Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Work2003-08-11 13:02
picture by Flemming Funch

So, what else might I do? I do feel a little overdue for a career change of some kind.

Already about 12 years ago I felt I was done being a programmer. Like, I was getting too old to sit and think intensively all day, working many hours without stop in front of a glowing screen.

At that particular time I became a spiritual counselor. Or a therapist, if you will. Opened up a storefront office with a reception and a lot of certificates on the wall, advertised in metaphysical L.A. magazines, and did counseling sessions with people most of the day. Plus I travelled a bit. Florida, Germany. Trained some people in my techniques, wrote a couple of books about it. That all went well, and was a period of exciting growth for me.

But eventually I sort of reluctantly went back to programming for paying the bills. Well, I got a low level programming job, with very little to do, and no room for advancement, and I actually spent most of the time meditating or writing or conversing with people on the net. That was kind of like a vacation for five years, and I got a lot of my own things done in that time.

Eventually I couldn't stand having a job that wasn't going anywhere, so I quit, without having made any plans for what else to do. What followed was a couple of years of poverty, combined with having a very adventurous time, working on great plans, hanging out with great people, changing the world. Poverty is maybe a bit exaggerated. There was no money left over, it wasn't clear where money for food would come from, and it was very stressful for my family, and I was almost never home. But somehow everything that was needed still ended up being there, in the last moment. Sort of skating on thin ice, and somehow the ice never quite breaks.

Again, I eventually went back to programming. Got some contracts that grew to be very lucrative. Money was abundant again, but I worked 16 hour days just about every day. Somehow always being a bit behind, having too much to do, even though I did great things that some people were very happy with.

So, now we're here. I've lost most of the previously lucrative programming contracts. Nobody's going to miss me terribly if I don't spend all day programming. Well, one client is, but they have great problems paying me as well, so it might not last either.

This would, of course, be a good point to change course a bit. Do something different and unexpected. Become a traveling shaman, a tour guide, a forest ranger or a sword swallower.

The last several years, although I've been working on my own, in my own house, have been a little too much like being employed. Doing other people's stuff, on their schedules. Where really my most creative work has always been in my own timing. The stuff I would do when I had some time left over, or when I was really supposed to be doing something else. Or the stuff I would do when people had no particular expectation on what I would do.

I've always been attracted to being a consultant or facilitator of some kind. Well, I was quite successful with that on a person-to-person basis, as a therapist. And I can certainly do that again, of course. But I also somehow feel I have a role in facilitating things for groups, organizations and companies. I just haven't quite figured out how to find an inroad into that.

I could very well just take my counseling materials bigger. Travel around, do seminars, train people, speak. It would need to be worked up a bit, but some groundwork is already laid, in that many people in many areas have downloaded, studied and used my books. Eastern Europe would be quite likely, as lots of my books have been sold in Russian.

A difficulty in anything I do is that I do the best stuff if people come to me, rather than the other way around. Meaning, I'm not good at selling myself. It either works for me that somebody else will represent me, or that I've already done something great in the past, which makes people seek me out. It is not just that I'm vain or lazy or something, but there's something that works for me about being an oracle that people will go and seek out.

Or, another way around it, it works for me to look at a situation and then go off and come up with solutions or alternatives to it. Like, that's how I program best. If I can just sort of study how things work in some area, and then I go off and hide away in my tower and cook up the best way of dealing with it, and I come back when I'm done. You know, as compared to some manager who comes by every day and changes my priorities.

The whole capitalistic working-for-money system on this planet pisses me off. I've never really liked it. Which is why I haven't done all the normal things one should do to have a safe a secure middle-class life, like putting money away for retirement, and paying your taxes on time. And I haven't either done the normal things one would do to have a secure upper-class life, like buying low and selling high; getting lots of people to do work for you that is worth more than what you're paying them; getting people to buy things from you that cost you less to make; hiding your money well.

So, of course, rather than just going for making money, I'd like to do things I care about and that make a difference. And I'd like to be paid well, as sort of a secondary effect. But I've kind of been idling for a number of years. Despite working hard and accomplishing many things in several different fields, I somehow haven't yet really gotten around to the stuff I'm here on this planet to do.

If there's a chance that I'm about to, I don't know. I'm trying to be open to it.

But right this moment I'd probably be happy with some well-paid programming projects in the fields I'm most into (social software, knowledge management), using the tools I know best (PHP/MySQL/Linux).

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11 Aug 2003 @ 14:48 by sharie : If you were to build a perfect world...
describe what would it be like.  

11 Aug 2003 @ 14:56 by waalstraat : Listen to this real mensch (*man*)
There are people out there that need Ming's incredible intergrated bundle of talent and skills...I'm sure somebody out there can benefit from them, or knows someone who knows someone. NCN is Mings and Mx"s spiritual art piece, that is so nurturing, inspiring and supportive for so many of us. There can't be too much appreciation felt for them and their creation. Now is pay-off time...Ming that's how deeply I feel about you, and how you have served the true global community, and I'm hope you are not bugged at me for writing this in your comment section, because of modesty or whatever...this was a touching log today, and a great example of the inner working of a large creative mind, fueled by an expanding spirituality...You are handling the situation that has arisen perfectly so far...you are truly a spiritual warrior...and you know very well that is not seperated in anyway, from the material world; instead it is deeply interpenetrating with the material world...
Blessings to you, your wife and your kids......Just a reminder: concentrate on your breathing a few times each day....  

11 Aug 2003 @ 16:56 by ZaX @ : Ooo ooo Forest Ranger!!!!
through me a long bow, a satchel of arrows and a vixen to save and I'm off into the fields :-) sounds like fun ehhh? no job, no responsibilities just go out their and save the kingdom .... ahhh the good ooooolld days back when taxes were city-wide and crusades were abundant lol.  

11 Aug 2003 @ 17:02 by Rob Paterson @ : Work?
Feel the same way - most of I like to do I don't get paid for. If push comes to shove - I do the unpaid work. But the bills have to be paid and my wife gets worried

I wonder is there another way?  

11 Aug 2003 @ 17:33 by ming : Net Work
Well, if we all had good enough information about what work needed doing, and what resources were available, for a wide enough area around us, and we had efficient enough ways of linking these things together - we might well discover that it can all work a different way. If you and others really know the difference, you'd of course be doing what you are doing best, you'd be doing it where it makes the most difference, and you'll be using the most appropriate resources that actually are available.

It isn't Utopia, but just a matter of out-competing the current system with a system that shares information much more efficiently. Could very well happen one of these days.  

11 Aug 2003 @ 17:47 by morelove : I have one solution ..
I've redesigned my previous learning experiences of 'corporate life' then the following 'non materialistic spiritual practising my craft' period into a 'creative business format' that allows not only myself to 'wealth generate' but especially allows for 'community wealth generation' and 'community gifting' at the same time (with a possible educational influence as well).. I believe it is something each of us can do with our individually accumulated skills.. 2 good friends I met thru ncn are also doing the same with their accumulated skills .. I know there is a section of the community that 'abhor the almighty dollar' but I feel that 'wealth' is a tool, and should be utilised altruistically ... stop me if I start to 'ramble' .. I've always found 'transitional' periods to be abundant with possibilities of new directions and challenges, which comfort can sometimes blind us to.:-)Denise  

11 Aug 2003 @ 19:34 by tochtli : and to quote joseph campbell...
...follow your bliss!  

11 Aug 2003 @ 19:37 by Tlingel @ : Martin?
Soup anyone?  

12 Aug 2003 @ 04:50 by ming : Creative Business
Denise, sounds good, can you give more details on how you do things?  

12 Aug 2003 @ 04:51 by ming : Soup
Heheh, yes, the magical soup stone. I all forgot. I have one right here in my pocket.  

12 Aug 2003 @ 09:35 by Jon Husband @ : Social Software/Networks etc. over there
I remeber an exchange with you re: OD-type capabilities - facilitation, learning, counselling all fit there.

Here's an out-of-left-field idea. I have a sense that the French (or people in Western Europe, all of which is pretty close) might well support (more quickly and more easily than in NA) some or many of the aspects and dynamics of using social software to address ongoing work/ways of working, ways of getting things done. And there are a number of people on the same "longeur d'onde" in western Europe, as yoiu know.

What about finding a partner or three who speaj French, and setting up something similar to www.socialtext.com - there's so much governmental/collaborative types of work happening over there....in Denmark, in Nederlad, in France, in Belgium, in UK.

By the way, do you know of this, in Denmark ? www.lld.dk These people seem to network a great deal. And take a look at Tango, Karl-Erik Sveiby's Knowledge management simulation/social software stuff.

Lots going on over there in this broad arena.  

12 Aug 2003 @ 15:57 by ming : Social Software / OD
Great suggestions. I didn't know lld.dk, but it is very cool. Yes, I think you're right that the atmosphere is more open to that here. There could very well be some big opportunities for combining social software with Organizational Development kind of work. Which would excite me. But I'd need the right kinds of partners. A few leads in that direction have already shown up in my last few days of networking, so I'm going to poke a bit at that and see if anything sticks.  

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Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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