Too often we are forced to do work that only sustains us and does not win out wants.  How we combine the work into winning is the complex conundrum that fascinates few and frustrates many.

One secret to winning your wants with your work is to be dedicated to the purpose of the work and to see its higher elevation in the aspect of the world even if that viewpoint is not encouraged or sought out by employers or those you are serving.

It is our moral duty to find joy in the work we do because, in the end, all work wins our wants, and to suffer for even a moment in the performance of that necessary social interaction is to weaken the warp and the woof that tethers us together.

Work doesn’t always mean an even exchange for the job and the payment in the cold terms of the deal. 

Sometimes we are forced to create our own warmer currency and attach to it a higher value within us even if the marketplace is not able to sustain our going exchange rate.

How do you handle doing a job that displeases you? 

Do you hold your nose and “just get it done?”

Or do you try to create a joy within the misery to protect your spirit and salvage your good intentions?


  1. I think I am quite fortunate to have the work that I have; not many can sit in the clothing in which they sleep and just work away, all the while occasionally tinkering with fun side projects and being able to devote time to creative endeavours. It’s like what M. Scott Peck wrote in his book, The Road Less Travelled – it’s best to do the unpleasant things first, and then get the cake, so to speak.

  2. Great point, Gordon! It is always best to get the bad news out of the way first so the rest of your time can be spent on the good. The trick is to get it all done in an ongoing basis. If you let things build up and you get behind then all the good fades and it all becomes ugly work.

  3. Oh, and Gordon, speaking of “writing clothes” — film critic Roger Ebert always asks writers during interviews what they prefer to wear when they’re “writing” and he said the answer is always “sweats.” He said he’s never met an author that doesn’t prefer that outfit — and he includes himself in that want!

  4. the jobs that don’t pay are tough because you have to want to and sometimes you dont

  5. I understand what you’re saying, arin. You do the work until the work is done even if you don’t enjoy doing the work, eh?

  6. Hi David,
    Every job has two components – the routine one and the creative aspect of it.
    Even if when someone’s passion and profession meets – he/she can’t avoid it.
    My approach towards it is to get done with the tedious part first and then enjoy the rest.
    There can be many grounds for “hating” one’s profession.
    Those who are appointed by others – for them it may be a lousy boss/ leadership/ organization culture/ the job itself that comes with an attractive package….whether they continue with it – that solely depends on their preference/ situation.
    But my point is either I give 200% for something or I walk out…
    Those who are self employed they have their own “blues” I am sure, but may be less because it is their choice of work in the first place.

  7. David!
    great topic! i love what i do because i know why i’m doing it!
    and i’m careful who i choose to work with but i’ve learnt the hard way that it is as important as what you do.

  8. it’s “because” not “but” in the comment above 🙂

  9. Thanks for that keen insight, Katha!
    I read something the other day that said all jobs are 80% required and 20% creative. It’s how you bring your own creativity to that 20% that makes you or breaks you in the requirements of the job.

  10. Hi Dananjay! You are lucky you can make that sort of choice — many people are stuck with others not of their choosing just to bring bread home to the table.

  11. Hi David,
    Absolutely true!
    Sometimes people are so stuck they even resist to implement those 20% in thier job – that’s where the problem starts.
    Forgot to mention – this image seems to be of some campus, is it?
    Looks fabulous!

  12. Katha —
    Right! People that do not “add their own thing” to that 20% are left empty and ailing.
    Yes, that image is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. It is Claes Oldenburg’s “Torn Notebook” — which I hate — and there’s a link to my story about it in the article.

  13. Yikes!!!
    David, first, thanks for mentioning about the link…I tried reading all old articles but somehow missed this.
    Second, as I am seeing it from the outside without knowing the real story behind it I find it pretty in-sync with the academia…!!!

  14. Hi Katha!
    Glad you found the article! Oh, I agree! It is endemic in American academe where the belly button is more valued than the intrinsic, forward, gaze.

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