Intuition on anti-work

by phil on Thursday Oct 9, 2003 4:43 PM

When I was in High School, all I really wanted was to make lots of money. So for 6ish years, I read a lot of succeserata, read a lot of programming books, and eventually, I became well off by senior year. What I learned was that with some strategy and hard-work, one could make lots of dough.

(Dah, now I can already hear the negative vibes that come when discussing money and work... even though I've turned off commenting.... nonetheless I think it's important to discuss)

These days, I'm totally different. I've been consistently anti-work. Projects that I've committed to have been having difficulties getting done and I've found myself refusing opportunities left and right.

Now, it's not because I'm in school, nor is it because of unemployment, or that I may hate web design now (this site is proof that my first technical love still pumps strong). It's partly because of my concordance with The Abolition of Work... although I think it's more of a justifiction I use in my thinking and when marketing my way of life onto others.

My negative attitude and hyperego wants to say:
- you're just lazy
- we all have to work
- you're just a spoiled rich kid
- you don't know the value of work or the dollar
- it's ppl like youuuuu that are ruining this country

However, I have counter-args for all of these, primarily because if those were all true, then I wouldn't get the grades that I do nor would I have lost so much sleep in high school and parts of college to accumulate this large web portfolio.

So then I go back to what I said about earlier that we should listen to our natural urges or intuitions.

So taking a positive perspective to my anti-work attitude, I think I realized that indeed I'm still goal-oriented, just that my goals have changed. My resistance to work is my body telling me, "look, you easily made your way to the corporate eden, but that goal is no longer meaningful because it is familiar... hence reach higher"

And indeed, there is a strong groundswell in me to reach higher. Ideally I want to get paid to pursue my passions. I want to be like those rock stars, or well-off artist/writers, or professors on tenure. Jay Leno and Vin Diesal were both comparing their successes' similarities, how they both abandoned everything so they could pursue what they loved the most (for Leno, stand-up comedy, and for Diesal acting). And for many others in a similar class as these two, the story is the same, years of hard work waiting tables while faithfully pursuing their passion on the side, and then all of a sudden getting a big break and then getting equilibrium as a paid passion-pursuer.

(Crap, I just had a thought/worry... after a certain age, your personality starts to stabilize, and I bet there is some law that if you don't hit it or make it by a certain age, you'll eventually give up and stabilize into the standard wage-class. Yikes! I better get cracking!)

My hyperego starts speaking again:
- not everybody can do this
- don't be so elitist or histrionic that you think you could possibly be annointed this way.

I think the unobtainability of it or the negative vibe associated with purporting such a lofty goal is creating a dissonance in my thinking. But then I think, this is the same anti-success vibe I got when I had no money in high school... when I told this one girl about my dreams for riches, she begrudgingly and sarcastically said, "ppl can dream." later, I felt that attitude transform into "money corrupts!" which is why I never trusted anti-materialist attitudes. Ppl also told me stuff like, "enjoy your childhood, don't work so hard" and I'd be stubborn. My childhood was fantastic thank you very much. Ppl's resistance to working hard for money made the pursuit of money a golden and absolute rule (that, and the fact that this is the law of my household).

So I guess the mental wrestling comes in that now the criticism is coming from myself since I developed habits and values years ago that are anti-artist.

So becoming a paid artist sounds more difficult to me now than it was to make lots of money as a kid. There are different challenges, i.e. it is more difficult to make money when you're not willing to whore yourself.

I was speaking with a friend of mine last night who has been a DJ all his life, and seems to have thrown his life at these transcendental thought experimentalism techno-hippie culture and I commend him for that... however now that he is out of school, he is similarily faced with the bitch-work v. doing what he loves dillema... a similar struggle I think I'm in.. (this paragraph's summary, I took solace in knowing that my challenge was shared)

So anyways, we'll see how this process goes... frequent visitors of philosophistry will benefit by observing behind-the-scenes a possible transformation from one class (money-making corporate dude) to the class of paid artists--or rather the maintenence of the class of ppl who are always dissatisfied and reaching for more.

color is olive... thick hue for agresiveness, dark cuz I feel kinda negative in this post, green as opposed to blue because I'm calm, but I'm not red or orange because i'm subtly seeking acceptance for my ideas, hence think 'olive branch'

Creative Commons License