SELF SELF SELF…
After spending about 5 years on self help issues, this blog entry is about trying not to scream these words:
“IT ISN’T ALL ABOUT SELF!”
Ooops, I did anyway.
Isn’t it all about feelings, about “feeling better”, about “feeling happy”, about “feeling good about yourself” or feeling “good about your job?” “What job would make me happy?” “You deserve to be happy!” “Take care of YOU.”
What if there is something more than feeling, something more important than happiness? Feelings come and go like thoughts, we can choose which ones we follow. We are not slaves to our thoughts or our emotions: unless we choose to be. Surely there must be something more important than simply being in a good mood.
What if life is about finding meaning and letting the passion and feelings evolve from there?
Jobs are jobs.
I’ve tried letting my job define me, it stinks. What makes a job meaningful is the meaning you find in it, the passion you bring to your day.
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned by the Gods for eternity to push a rock up a hill only to watch it roll down again. As he walked back down the hill he must have decided that his only option to avoid absurdity was to learn to love the rock, every crack and crevice of it (Camus). He must have tried anger, tried to run and he must have come to the conclusion that the only way to avoid pain was to accept and love the pain. He must have been forced to find joy in his labors. His meaning wasn’t found in pushing the rock, he had to find meaning by bringing meaning with him to the job. We have rocks and we have roles to fill and we are in charge of finding the meaning in our daily tasks, in finding our greater purpose.
Jobs are hard to come by, we don’t have a lot of career options. Sure, I’d love to catch for the Yankees but that isn’t going to happen. So, what is one to do to avoid absurdity, to find meaning in life, even if we get a job that seems to be devoid of meaning? To me, it comes back to creation. Your only option is to learn to love the rock, to accept your life and do the best you can to create the human experience that your soul came here to have. It involves making things, drawing from inspiration and serving others. In other words. leave the world better because you were here.
Passion comes from inside, you can bring an artistic temperament to any job, including pushing rocks. You find meaning because you are alive, you have a passion for the aliveness, jobs come and go. In my case, that passion comes from writing, from building something, from raising good kids. I focus on creation because I am a creation created in the image of the great creator. Seeing life as an artist, and helping others to have that experience is my passion. Job titles don’t worry me, my message is to help creative people find success and to help the rest of us discover our creativity.
“To love another is to touch the face of God.” Les Miserables.
Then there is the love and service part, that’s how you get past “self.” When you are only worried about self, about making yourself happy, you are doomed to pointless absurdity; to pushing rocks up hills only to see them roll back down again. Meaning comes from service, from finding love, from finding something bigger than yourSELF. So, you might go push a rock if it makes life better for your spouse, or your kids or the world. I’ve pushed my share, and, when I step back and look at the big picture, my pushing a rock affected a lot more people than just my SELF.
Go make something. And rejoice in your creation, you are alive!