What makes you itch?

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it”

Pearl S. Buck

In a previous rant I outed myself as someone that thinks that most modern work  is pointless, easy and dull. Almost all of the people that I know (including our family) does work solely for money.  Alan Watts once said that the most important question for every adult to ask is ‘what makes you itch?’.  He goes on to ask what you would do if money was no object – what is your passion? In finding that Watts says that you will find something that you love. In turn it is likely that you will spend a significant amount of time actively engaged in it and in doing so you will achieve mastery. Mastery in any field brings with it the possibility that you can charge a fee in return for your expertise. You will also be unlikely to deterred by minor road blocks if you enjoy it and have spent countless hours doing it for free. You can listen to this short thought provoking message here.

Figuring out what makes you itch is not an easy business by any means. I have found that we are more easily able to describe what we don’t want. We know in great detail what we don’t want, but we have no clue what it is that we would find so stimulating that we could spend hour on hour in a blissful flow state. I agree with Alan that it is better to live a short poor life doing what you love rather than a long boring life doing stuff for money simply to be able to get up tomorrow to do it all again.


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