Monday, January 17, 2011

Work/Play: Making A Living

The whole point of this exercise, sixteen months after I started, which is to say twenty-three years after I started working for a living, is to find a way to make a living that's not intolerable. Which is my way of saying "enjoyable" without attracting too much attention.

Do a little bit of work, but as little as possible.

By work, I mean things that you do as a means to an end that are a means to an end.

And I don't necessarily mean work as in what you do for a living. I mean, most people have to do something to make a living; so yeah, it's a means to an end. Okay but, first of all, that's just the first half of the equation. It's something that you do as a means to an end, but is it something that you do as a means to an end that's a means to an end or is it something that you do as a means to an end that's an end in itself. Because they're different, you know. But besides that, I'd rather take making a living out of the equation. For the purposes of figuring this all out, think of making a living as a little extra bonus end and think about the most direct end of whatever you're doing. After all, there's things you do that you that are work that you don't make a living at. And you should do those as little as possible, too.

I'm not saying this out of laziness or trying to be popular. In fact I'll tell you, don't try to escape work entirely. You won't be able to, and it'll make you unhappy. It's easier to swallow if you know that it's the least you can do. And if it's just a little bit, it might even be enjoyable.

Make a living at hobby or play.

But making a living can't be work, you can't work forty hours a week. That's much too much time to spend for something that you do as a means to an end that's just a means to an end. Anything that you spend that much time on has to be an end in itself, one way or the other. So you have to figure out the thing that you do as a means to an end that's an end in itself, or that you do as an end in itself that's a means to an end, that you can make money for. I don't say make a living yet, because maybe you have to start small. Maybe you have to start at, oh, $100 a month. Or $40 a month, that's the other thing I do. Sometimes the problem is figuring out what that thing is, sometimes the problem is figuring out how to make money from doing that thing.

Or maybe nobody's having a problem with this. Maybe it's just me. The more I talk about it, the more it seems obvious that you would figure out something that you like to do and get a job doing that. Why didn't I do that? Why has it taken me so long to figure just this part out?

The less work you do, the less pastime you need.

It makes sense, right? The more you do things that are just means to an end, the more you need to do things that are just ends.

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