Today’s post is a guest post by Joel D Canfield, who has authored another book, titled: You Don’t Want a Job. You certainly don’t want a job in the traditional sense, I know that holds true for me as well. Without further ado, the rest is via Joel:
Bread and Circuses: Toto, We’re Not in the 30s Anymore
You don’t want a job.
I say that not just because it’s the title of my 10th book, just released.
I say it because, whether you realize it or not, it’s true.
If you’re under the age of 30, you’ve lived in a very different world from the one I grew up in. Though I’m only 50-something, things were very different in the 60s and 70s, which you missed entirely.
Anyone older than 30 will almost certainly tell you that a job is secure; that a regular paycheck will allow you time to play on the weekends. Put in the 40 or 50 hours, then from Friday at 5 ’til Monday at 8, fill every hour with something fun.
Find someone over the age of 30. Look deep in their eyes. That deep black hole is the regret of a meaningless life.
According to the poet Juvenal, the final days of Rome consisted of “bread and circuses” — just enough food to stave off starvation, coupled with an entertainment-obsessed society.
Sound familiar? Is this any way to run a civilization . . . or your life?
The Psychology of Happiness Says Otherwise
Here are some quotes I used in my newest book. Just in case you’re not familiar, I’ll introduce them both. (Emphasis in all quotes is mine.)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity. He is best known as the architect of the concept of flow, the altered state of consciousness we sometimes find ourselves in when totally engaged with a challenging task. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology.
Csikszentmihalyi on why it matters what we do for a living, and whose job it is:
“Because for most of us a job is such a central part of life, it is essential that this activity be as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Yet many people feel that as long as they get decent pay and some security, it does not matter how boring or alienating their job is. Such an attitude, however, amounts to throwing away almost 40 percent of one’s waking life. And since no one else is going to take the trouble of making sure that we enjoy our work, it makes sense for each of us to take on this responsibility.” — Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, p. 101-2.
Abraham Maslow and What We Need
Our second expert is Abraham Maslow, whose name is forever tied to his theory of self-actualization as illustrated in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
From Maslow we learn that personal growth, not complacency, is the path to happiness.
“All people in our society (with a few pathologic exceptions) have a need or desire for a stable, firmly based, usually high evaluation of themselves, for self-respect, or self-esteem, and for the esteem of others. These needs may therefore be classified into two subsidiary sets. These are, first, the desire for strength, for achievement, for adequacy, for mastery and competence, for confidence in the face of the world, and for independence and freedom. …More and more today . . . there is appearing widespread appreciation of their central importance, among psychoanalysts as well as among clinical psychologists.
“Satisfaction of the self-esteem need leads to feelings of self-confidence, worth, strength, capability, and adequacy, of being useful and necessary in the world. But thwarting of these needs produces feelings of inferiority, of weakness, and of helplessness.” — Motivation and Personality by Abraham H. Maslow, p 45
No More Working for the Weekend
The concept of the job as we know it today is an artifact of the industrial age.
You’re an artifact of the internet age, the information age.
Living like a 1930s factory-worker makes no sense today. Whether it made sense in 1930, I’ll leave to you.
If what you do, all day, every day, doesn’t give you a sense of purpose, a reason to leap out of bed in the morning because you just can’t wait to get started, you’re doing the wrong thing.
The best time to change, to start creating your own business, was 10 years ago.
The next best time is right now.
About the author: He may have taken a knock to the noggin in his leap off the hedonic treadmill, but Joel D Canfield still manages to string sentences together most days. Though he pays the bills as a web developer (self-employed, of course) he’s managed to write and self-publish his 10th book, released this month. Its cheeky title is You Don’t Want a Job and he believes every word of it.