Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Professional Dabbler?

After three weeks of nonstop activities in Melbourne, I hit a brick wall today. Literally all I wanted to do all day was have some "me" time, which included a workout and a good book to read. I chose Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape based on a friend's recommendation.

I spent most of the afternoon stretched out on the couch reading, but I found myself distracted. Since today was the first time in three weeks I was able to make some time for myself, it allowed me to do something I hadn't done in awhile: think/reflect/overanalyze. And for those of you that know me, going weeks without doing this is practically a miracle! For three entire weeks, I lived day-by-day and in the moment. It felt great! Yet, something was missing...my thoughts.

Today, the thought that kept popping into my mind was "next steps." For instance, what should I do for a living when I get home? I know I know, you're thinking, "That's not for a couple month's time, you nut!" but I'm excited/nervous about what lies ahead. I can do anything I want! The world is my oyster, as they say. However, that's what's keeping me up at night!! How do I narrow down what I should do? I have so many interests! There are so many jobs I can honestly see myself doing, but how do I choose which to pursue first? Am I destined to be a professional dabbler, changing jobs every couple years? Or is it that I haven't found one that suits me yet? Am I asking for too much? Is the secret to all of this just to make sure you're fulfilled as a person outside of work in order to ensure fulfillment AT work?

I understand work isn't rainbows and butterflies everyday, however, it should be something you wake up and want to do a majority of the time. I LOVE to work. And I love to work hard, which means it should be something I'm passionate about. So how do I focus those passions? Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone? Bueller?


  1. This is from Kahlil Gibran and his book "The Prophet" where he talks about work:

    Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."

    And he answered, saying:

    You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

    For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

    When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

    Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

    Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

    But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

    And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

    And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.

    But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

    You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

    And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

    And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

    And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

    And all work is empty save when there is love;

    And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

    And what is it to work with love?

    It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

    It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

    It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

    It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

    And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

    Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

    And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."

    But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

    And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

    Work is love made visible.

    And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

    For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.

    And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

    And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

  2. "Illusions : The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" (1977) by Richard Bach. (any of his books are great - starting with "Jonathan Livingston Seagull") Here are some quotes from "Illusions":

    One longer story:

    The Master answered and said "Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

    "The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going it's own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

    "Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

    "But one creature said at last, 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.'

    "The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'

    "But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

    "Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

    "And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried 'See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah come to save us all!'

    "And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

    "But they cried the more, 'Savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior."

  3. And another:

    26. And [the Messiah] said unto them, "If a man told God that he wanted most of all to help the suffering world, no matter the price to himself, and God answered and told him what he must do, should the man do as he is told?"

    27. "Of course, Master!" cried the many. "It should be pleasure for him to suffer the tortures of hell itself, should God ask it!"

    28. "No matter what those tortures, no matter how difficult the task?"

    29. "Honor to be hanged, glory to be nailed to a tree and burned, if so be that God has asked," said they.

    30. "And what would you do," the Master said unto the multitude, "if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I COMMAND THAT YOU BE HAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.' What would you do then?"

    31. And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where they stood.

    And the Master said unto the silence, "In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which we have chosen this lifetime."

  4. More quotes from Illusions:

    A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now.
    But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.

    Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

    Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.

    Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

    If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your thinking. That's all there is to it.

    If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.

    The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

    The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

    Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.
    Then be sure of one thing:
    The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.

    In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.

    Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers.

    Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.

    The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

    The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

    The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

    The original sin is to limit the Is. —Don't.

    The simplest questions are the most profound.
    Where were you born?
    Where is your home?
    Where are you going?
    What are you doing?
    Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change.

    There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

    We're all the sons of God, or children of the Is, or ideas of the Mind, or however else you want to say it.

    You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.
    You may have to work for it, however.

    You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
    Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.

    You teach best what you most need to learn.

    Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

    Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.