December 3, 2006

"accountability breeds passion and desire."

blue pen.jpg

Thank you, Pamela, for this wee gem:

The Work Manifesto

by Pamela Slim, Escape from Cubicle Nation

1. Work is your real life. It is the way you translate your feelings, your thoughts, your hopes and your desires into something valuable, tangible and useful every day. You can choose to make work into a dreaded, necessary evil that you can't wait to finish so that you can get busy with your "real life." Why not just do work you love?

2. Good work will improve your sex life. Frustrated employees desperately long for excitement and release in the form of fantasy football, internet surfing, porn, and the affections of their stressed and overworked spouses. No superhero could fill the gigantic void of a passionless man or woman in a 15-minute tryst in bed. Express your passion through your work every day, all day, and find that you will be less needy, more attentive, open, giving and loving to your partner. Which makes for better sex.

3. Your secret desire holds the clue to your best work. You say that you would love to do meaningful work, but don't know how to find it. What is your secret desire? What idea are you a little embarrassed to share with someone because it is so delicate or bold or crazy or exciting? You often claim to not know what you want to do, but in fact censor yourself from what you know you want for fear of appearing ridiculous.

4. You can't fool your kids. Many of you claim passionless, dull and frustrating careers with the excuse that you must provide for your family. Providing for your family is noble; using it as an excuse to hide from your own greatness is a bad example for your kids. If you want them to grow up motivated, creative, free and enterprising, be that yourself. They are watching and emulating your every move.

5. Fear is the great inhibitor. All of the excuses that you find for not doing work you love have solutions. You do not enact them because you are afraid: of showing up too big in the world; of failing; of appearing as an imposter; of living in poverty. There is nothing wrong with fear. Feel it, talk to it, examine it and walk with it. Then step out and let yourself show up, warts and all. It will liberate you.

6. Owning is better than renting. While you may feel "safer" renting out your skills for a paycheck and benefits, you often sell all your energy this way and have nothing left at the end of the day. If you don't get what you need in this employment arrangement in terms of money, recognition, power or responsibility, you feel angry and frustrated. Own the means of production and the factory, and at least your glorious disasters will be your disasters. Accountability breeds passion and desire.

"Accountability breeds passion and desire." Wow. What a great line.

I always like reading Pamela's blog, I have to say. Rather inspiring in a no-nonsense, friendly kind of way.

[gapingvoid manifesto submission guidelines are here.][Manifesto archive is here.]

Posted by hugh macleod at December 3, 2006 3:35 PM | TrackBack

Accountability breeds passion and desire.

I see the correlation she is striving for, when your name and integrity are on the line you want to make sure you do your best.

But Accountability is a two edged sword, it can also breed the mandatory minimum. What is the most I have to do to not lose my job. Maybe a better word would be:

Commitment breeds passion and desire.

Commitment is a conscious choice, accountability can be thrust upon you.

Later, Dascamel

Posted by: Dascamel at December 3, 2006 5:59 PM

Moving. Fantastic. A true gem of a manifesto and particularly relevant to my current situation! Thanks to Hugh for finding Pamela and thanks Pamela for putting into words my fears and doubts!

Posted by: Paul Fabretti at December 3, 2006 10:04 PM

Great manifesto, Pamela!

Posted by: Doug Karr at December 4, 2006 12:28 AM

Very inspiring Pamela. "Work is your real life" and "Your secret desire holds the clue to your best work" are two powerful concepts, that if fully realized, will lead to a greater feeling of fulfillment.

Posted by: BusyBodies Coaching at December 4, 2006 5:42 PM

You realise that 1 and 6 could well come out of the Milton Friedman playbook. Which proved to be a disaster.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at December 5, 2006 3:43 AM

Moreover, in the modern economy, we can't all be self-employed small-business owners. This is again setting up lottery-seeking as a diversion from economic justice.

"Why not just do work you love?" - because nobody was willing to pay me for it :-(

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 6, 2006 1:02 AM

"Because nobody was willing to pay me for it..."

Interesting, Seth, how that excuse works better for some folk, as opposed to "Because I didn't have the brains, talent, discipline, imagination, stamina or balls to make it happen..."

Lotteries are for losers...

Posted by: hugh macleod at December 6, 2006 10:21 PM

That's unfalsifiable.

I repeat: "in the modern economy, we can't all be self-employed small-business owners"

This is a mathematical fact. That you reach immediately for the personal attack to shut down such simple criticism - well, I think it says far more about your abilities than mine.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 7, 2006 1:07 AM

I wasn't attacking you Seth, unless not having "the brains, talent, discipline, imagination, stamina or balls to make it happen" actually applies to you as well.

One man's facts is another man's excuses. Enjoy.

Posted by: hugh macleod at December 7, 2006 1:16 AM

Great words, Pam!

I always enjoy reading your blog.

Posted by: Jim Walton at December 7, 2006 6:04 PM

Yahh its really true that if you don't like your job, you're always in a hurry in finishing it and want to enjoy your real life after work. Always counting time and effort you spent in your job. Its better to find another job that you can consider as part of your life. That you will enjoy doing it and that you'll fail to notice that its already time to log out! Nice!

Posted by: joey at January 11, 2007 8:09 AM