May 16


Today's Quotation:

So much of unhappiness, it seems to me, is due to nerves; and bad nerves are the result of having nothing to do, or doing a thing badly, unsuccessfully or incompetently.  Of all the unhappy people in the world, the unhappiest are those who have not found something they want to do.  True happiness comes to those who do their work well, followed by a refreshing period of rest.  True happiness comes from the right amount of work for the day.

Lin Yutang

Today's Meditation:

There are many people who link unhappiness to not having enough to do, or to having a lot to do but not getting any joy out of it.  A person who works on an assembly line, for example, may have plenty of work to do every day, but may put into his or her work the bare minimum of effort necessary to get by.  And this is understandable--after all, how creative can one get while working on an assembly line, doing the same work every day?

But when we're busy, it's up to us whether that time is well spent or poorly spent.  I've worked on an assembly line for medical products, and I stayed focused on the end use of the products--they actually could save people's lives.  It's up to us to decide whether we're going to do the work we have very well, or do it to the least of our abilities.  If we want to be happy, it seems, it's necessary for us to see the work that we do as important, and then to treat it as if it were truly important.  We all can't be doing only what we want to do all of the time--if I were able to do so, I would have spent my whole life doing nothing but writing novels.  But that's not where my life has led me, so I spend most of my time doing other work, and doing my best to make sure that I do a good job, for the sake of the people for whom I'm working.

This attitude allows me to be at peace, and to find fulfillment in my work.  I don't come home feeling as if I've wasted a day, or as if my work has no meaning.  All work has meaning, and if we do our work well, we add to the lives of those who are touched by the work we do.  And if we can keep this in mind always, we won't let our nerves get the best of us.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What kind of good things do you see in your work?

2.  How often do you put all that you have at any given moment into your work?

3.  What would it feel like to have no work to do, ever?

For further thought:

I studied the lives of great men and women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.

Harry S. Truman

more thoughts and ideas about work



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