Thursday, May 1, 2014

Working on Work (Addendum)

I am continuing to work on the question of finding the fulfilling job and living a fulfilling life. I think the problem can be condensed to two questions. If you can answer these questions, I believe you are off to a good start finding your path in this material world.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

When we were children adults would frequently ask us, what do you want to be when you grow up? That is the wrong question. The question that children instinctively answer is the correct question although they don’t understand that they are on the right track. If you were a boy during the 1950s you have might wanted to be Davy Crockett or Mickey Mantle depending on your interests and what your family (especially your father) found exciting. I have observed that young people can change pretty dramatically between eighteen and twenty five, but once they are in their late twenties, you are pretty much looking at the man or woman you will see for the rest of your life. Of course, changing responsibilities will change behavior, but the man or woman inside the suit is pretty much the same person as they were at twenty five. Once you are an adult ask yourself, “Who do I want to be when I grow up?” Take a good long look at the people you really admire. Ask yourself what character traits and skill sets do these people possess that causes me to admire them. The answer might be Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, or Robert E. Lee. The skill sets could be anything from the joy of pure mathematics to ability to deeply touch another’s soul. The character traits could range from command presence to equanimity. Every person on this planet is a unique creation.

What work causes you to lose track of time?

When you are challenged, when you are working in your strengths, you will lose track of not only time but you will lose track of yourself. It is a wonderful experience. Psychologists call it, “flow”. Musicians call it, “In the groove.” Writers talk about words that write themselves as though they were only a stenographer taking dictation. When you are working on school assignments or on your job, take careful note of when large blocks of time simply disappear. If you can find a job that will pay you to lose large blocks of time in this heightened state of awareness, you are on the way to transcendence.

You have found your calling. Work is no longer work. It has become a spiritual quest.


  1. Interesting words of the last couple of days, as I am embracing this very question now. Your direction of thinking through what makes one lose him/herself is a wonderful foundation.