I was developing the idea of moving from an adolescent lifestyle into an adult one, with a group of twenty people; the proposed technique was related to personal relationship with physical things. At the mention of the word WORK, a mighty groan went up, at least from some members of the group. The stated feeling from one person was that they hated work, that they worked far too much and gave far more than they got back. They came to this group to learn how to be a happier person and get more stuff, and not how to work for other people. To that person at that time the word work was identical to slavery. And in an Adolescent mind-set their activities were slavery. They were working on something which had no value to them to pay for things they thought were valuable.
What I had in mind for WORK was much closer to what my post in Philosophers Squared quoted from James Charles Collins (1958- ), American statistician of business success from Stanford University. “The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking.”
That is the kind of work that a person should seek, because it will elevate them to a better place. By better place I mean one where they live longer, healthier lives, participating in things that are meaningful and fun.
You might get to that kind of work by randomly stumbling upon it, but that method is unlikely to the point of rarity. What makes more sense is to actively seek meaningful work – and what does that mean? It is stated clearly – to seek to participate in a difficult and constructive undertaking. That’s it!! Look around and find people doing wonderful things that are making a real difference in making your world into a better place, and join up with them and participate fully. Join at any level available, because it doesn’t matter what you are actually doing at any given moment, if it is helping to make real the constructive thing.
Moving from an adolescent lifestyle to an adult one takes place when the adolescent is feeling emotionally good, and at that time gets involved in doing some adult-level activity. With some active participation at the adult level they will come to see the greater value to themselves. They will be owners of their situation, and responsible to themselves, rather than renters obligated to other people, and functionally slaves to the system. This kind of slavery to the system creates value, but it does so by making slaves out of those people who don’t have the foresight to move their lifestyle into the adult mode.
Moving from an adolescent lifestyle to an adult one involves changing the focus of one’s attention from self-aggrandizement to self-production and ownership of value.