The world we live in is fast-paced and only getting faster. High targets, short timelines and looming deadlines. How do we continue to be, and not just continue to do, until we don’t?
As Wayne Dyer, a favourite of mine has posted recently (posthumously)
‘Retire when the work is done, that is the way of Heaven’.
Leading us to the questions:
What is the work?
What is it to do the work and to be, and not just do?
How will I know when it’s done?
Work, labour, graft, obair is synonymous with difficulty. A chore like effort, beginning and end, monotony and rut-like energy. We go to work, we work, take a day off work and plan for when we don’t have to work. Drudge, Drudge, Drudge.
Exciting isn’t it?! Not when we think, talk, do and feel in those terms. And yet this is how we are conditioned, cultured into the workplace and spend our lives until retirement.
As I get older I see more and more the difference between this way of life, although I’d hardly call it living, and that of our fellow human beings who effectively never retire. Take the likes of Leonard Cohen or David Bowie, Carrie Fisher et al. Still doing their work, up until their final breaths.
Are they just privileged? Not like the rest of us, different? I beg to differ. We may not yet have found what they had – the thing that brought them joy, passion desire to keep ‘working’. But we must remain open that this may be around another corner for all of us. And it may be not in the arts or music or the celebrated professions. It may be in Administration, recruitment, payroll, product building. Look at your friends or colleagues who often have a quiet contentment in their day to day life. Ask them. Perhaps they have found their ‘thing’. Let them inspire you.
But when we find it, whatever the winding road which brings us there, then we will live each day, fully, engaged and celebrating that which not just pays the bills, but brings a smile to our face and a spring to our Monday morning step.
So if you’re not quite there yet, take this job, this ‘work’ for what you can gleam from it, learn from it and those around you and keep awake for the joyful position to show itself – from which you feel you might never want to retire.
And as Wayne Dyer said,
’that is the way of heaven.’