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The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.Mark Twain

I hate working. It’s as simple as that. I’ve tried getting the usual part time and odd jobs students are usually subject to, but in the end, I’d rather just live with less money and use my time on things I find more interesting. However, that’s not to say I don’t “work hard”. I get good grades in classes I enjoy, and have done many projects in my spare time that would be difficult to consider leisurely. I’m always reading, watching, or studying something that interests me. When I watch movies, play games, read books, etc. I constantly give ratings, critiques and reviews. I always seem to be working, but not doing work.

I noticed this in particular when my brother said to me after I spent 8 hours working on a video review, “What do you do for fun? You always seem to be working on random things.”… I’m still unable to answer that question properly. There is very little I do that doesn’t have a productive motive behind it, every social situation an opportunity to grow relationships, every game a chance to sharpen my competitive skills, and every day a moment to grow.

In light of this, I never want to work. It seems like too much of a waste of time. So the question is, how can I do this? Well, I will probably have to get a job, but why not one I enjoy? However, there are so many jobs people don’t really want to do out there, some people will have to be left with the short end of the stick, right?

Maybe not.

The Zeitgeist movement
A couple years ago I came across The Zeitgeist Movement. In particular, the videos they have: Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum. It’s probably worth your time to watch both of these videos, I found them very eye-opening, even if I disagreed with some parts. I’ll only be referencing them in passing here though, so you may continue reading unabated if you choose not to view them.

What has most stuck with me over two years though, is the idea of a non-economic based society brought up by the Addendum with the Venus Project. In it, we discover the idea of a society without “money”, instead working on the principle of all people doing what they are passionate about it life, and letting our tools do the work. Wouldn’t it just be just brilliant if all of those useless jobs were done away with, and we lived in such a perfect world! Alas, I think it is too big of a dream, and human nature too mischievous to allow it. However, there is a point to be made about the idea of working less in society, and not letting your job take over your life.

Let’s go through just a tiny bit of logic here:

In our capitalist society, we need money to live, and generally need to work to earn money.

How does one earn money? Getting work.

What if there isn’t enough work?

Then people don’t get money, and don’t get what they want.

Conclusion: we make more work to be done.

Wait… what?

Yup, we make up more jobs and work to be done so that people can make money and get what they want.

People become slaves to the system

Because the system requires everyone to work, even if not everyone’s work is required.

Yes, I know it sounds like a conspiracy and ridiculous. We aren’t really slaves to our society, we can choose to do what we want…

But can we? Really?

If I need money to live, I’ll find a way to make money, even if no more work needs to be done. As humans, we essentially only need food/water, air and possibly shelter to live. We have food/water fairly down pat. However, because of how easy that is, to make more jobs, we’ve needed to make more and more things people “need” in their lives. We now “need” big houses, and stainless steel appliances and computers and bathrooms and coffee and clothes and cars and cell phones and TVs and so much more.

Our jobs are structured in a way that 40 hours is “full time”, the standard, how much you should work. However, we don’t need it. Why is it that when one person makes $60k a year and another makes $120k a year, the latter doesn’t just half her hours? She doesn’t need to work that much anymore, and can still enjoy the great benefits of $60k a year for half the effort if she choose, but she can’t.

Our societal conventions seem to enslave us into this mindset of always needing more, but I want more of other things. I want more time to enjoy the things I love. I want my work to be my play. I want all those useless jobs that no one wishes to do to slip away, letting those people spend more time with family and friends, and enjoy the things they are truly passionate about.

Then, maybe, we can use that time productively, rather than for money.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By A Job Search Gone Awry « ENigma ThinkER on 14 Jul 2010 at 7:44 pm

    […] ENigma ThinkER THeoriEs aWakEned and stIrReD AboutReviewsTheoriesLife « Life Without Work: Are 40 hour weeks of hell the only way to live? […]

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