I actually struggle with this quite a bit. So for me, it's a fairly moving piece. Somewhat inspirational, somewhat depressing. :dontknow:
I actually struggle with this quite a bit. So for me, it's a fairly moving piece. Somewhat inspirational, somewhat depressing. :dontknow:
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.
The question is: either/or, the correct answer is: both.
Money no object?
Hello, Paul? One of each in every color please.
If money was no object would you be an "owner?"
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?
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.
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)!
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.
Well put Les.
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.
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 ;)
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".
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?
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.