“Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.” The archly eloquent polymath Thomas Carlyle wrote that, envisioning work more as a response to a high calling than an eight-hour clock-block of tedium punctuated by episodes of grinding aggro.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do until I was 45. As it turned out, I had to do some other things first. Now I see I was never not doing what I was supposed to do.
We do our best work when (1) it provides a benefit to others and (2) we are not emotionally involved in what we are doing.
After food is swallowed, do we remember the food? No. We surrender it to the tender mercies of the digestive system and thereafter to the toilet.
Therein lies a lesson: When the work is done, forget the work. Any work. All work. I’ve talked to my sister-in-law about this. She boards horses. She mucks out stalls. Zen practice is not foreign to her nature.
Our ‘creatives’ are really bad at forgetting the work. Given the least opportunity they’ll stuff themselves into monkey suits and taxi off to an award show. They do this without the least hint of embarrassment.
What happens to a prize five minutes after we get one? Can it be traded for a dollar?
If I can be incentivized by money or pizza, I am in the wrong line of work.