times to teach the necessary choreography associated with a cheerleading team's routines.
Well..she graduated college with a business and nursing background and has worked for Ricoh as a representative, advertising agencies as an associate, and most recently as a representative of a managed care health insurance company.
All of the above, buoyed by my wife and my concern that "she should always be able to make a good living".

Well...this past week, we encouraged her to leave the job she hated in managed care...take a $10,000 pay cut....and accept the job for "Varsity" as a national sales manager selling cheerleading supplies to schools around the county. A job she LOVES.....and has always wanted...but one that we discouraged due to the "lower pay" (hey..it pays well...but is not a 6 figure job yet, by any stretch and we have always emphasized "be successful").

To make a long story short, you should have seen her face when we "gave her our blessing" to leave the job she hated to take the job she loved. Now remember..this is an independant young woman who has traveled around the USA by herself since age 19 on consulting assignments, been all over the country as an NBA dancer, been sent to the UK and India as a "dance instructor ambassador" and had amazing opportunities all her "adult" life. she is engaged, planning to get married next year, and has a great boyfriend who is a professional and a nice guy.
With all this...she held onto her old job just for our (parental) approval. I felt great when I saw her reaction to our encouraging her to "pursue her dream".

the video made me feel A LOT BETTER.

Leaving one question.....what if your "dream occupation" doesn't pay anything even if you become "an expert in the field and better than any of your "competition"???

It's great to be able to pursue your dreams....however, we do live in a material world that requires us to toil and work for our independance and privileges.

Unfortunately, we are not quite yet at that "utopian society" that the narrator of the video envisions when he encourages you to "pursue your dreams".

LSchefman
10-19-2012, 11:13 AM
[/B]Unfortunately, we are not quite yet at that "utopian society" that the narrator of the video envisions when he encourages you to "pursue your dreams".

The narrator was Alan Watts himself. I think you're misinterpreting the advice; it's not to ignore making a living. Instead, he's saying pick a field you love, and learn to make a living in it, and you'll be happier. As is the case with your daughter.

Simply that, nothing more. One doesn't have to live in Utopia to be happy in one's work!

You and I have emailed each other about my brother, who is a successful artist. Today, his work is shown all over the US and Europe, and he is in magazines, etc. Heads up a college art program also.

But it wasn't always that way.

Before going on to an art major, my parents discouraged him, and even took him to meet with an artist they knew to tell him he'd never make it in art! After college, he moved to then-developing So-Ho, and built himself a studio in an old cheese factory that kind of stank; it didn't even have a bathroom or kitchen, so he built one himself. For a while, the toilet was in a large cardboard refrigerator box until the walls were finished. He slept on a foam pad on the floor. When I went to visit him, the taxi driver wouldn't even drive down his street! I had to get out a block away. SoHo wasn't gentrified in 1974.

To make ends meet, since there was no market for his art at first, he and many other artists helped build out SoHo, learned how to do construction stuff, built cabinets, etc. He leased part of his loft out to art collectors and started an art storage business. He hung pictures for rich people who couldn't be bothered. He painted a mural in Billy Joel's bathroom.

But he was stubborn, had a goal, did what he had to do, and stuck with what he loved doing. The result is pretty rewarding, isn't it?

Not Utopian!

Bennett, you know my own story. What would have been your advice to me at nearly 40 if I told you I wanted to leave my law practice and become a composer? Or to my brother, whose artwork as a teenager was certainly not advanced, even for his age? What would he and I have missed out on if we'd listened to the doubters?

"Practical" is good. Not always the best choice, though - if you are driven, if you are that person. Big "ifs".

Now, I will say this: you have to be somewhat of a maniac, driven, even obsessed, to succeed in some fields. So you have to know yourself. And you have to be able to weather the storms. In fact, if you had a crystal ball and knew what those storms would be, life would be simpler, and you could simply decide whether you wanted to face them. But none of us truly knows!

We have seen lots of people with "safe" jobs lose them in recent years. We know that nothing is guaranteed for life. In fact, life itself is not guaranteed, we all hang on by a thread. But deep inside, we have an understanding of our human potential, and that will be different for every person.

So I encourage people that if they want to do something difficult, prepare well educationally, try to understand what kinds of difficulties there are in the field, be realistic and willing to accept those difficulties, but do what you really want to do if you think you can. And be prepared to work very hard; in my case, I transitioned into composing by working my ads at night, and law by day until I got busy enough with ads to leave my practice without starving.

As Frank Herbert knew, fear truly is the mind-f$$$er.

docbennett
10-19-2012, 11:35 AM
The narrator was Alan Watts himself. I think you're misinterpreting the advice; it's not to ignore making a living. Instead, he's saying pick a field you love, and learn to make a living in it, and you'll be happier. As is the case with your daughter.

Simply that, nothing more. One doesn't have to live in Utopia to be happy in one's work!

You and I have emailed each other about my brother, who is a successful artist. Today, his work is shown all over the US and Europe, and he is in magazines, etc. Heads up a college art program also.

But it wasn't always that way.

Before going on to an art major, my parents discouraged him, and even took him to meet with an artist they knew to tell him he'd never make it in art! After college, he moved to then-developing So-Ho, and built himself a studio in an old cheese factory that kind of stank; it didn't even have a bathroom or kitchen, so he built one himself. For a while, the toilet was in a large cardboard refrigerator box until the walls were finished. He slept on a foam pad on the floor. When I went to visit him, the taxi driver wouldn't even drive down his street! I had to get out a block away.

To make ends meet, since there was no market for his art at first, he and many other artists helped build out SoHo, learned how to do construction stuff, built cabinets, etc. He leased part of his loft out to art collectors and started an art storage business. He hung pictures for rich people who couldn't be bothered. He painted a mural in Billy Joel's bathroom.

But he was stubborn, had a goal, did what he had to do, and stuck with what he loved doing. The result is pretty rewarding, isn't it?

Not Utopian!

Bennett, you know my own story. What would have been your advice to me at nearly 40 if I told you I wanted to leave my law practice and become a composer? Or to my brother, whose artwork as a teenager was certainly not advanced, even for his age? What would he and I have missed out on if we'd listened to the doubters?

"Practical" is good. Not always the best choice, though.

Now, I will say this: you have to be somewhat of a maniac, driven, even obsessed, to succeed in some fields. So you have to know yourself. And you have to be able to weather the storms.

Well...in my case it was "Do something that is interesting and you don't hate, if at all possible". And yes, Les....if you had been my patient when you were 40, I'd have attenpted to explore the "whys" as to why you are choosing to leave your field...and after exploring all the rationales, and reasons, and inner dynamics...I'd have still said, "you're nuts, how can you leave a lucrative career in law to pursue an artistic one"??????

And of course...you'd have been correct, and I would have been entrenched in the material world that I still live in.

Yeah...I am totally OK with what I do. I've done a lot of things in my professional career and I have always managed to end up doing something that I found intrinsically interesting, rewarding, and reasonably well paying.

HOWEVER......

that being said....No matter how much I may "tolerate it"... I will hearken back to Steve (11tops') comment above...WORK is a 4-letter word, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to the day I can retire from professional practice (maybe 7 years if I'm lucky, knock on wood) and pursue my dream of "just doing where the day takes me".....enjoying my family, going on adventures with my wife...and just plain old "hanging out" which I am a total expert at (but which doesn't pay anything).

I am NOT, and NEVER WILL BE, a person who will ever enjoy "having" to be at a certain place, at a certain time, doing a certain thing. So...while I think the narrator was being overly idealistic, he does have a point somewhere in there.....in other words, if you enjoy what you do, they say you will never have to work a day in your life. However, cognitive dissonance being a very powerful element that influences our thought process, I will counter by saying...once you are doing something you love...to make a living....you begin to recognize that you "have to be at a certain place, at a certain time, doing a certain thing" to be able to earn the bucks...and that concept always serves to diminish the enjoyment associated with the task and make it more "work-like".

After all Les...as a licensed counselor at law....a doctor of jurisprudence...and a musical technician and professional sound engineer....aren't there days that you just want to relax and NOT do a day's work...even though you are ostensibly doing what you enjoy?

Kudos to your brother....question...does he still totally enjoy the process?? Or, does he sometimes experience torment and chaos? After all, I've always thought that the best artists (whatever the medium) were often prompted to perform due to their own personal demons.

vchizzle
10-19-2012, 11:36 AM
I wasn't wanting to turn this into a poor me thread at all...because I don't feel that way. I make very good money for being a mere high school grad. The hours I work is the biggest part of my unhappiness. I can tolerate the work itself just fine - other than being boring, it's not bad. If I could have a straight 7am-5 or 6pm Monday-Friday, I'd be much happier.

Sounds quite tough. So is there a possibility for you to change to a different job? Maybe something you'd be more interested in or - if that isn't possible - something that gives you a better trade-off between your earnings and the time you can spend with your family?
Well, my job experience is in manufacturing. I've got no college degree. So most everything would be a step sideways(in type of job) or backwards(in pay) in what I'm "qualified" to do. I would certainly have to, at minimum, take classes to get out of that realm(production floor). I'm going to look into what jobs there are that I could take classes for at my company that would give me the hours I want. These types of jobs don't come up very often so it would be awhile, but it's something...I got probably 30 years til retirement. lol


I'm sorry to hear that and I in no way intended to belittle your struggle. Fingers crossed with resolving your situation and btw I think it's a great thing that you still find the strength to be an active musician (which is one of the conclusions I was trying to make).



Thanks for clearing that up. Maybe I didn't get the message (or the importance of it) because it's just so fundamental for me - I switched careers when I was 20. The whole grammar school I knew I would go study psychology at university. It was 50/50 real interest in the subject and vain intellectual challenge. And I was so very lucky that my parents supported me that I didn't have to work. During the study my artistic skills developed more and more and I started to question, whether I really wanted to be a psychologist, but making a living as a freelance artist was impossible (lack of skill, lack of contacts, lack of knowledge how the market works).
After two years I became fed up that my parents had to support me, dropped the school and became a graphic designer. Again, I was VERY VERY lucky I got the job I knew nothing about and managed to maintain it.

Learning about the job (thus more or less "attending another school") ever since made me a pro. Not an artist, but close enough. The thing is... I don't enjoy my job entirely. I work in an agency, so I don't pick my commissions and have to do whatever I'm told. And I have to deal with some stupid people I can't tell off, because they are clients. But life is just like that and I don't care, because it allows me to work on my personal stuff (being my own boss) in my free time. Developing my art skills and playing three instruments in two bands, doing some songwriting. I, in fact, want to be a rock star ;)

In some fields however, there are no money in. Some industries in some regions cease to exist. Sometimes you have to requalify yourself. I was kinda talking about what to do, when this happens - don't let any video tell you, that if you (for some reason) do a job that you're not interested in, it's a bad thing. It's not. You can always do, what your heart desires in your free time (as long as you have some, which sadly isn't VCHIZZLE's case :( )


Anyway, sorry everybody if my post sounded too harsh. I'll behave myself next time ;)
It's all good, no worries.
Like I said it's not all doom & gloom really. I still have some time to be in a band and write music. I'd just prefer better hours at work. My days of wanting to be a rock star are over. I still enjoy playing shows, just not all the crap that goes along with it.

I've always wanted to do something in music for a living, it's the only thing I really love. Whether it be guitar set-up, repairs, even building...hell, I was close to going out to PRS 10 years ago to get a job in the factory. At very minimum, I would've been helping create the guitars I love. There's gotta be big sense of pride in something like that when you care about guitars that much. My course got changed. I made that decision. Unfortunately there's not a big enough market around here for that type of thing...and even so, I'm not really qualified either other than what I learn(ed) out the Dan Erlewine guitar repair book(the bible). :D

LSchefman
10-19-2012, 12:00 PM
Well...in my case it was "Do something that is interesting and you don't hate, if at all possible". And yes, Les....if you had been my patient when you were 40, I'd have attenpted to explore the "whys" as to why you are choosing to leave your field...and after exploring all the rationales, and reasons, and inner dynamics...I'd have still said, "you're nuts, how can you leave a lucrative career in law to pursue an artistic one"??????

I know the "do something interesting that you don't hate" drill. I did it. At first, it was, "learn how to succeed at the craft, go to court, win." Then it was, "learn how to build a law firm." After a while, I became hungry for a more intense challenge. Crazy, but true.


After all Les...as a licensed counselor at law....a doctor of jurisprudence...and a musical technician and professional sound engineer....aren't there days that you just want to relax and NOT do a day's work...even though you are ostensibly doing what you enjoy?

I can honestly say no. I would rather be in the studio, creating music, than anywhere else on earth. I love everything associated with scoring to picture, creating music, and recording. It's pure, unadulterated joy for me. I have come to think that maybe the physical sounds in music and music production cause more pleasure in some people than others due to specialized physiological response? In any event, I can do it nonstop until I literally fall asleep in front of the workstation.

Even when I'm not working, I go into the studio every evening and work creating sounds on synths just for the sheer enjoyment of it. For hours on end. Which is kind of strange. But true. When I take a rare vacation (my last true trip I'd call a vacation was in 1998), I can't wait to get back. But I do get plenty of free time between gigs - that's when I get anxious! ;)


Kudos to your brother....question...does he still totally enjoy the process?? Or, does he sometimes experience torment and chaos? After all, I've always thought that the best artists (whatever the medium) were often prompted to perform due to their own personal demons.

My brother is like me. He loves to paint. If he has nothing to do, he'll pull out a sketchbook and start on the next idea.

I know a lot of artists, and none of them have demons they're trying to deal with in their work. The demon-exoricism-through-art thing is a myth.

docbennett
10-19-2012, 12:10 PM
I know a lot of artists, and none of them have demons they're trying to deal with in their work. The demon-exoricism-through-art thing is a myth.

You are lucky in your friends and acquaintances. I have worked with hundreds of famous artists in various mediums (TV actors, movie stars, famous authors, artists, etc) as a therapist. Of course, my population sample is skewed towards people who are seeking help. That being said...the vast majority of those individuals I've come in contact with who made it big in the entertainment industry had serious personal/psychiatric issues that propelled their success...and also propelled their self destructive tendencies.

Have we gone off the rails from the original intent of this thread????

LSchefman
10-19-2012, 03:15 PM
Have we gone off the rails from the original intent of this thread????

Probably, but we always seem to do that! ;)

Here's a counterpoint thought to your point about the artists who succeed due to serious personal issues - just think it over for a minute before dismissing it out of hand:

Let's say for the purposes of discussion, we have a couple of options:

Option One: We choose to spend our life doing something we love that we think has a very good chance of fulfilling our human potential.

Option Two: We choose to do something that we don't love; we choose this despite knowing it will make us unhappy and we feel it doesn't fulfill our potential as human beings.

All things being equal (i.e. money not being an object in the discussion), most people will choose Option One. In fact, this is Alan Watts' recommendation.

Anyone choosing Option 2 when money's not in the deal has more problems than someone choosing Option 1, in my estimation, since people like to enjoy their lives.

BUT- then we insert the Big Monkey Wrench into the situation: Money. $$$.

Option One carries more risk of not being successful! So we do things that may not be as fulfilling, and that's considered normal.

Question is, are people who pick Option 2 for money actually happier? We can actually look at suicide studies in a certain population and get some inkling as to whether that's the best idea.

Let's look at doctors, who most folks in society feel are very well set by most standards, and have generally high incomes. One meaningful thing is to think about suicide rates among such a population, and what we find is unexpected: the suicide rate among doctors is startlingly higher than among the general population:

PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS DUE TO SUICIDE (study I found was white male population, I have no other figures, sorry!)

U.S. white male general population 25 and older (1970): 1.5 percent

U.S. white male dentists (1968-72): 2.0 percent (85 of 4,190) - higher than general population

U.S. white male medical doctors (1967-72): 3.0 percent (544 of 17,979) - double the general population (!!)

U.S. white male population 25 and older (1990): 2.0 percent

U.S. white male medical doctors (1984-95): 2.7 percent (379 of 13,790) still significantly higher than the population (!!)

U.S. white female medical doctors 3.6 percent of white female doctors' deaths were suicides--higher than the rate for male doctors and many times the average for U.S. women (0.5 percent for 1990; source: Frank et al., cited above; Vital Statistics of the United States--1990) (Geez!!)

In a study of 18,730 physician deaths from 1967 to 1972 (men and women), psychiatrists accounted for 7 percent of the total but 12 percent of the 593 suicides. Well, that's no surprise. ;)

So, here are all these successful people having some very serious problems leading to self-destruction! Based on these figures, I might say that artists aren't the only ones with self-destructive tendencies!

Here's the crazy thing: despite the difficulties of life as an artists, the suicide rates are, according to US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, only 125% of those of the general population: 2.5 percent taking into account an adjustment for sociodemographic variables. That is lower than male medical doctors, and much lower than female medical doctors. You'd think this population would be at much greater risk of suicide, since everyone "knows" that artists are a crazy bunch, and since suicides tend to rise in financial crises!!

The point is...it's clear to me that no career is a gold-clad guarantee of happiness. If someone can say, "OK, I'm going to do something that's difficult to make a living at. If it works out, great, if not, I'm willing to take the chance that I may have to do something else for my daily bread," I'm good with that. I think it's ok. I don't think it's crazy.

"My kid's going to med school," is something we think is brag-worthy. "My kids going to art school," has people going, "how will she make a living?" It's odd they don't factor the higher apparent unhappiness rate into it.

There is nothing wrong with a day job if one doesn't succeed, and in fact, many successful artists started out with needing one.

sergiodeblanc
10-19-2012, 11:34 PM
Most artists die of starvation before they think of suicide.... but not ME! Tonight I shall have Jacque's Pizza!

Albrecht Smuten
10-20-2012, 03:26 AM
So I encourage people that if they want to do something difficult, prepare well educationally, try to understand what kinds of difficulties there are in the field, be realistic and willing to accept those difficulties, but do what you really want to do if you think you can. And be prepared to work very hard; in my case, I transitioned into composing by working my ads at night, and law by day until I got busy enough with ads to leave my practice without starving.

THIS! This is precisely how it works and I wonder, why the video doesn't say that.


I wasn't wanting to turn this into a poor me thread at all...because I don't feel that way. I make very good money for being a mere high school grad. The hours I work is the biggest part of my unhappiness. I can tolerate the work itself just fine - other than being boring, it's not bad. If I could have a straight 7am-5 or 6pm Monday-Friday, I'd be much happier.

Well, my job experience is in manufacturing. I've got no college degree. So most everything would be a step sideways(in type of job) or backwards(in pay) in what I'm "qualified" to do. I would certainly have to, at minimum, take classes to get out of that realm(production floor). I'm going to look into what jobs there are that I could take classes for at my company that would give me the hours I want. These types of jobs don't come up very often so it would be awhile, but it's something...I got probably 30 years til retirement. lol

Hmmm… let me ask you, are you comfortable enough with the money that you could eventually settle for less? Like… if you could work for another company that would give you less hours for equally less money, would you do that? You could call it "investment in happiness" :D

Another option would be getting into the guitar repair business on your own, reading books, getting some odd-job, but in your case that would rob your family of you and… after all, spending time with your family will always be a thing, you can't make money from, unless you are Ozzy Osbourne ;)


I know a lot of artists, and none of them have demons they're trying to deal with in their work. The demon-exoricism-through-art thing is a myth.

Yes, artist tend to be perfectly well-balanced human beings with no issues whatsoever. No wonder they usually don't drink or take drugs.
:D

docbennett
10-20-2012, 11:03 AM
Probably, but we always seem to do that! ;)

Here's a counterpoint thought to your point about the artists who succeed due to serious personal issues - just think it over for a minute before dismissing it out of hand:

Let's say for the purposes of discussion, we have a couple of options:

Option One: We choose to spend our life doing something we love that we think has a very good chance of fulfilling our human potential.

Option Two: We choose to do something that we don't love; we choose this despite knowing it will make us unhappy and we feel it doesn't fulfill our potential as human beings.

All things being equal (i.e. money not being an object in the discussion), most people will choose Option One. In fact, this is Alan Watts' recommendation.

Anyone choosing Option 2 when money's not in the deal has more problems than someone choosing Option 1, in my estimation, since people like to enjoy their lives.

BUT- then we insert the Big Monkey Wrench into the situation: Money. $$$.

Option One carries more risk of not being successful! So we do things that may not be as fulfilling, and that's considered normal.

Question is, are people who pick Option 2 for money actually happier? We can actually look at suicide studies in a certain population and get some inkling as to whether that's the best idea.

Let's look at doctors, who most folks in society feel are very well set by most standards, and have generally high incomes. One meaningful thing is to think about suicide rates among such a population, and what we find is unexpected: the suicide rate among doctors is startlingly higher than among the general population:

PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS DUE TO SUICIDE (study I found was white male population, I have no other figures, sorry!)

U.S. white male general population 25 and older (1970): 1.5 percent

U.S. white male dentists (1968-72): 2.0 percent (85 of 4,190) - higher than general population

U.S. white male medical doctors (1967-72): 3.0 percent (544 of 17,979) - double the general population (!!)

U.S. white male population 25 and older (1990): 2.0 percent

U.S. white male medical doctors (1984-95): 2.7 percent (379 of 13,790) still significantly higher than the population (!!)

U.S. white female medical doctors 3.6 percent of white female doctors' deaths were suicides--higher than the rate for male doctors and many times the average for U.S. women (0.5 percent for 1990; source: Frank et al., cited above; Vital Statistics of the United States--1990) (Geez!!)

In a study of 18,730 physician deaths from 1967 to 1972 (men and women), psychiatrists accounted for 7 percent of the total but 12 percent of the 593 suicides. Well, that's no surprise. ;)

So, here are all these successful people having some very serious problems leading to self-destruction! Based on these figures, I might say that artists aren't the only ones with self-destructive tendencies!

Here's the crazy thing: despite the difficulties of life as an artists, the suicide rates are, according to US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, only 125% of those of the general population: 2.5 percent taking into account an adjustment for sociodemographic variables. That is lower than male medical doctors, and much lower than female medical doctors. You'd think this population would be at much greater risk of suicide, since everyone "knows" that artists are a crazy bunch, and since suicides tend to rise in financial crises!!

The point is...it's clear to me that no career is a gold-clad guarantee of happiness. If someone can say, "OK, I'm going to do something that's difficult to make a living at. If it works out, great, if not, I'm willing to take the chance that I may have to do something else for my daily bread," I'm good with that. I think it's ok. I don't think it's crazy.

"My kid's going to med school," is something we think is brag-worthy. "My kids going to art school," has people going, "how will she make a living?" It's odd they don't factor the higher apparent unhappiness rate into it.

There is nothing wrong with a day job if one doesn't succeed, and in fact, many successful artists started out with needing one.


Here is the "problem" with your logic....and I can't find fault with your findings....and maybe it isn't a "problem" but rather and analysis of your findings.

Here is the deal...like it or not...most physicians or other professionals cited in your research are, what I would define, "Artists". Anyone who spends 4 years post graduate time learning the basics of the profession, and then another 2 to 6 years post post-doctoral confirmation to become a specialist in the field....is, by definition...an obsessed individual who will follow a path towards their profession while excluding (to a certain extent) other areas of enjoyment...I'm not saying they give up the good times...I know they party harder than the average person...it's just that they spend an inordinate amount of time pursuing their chosen path...so when they do find the time to party, they tend to do it to excess.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that most professionals who spend anywhere from 6 to 10 years post graduate work to become an expert in their field qualify as artists in my mind, and therefore demonstrate the same torment and internal demons that the practice of their craft becomes a means of attenuating. Not all professionals, of course. But enough to generate the sobering suicide statistics that you cite.

LSchefman
10-20-2012, 11:39 AM
Here is the "problem" with your logic....and I can't find fault with your findings....and maybe it isn't a "problem" but rather and analysis of your findings.

Here is the deal...like it or not...most physicians or other professionals cited in your research are, what I would define, "Artists". Anyone who spends 4 years post graduate time learning the basics of the profession, and then another 2 to 6 years post post-doctoral confirmation to become a specialist in the field....is, by definition...an obsessed individual who will follow a path towards their profession while excluding (to a certain extent) other areas of enjoyment...I'm not saying they give up the good times...I know they party harder than the average person...it's just that they spend an inordinate amount of time pursuing their chosen path...so when they do find the time to party, they tend to do it to excess.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that most professionals who spend anywhere from 6 to 10 years post graduate work to become an expert in their field qualify as artists in my mind, and therefore demonstrate the same torment and internal demons that the practice of their craft becomes a means of attenuating. Not all professionals, of course. But enough to generate the sobering suicide statistics that you cite.

That's an interesting idea! The sad thing, of course, is that there are lots of people in the world who are inconsolably unhappy. And of course, this isn't new.

They've discovered 10,000 year old settlements in Turkey with elaborate and very artistic carvings on tall, well-made stone columns. Despite the likelihood that this was pre-agricultural, this is pretty good evidence of some degree of specialization. You can imagine prehistoric artists scrambling to try to get the gig, criticizing each others' work, with some guy who was left out sitting in a corner grumbling about his stuff not getting picked:

Ogg (sitting in a corner): Architects! They're all alike. Look at whose stuff they picked! It's always Pol's. Pol Ridd Smuff! I'm so sick of that guy getting all the gigs! I'm depressed.

Boog: You need to see the medicine man, Ogg. This isn't healthy. It's been three moons, and all you do is sit around. Your family is starving because you haven't been gathering berries.

Ogg: Berries!?! Berries?? I'm an ARTIST, man. Artists don't do berries! We create!

Boog: Maybe you should try hunting, then. Hunting's a good day job.

Ogg: Sigh. I hate having to work a day job. I guess I'll go see the medicine man and have him give me something for depression. But I swear, I'm only in this tribe under protest. Seriously. What kind of tribe doesn't recognize the needs of artists? The chiefs don't care, they get all the best meat and berries without having to do a darn thing. I mean, so what if they lead the winter trek south. We need to share the berries and the meat, so that there's more to go around. That way artists can pursue their dreams without having to sell carvings to architects!! Why I oughta...I oughta just leave and start a...a...commune. Yeah. That'll show 'em. Where people can live their dreams, and not have to hunt unless they want to hunt, and not have to gather berries unless they....aw....listen, just between us, do you think the medicine man has anything for...well, I haven't been able to um...you know...having a hard time clubbing the right mate...

docbennett
10-20-2012, 11:59 AM
^^^^^^^^

This is why some cultures based their societies on the use of Peyote, Mescaline and other natural hallucinogens!

soundbee
10-20-2012, 01:12 PM
I've worked a long hard time to get to the point where money is no object (relatively speaking)... I come from humble beginnings - well dirt poor actually - one can of campbell's soup for THREE days for THREE people kind of poor. I wish we could've afforded a "jam sandwich" - take two pieces of bread and jam em together... but I digress...

Around 2000 I had a nice cushy dotcom type job, making some early six-figure coin... and then the dot-bomb happend and the co I worked for went under. Well... NYC rents, 1st baby on the way, no job..... arrrghh lots of stress.... am I repeating the sins of my parents???? Then and there I decided that I would get to a point where I never had to worry about money again... didn't know how - but that was my goal. Not to make bunch - not to have the job that I love... but to be in a position where we would never have to worry about the rent or food or any of the basics...

It took about 5 years (probably would have been 3 if not for 9/11 - but that's a different tale). I started my own web consulting company any just started to grow a business. It's a ton of hours - but I don't mind too much as I can take off when I want to (don't tell my wife that) and what I learned about myself is that I'm motivated by solving problems (at least technology based ones). Now, I can't simply go out and buy whatever whenever... large purchases still take a bit of planning. But I don't have the fear or constant worry about "how much does <insert minor item> cost" - nor the stresses that played a large part in breaking my parents up. I gotta say, getting to this point has changed me tremendously. I'm able to take part in life a lot more and can give to my family the opportunities that I never had. For example my kids are going to a Montessori school - not cheap especially with 2 in school and 3rd about to start... but an amazing opportunity that they're making full use of. My challenge now - now that "money is no object" - is to try to help guide those young-uns through an experience that I never had (i.e. not grow up spoiled lil brats). They're actually in a good place and appreciate their place in life - can't really ask for more.

My take on the op's question is a bit more basic - not what happens if you win the lottery - but more of what would life be like if you didn't have to think about money? What kind of person would you be?

I bet for some (many) it's the struggle that keeps them going (in one form or another). I've just taken my "need for struggle" and channeled it to "technology problem solving". :-)

docbennett
10-20-2012, 01:30 PM
My take on the op's question is a bit more basic - not what happens if you win the lottery - but more of what would life be like if you didn't have to think about money? What kind of person would you be?

7:30 AM: Wake up
7:45 AM: Walk the dog
8:00-10:00: Coffee, computer email, conversation with wife, futz around and check the weather and what kind of day it's going to be.
10:00-1PM: Walk on beach with wife....pick up nice shells....maybe picnic lunch
1PM-5:30PM: "adventure or event of the day" To be determined
5:30-6PM: Walk the dog
6PM-7:30PM:Get in by 6PM..."early bird special" :-)
7:30PM-9PM: Back on the beach...watch sunset...depends on time of year.....perhaps a walk before the sunset
9PM-11PM: Movie or TruTV....America's Dumbest; or Pawn Stars...or some other inane Bullcrap.
11PM-11:15PM: Walk the dog
11:15PM: Bedtime
Repeat daily. Don't stop until one of us keels over while walking on the beach....hopefully sometime after 2045!

Simple formula. Recipe easily followed. Some deviation allowed on a daily basis. Use this recipe and add your own dash of preferences. This is the type of person I would be. In a heartbeat.