Ming the Mechanic:
Work like you don't need money

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 Work like you don't need money2003-08-25 04:01
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Work like you don't need money,
love like you've never been hurt,
and dance like no one's watching

I saw that in somebody's profile, and I'm sure I've seen it somewhere else before. And, hey, I'd like to think I live by that motto too.

I just haven't quite figured out the "Work like you don't need money part". To me it means to work on what you're inspired to do, to work on things that need doing. "Do what you love and money will follow" kind of thing. Except for that it isn't that simple.

I'm ready to believe the universe works that way. That you're inherently supported in doing what you're inspired to do. That when you feed energy to something, it becomes more real and viable.

But our economic system doesn't work that way. It isn't inherently based on supporting good things. It is to some degree based on scarcity and abundance. Because of the way money is created it is very much based, not on what is of value, but on what turns money into more money. So the point to making money is not so much producing something needed and valuable, but rather to manage to become part of a value chain that at some level produces more money than what is put into it. I.e. it matters not at all whether you're doing something totally useless if the big company you're working for is making money. It doesn't matter if your activities are good for anybody, as long as you have a contract or a relationship that compels somebody to give you money.

Doesn't mean it isn't possible. Some people manage to concentrate on what they actually want to do, and also be paid well for it, without having to worry about it. You can be an artist, a writer, a speaker, a consultant, a researcher, just doing what you like doing, in the way you want to do it. And others might notice that it is good and useful or desirable, and they will pay you for it.

And, yes, if you're good enough at what you're doing, and/or good enough at presenting yourself, that can very well translate into natural success in the money world too. But there's some kind of secret ingredient there. People who do so are usually either very confident about the ease with which they'll live, and good at compelling the universe to follow their lead. Or, their income is really from something entirely different than what they do now. It is a lot easier to be an inspired artist or philantropist or playboy if you have a trust fund, or the investments from selling your company 20 years ago, or the proceeds from that lawsuit you won, or whatever it is.

I'm looking for the real deal. The ability to dance to your own inner tune, to throw yourself into life, to live and love more fully, to do work that is there to do, that inspires and moves you. And for that to actually be a viable life style.

So, if it works like that for you, please tell me. And give us some hints.

There is another angle of interpreting it, of course, which I have indeed followed most of my life. It is that you might indeed pick a job for the money, but you'd work it like you didn't care about the money part. I have indeed found that I was most fulfilled and most useful if I did a given job the way I felt it needed to be done, no matter whether anybody agreed or whether I'd be likely be fired for doing it that way. In other words, do your work without fear. Do what is true for you within the circumstances where you find yourself.

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25 Aug 2003 @ 16:48 by Chris Hagglund @ : It works like that for me
Thats the way I'd love to live my life. I am so very sick of being tied to money. If it wasnt money that decided what got done in this world we'd be far better off. I like this gift ecomony which you've talked about. And Synergy and all that. I do programming by the way, in perl or whatever and other web stuff.  

25 Aug 2003 @ 17:12 by Baalberith @ : The big picture
Serving "God" and mammon, Ming?

A very old question.

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon"---Matt. 6:24; Lk. 6:13

Or can one?

"I'm looking for the real deal. The ability to dance to your own inner tune, to throw yourself into life, to live and love more fully, to do work that is there to do, that inspires and moves you. And for that to actually be a viable life style."---Ming

"...and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary."---Henry David Thoreau, Walden

An old question indeed , and so freshly and honestly stated here and {link:http://ming.tv/flemming2.php?did=10&vid=10&xmode=show_article&amode=standard&aoffset=7&artid=000010-000872&time=1061850813|there} too. What's different today is that Humanity is playing against the clock. {link:http://richie.narod.ru/music/morricone/music/musicbox.mid|The water-clock bleeds into the abyss}. What's the third way? How can Humanity find an alternative to serving a system which does no longer serve the future, and which, for all practical purposes, is actually threatening that future?  

25 Aug 2003 @ 23:59 by simpleman : IMHO
Whether work is my job, or helping someone do something, I do the best I can, and give 100%. I have had jobs I can't stand, but as long as I choose to keep those jobs, I'll work hard.

The degree of love I show people has alot to do with them. If they hurt me, well, I don't hate them, but they're going to get very little love from me. I'll still act friendly towards them if they even allow that.

The only way I'll dance as if no one were there is if I'm three sheets to the wind, and higher than a kite(smiles).


26 Aug 2003 @ 01:56 by shawa : The trick...
...is to do something really really well and find people who need that skill. That´s what worked for me.  

26 Aug 2003 @ 09:48 by Tlingel @ : The Value Chain
But, says Ming, "our economic system doesn't work that way. It isn't inherently based on supporting good things. It is to some degree based on scarcity and abundance. Because of the way money is created it is very much based, not on what is of value, but on what turns money into more money. So the point to making money is not so much producing something needed and valuable, but rather to manage to become part of a value chain that at some level produces more money than what is put into it."

This is part of the problem, individually (the value chain), and also part of the bigger picture of which Baalberith was talking and the planetary crisis humanity as a species is facing.  

26 Aug 2003 @ 10:43 by Baalberith @ : Economic Evolution Vs. Mental Evolution

The Chevalier de Lamarck believed that life evolved by means of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. His model of evolution is often expressed by means of the giraffe; straining to reach the leaves of tall trees, the old knight might have said, the ancestors of the giraffes repeatedly stretched their necks. somehow, this stretching might be transmitted to their young, who were then born with yet longer necks, and again through the generations until there evolved that stately beast the giraffe.

Lamarck was wrong, though, and Darwin was correct. The offspring of giraffes (to simplify matters very considerably) were born with necks of differing lenghts, and those with longer necks were able to obtain more food, and hence to produce more offspring which in turn inherited those longer necks, etcetera.

Ah, but there is one case for which Lamarck's model is applicable to evolution, though. And that is the case of the CULTURAL TOOLMAKER.

Consider this. A human being, producing an invention, passes that invention on to the next generation via the route of what we call culture. This I would call the Lamarckian "genetic apparatus." As anyone can plainly see from humanity's history, cultural---Lamarckian---evolution is far faster than Darwinian evolution. And here is the catch: PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY MANKIND REMAINS PEISTOCENE HUNTERS, yet cultural evolution has permitted it to hunt down all its old prey. Yet still, when stressed by ressource diminution, humman beings go hunting large mammals---as Darwinian evolution constructed them to do. But they hunt with Lamarckian tools that grow momentarily in efficiency. And the only large mammal left in any number is...? Yes, People! And the Lamarckian mode assures that those people with the finest technology (and technological weapons) spread the fastest at the expense of their less formidable fellows, untill all available planetary resources are used up and everyone has these weapons. Then we die.


Why must cultural toolmakers, the most gifted of the universe's spontaneous expressions, so swiftly and inexorably beat themselves into extinction with their very giftedness?

That's {link:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671653547/inktomi-bkasin-20/104-1658837-6415923|evolution conundrum} at the very heart of this civilization current crisis and its seemingly unviable current political/economical system.  

26 Aug 2003 @ 11:02 by martha : Baalberith
You failed to mention that giraffes have stretched their necks so long that their brains have slipped from their heads to their necks which is why they are dumb.Evolution hasn't served them well.
Mr. Morris

ps. (martha is still working on the "work like you don't need money part also")  

26 Aug 2003 @ 13:57 by K @ : Working hard
I've experienced working just to earn my bread, sometimes with a supervisor or boss whose attitude and treatment of me was very demeaning. This has always been emotionally draining and hard for me to endure. I've left those work environments as quickly as I was able.

I've also experienced working just to earn my bread, but in a supportive environment where the general feeling is that we might as well enjoy one another, help each other out, and have fun while we're spending this time together. This is much more tolerable than being treated like a wage slave...although that's still, in essence, what my status is.

And, I've also experienced working because that activity is what I am called to do. It's not optional. I feel commanded to do it; I cannot keep my attention away from it; I live and breathe it. If I get paid to do this, well and good. If I do not get paid...well, I STILL have to do it, or something within me dies...  

26 Aug 2003 @ 13:59 by Jill @ : Working Hard
I am glad to hear of people who love their work. It makes me hopeful.

Most of the women I know who work have job titles like, "data systems analyst" or "customer service representative" or "support systems primary contact." It does not sound like anything I would want to spend 40 hours a week doing.

My sister got employed by Microsoft, right out of uni, with $16,000 owing on loans. She puts in about 60 hours a week, and makes herself available for extra meetings and so on, with no pay involved. She spends a tremendous amount on clothes and lunches, and still lives with my dad. She makes not a significant amount more than I did waitressing 10 years ago.  

26 Aug 2003 @ 14:20 by Betsy @ : Lots of people really do feel trapped
In my mind, the problem lies not so much with people who feel they have no option, but with a work culture that applies tremendous pressure to employees to work more and more hours.

Maybe it's because companies are still caught up in the need to grow, and can't find ways now to improve productivity other than driving the existing employees to greater output. Sometimes I think this situation is one more example of the frenzied effort to whip a failing economic system into continuing to work when in fact it is already ceasing to function...  

26 Aug 2003 @ 16:25 by Anders @ : Is this relevant?
Instead of putting the best interests of the colony ahead of their own, scientists at the University of Helsinki have discovered an ant species that ruthlessly favors its own relations in colonies descended from multiple queen ants:

26 Aug 2003 @ 16:36 by ming : Dance and Work
I guess I've experienced it several ways myself too. I have been in situations where I just did what I really enjoyed and I what I felt really needed to be done, and where I also was paid really well. And I've been in situations where I worked hard on stuff I hated doing, and which I wasn't paid very well for. I guess what bugs me is that I've often been most happy when I was living inside of somebody else's structure, but I acted as if I didn't really need the money. I.e. I had a job, and I carved out meaning within that. Whereas when I then went off to just do my own thing, I often ended up struggling more, and I lost that sense of ease and playfulness I had when it wasn't up to be to create the framework for the whole thing.

In other words, I have a bit of disconnect between what I do well, and the generation of the environment to do it in. And I'm a bit jealous of people who manage to do both. I.e. both sell yourself, acquire paid customers, set up a viable business structure AND do what you feel like doing.  

27 Aug 2003 @ 03:54 by tochtli : signs @ work
my boss, always the motivator, put up a sign in the office that reads:

"The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do"

i guess he wanted to counteract the truth read in this other sign, hung in the broom closet by a [former] employee:

"We, the unwilling, led by the unqualified, have been doing the unbelievable for so long with so little; we now attempt the impossible with nothing"...  

27 Aug 2003 @ 10:14 by quidnovi : Hackers Unite
Why settle for just a job, when there is so much that needs to be done out there, so much that is---or SHOULD BE---available in term of quick-training and topically job-oriented education? That scene from the Matrix where Trinity is fed the technical know-how to fly a helicopter in just a few seconds flashes back before my eyes. Of course it wouldn’t work that way---not in a few seconds anyway---but still there is so much more that could be done in term of crash-courses. Why such a waste of Human Resources? Why is such an unthinkably huge portion of humanity cut off from accessing that immense LIBRARY OF KNOWLEDGE? Why is the education system such a predatory industry? Why aren’t more resources invested into the creation of a more affordable, more accessible, more flexible, more efficient, more ENABLING system which would allow people to do in effect what it is they feel they need to do! We have the knowledge (databank) and we have the know-how (means of distributing that knowledge) and THE TIME IS NOW.

As you put it on your last, very timely entry about {link:http://ming.tv/flemming2.php?did=10&vid=10&xmode=show_article&amode=standard&aoffset=7&artid=000010-000872&time=1061850813|Net Work}: “Most of us have something very useful we can do, which is needed somewhere. For that matter, there will usually be somewhere where that which we most love to do is exactly what is needed.”

I think that most people here at NCN and many, many concerned people throughout the world do agree that “what is needed” is not being done. I believe that there are millions of people out there who would love to partake in doing what is needed rather than just settling for “just a job.” They just don’t know what to do or how to get there or lack the education or the technical know-how and don’t know where to get it, or find that it’s too complicated (artificially so) or unaffordable. I can’t help but feel that there is in there the making of a worthy project for the Hacker Community:
{link:http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#believe1|The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved}. And many of them are urgent---very urgent!  

27 Aug 2003 @ 12:41 by Tlingel @ : The next generation
I wonder how the next generation feels about the issue and whether it has already surrendered and (quoting Thoreau) is leading "a life of quiet desperation." My friend Martin, remains {link:http://www.newciv.org/mem/persnewslog.php?did=267&vid=267&xmode=show_article&amode=standard&aoffset=0&artid=000267-000007&time=1062013183|conspicuously absent} from this thread. I did send him an email, I hope he will join in.  

27 Aug 2003 @ 12:46 by Tlingel @ : The Next Generation
I wonder how the next generation feels about the issue and whether it has already surrendered and quoting Thoreau, is leading a life of "quiet desperation." My friend Martin, remains {link:http://www.newciv.org/mem/persnewslog.php?did=267&vid=267&xmode=show_article&amode=standard&aoffset=0&artid=000267-000007&time=1062013468|conspicuously absent} from this thread. I did send him a message, I hope he will join in.  

28 Aug 2003 @ 17:54 by Martin @ : I've been following this thread...
With interest. There are lots of interesting thoughts here.

I can't speak for the rest of the Next Generation; I sometimes fear that I don't understand them very well. As for me, I am brimming with desperation, but I am not doing so quietly. My words are sparse, sometimes. That's all. This issue you've written about, Ming, is often foremost in my mind. I can't offer the same experienced perspective as the people above have; perhaps that is the reason for my "conspicuous absence". I'm a big bundle of confusion as to how to actually confront this problem myself. God, I don't know what else to say. I know that one from my generation should have a fascinating perspective to add here. But I just look out there, I want to see something that I would love to spend my life on, but I see a defunct, rather wasteful, impassionate system that makes very little sense to me. I'm looking, I'm trying to understand, I'll finish college... I never intend to surrender, even if sometimes I do feel agonizing futility. I just couldn't tolerate "surrender" and the life it would bring me. I never intend to live in quiet desperation. But I see such a huge gap between what "needs" to be done, what I could imagine myself being passionate about, and what is out there, that I don’t even know where to begin. I won't even start on how I feel about the notion of "selling" myself. It'll take me some time to make sense of it, I guess. I just don't know... a lot of what I really have to say on this subject is in that link my equine friend Tlingel so generously posted. I hear you Ming, and I'm glad you're keeping up hope and asking these questions as you are. It's such an important thing, for so many of us.  

28 Aug 2003 @ 19:30 by Patricia Sullivan @ : Great Subject to get the juices flowing
A couple of comments:

Blaming our economic system doesn't help anything. Our economic system is what it is and it is very possible to work within its parameters in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Of course it's possible! There are companies doing just that right now. What's wrong with making money? What's wrong with engaging in activities that create more money and makes money make even more money? Money is not the problem. Our economic system is not the problem. Each individual being asleep at the wheel about themselves is the problem. People getting seduced by the power of more and more and more money is the problem. If each one of us can shift our focus to a more abundant gracious way of thinking and be that in our lives in that way, our "money problems" would be less. I know mine have. My money problems have gotten less without my "financial situation" changing much. I still make the same amount of money and carry the same debt load.

"Work like you don't need the money" doesn't necessarily mean that you don't get compensated for your time, energy and expertise. Someone once told me that "if you are good at what you do for work, then you will never be able to be paid what you are worth." The way I interpret this is that our own uniqueness that we put towards a particular job is priceless.

What "comfortable misery" are we willing to live without in order to live in and with the abundance we seek?  

29 Aug 2003 @ 02:18 by shawa : Ming?
I can´t understand why you´re in this tight situation, being NCN´s webmaster.I mean, apart from wanting to be in an extreme situation because you find it didactic, or you like it, or you need it to evolve personally, I can´t get it why NCN can´t offer SOME thing(s) in resonance to your current situation.
Would you care to say a few words about that ?  

29 Aug 2003 @ 08:53 by ming : Network Worth
Now, since I have a network here (NCN) with lots of good people in it, why isn't it working for me economically? Well, it isn't just my network, of course, so the question is whether or not it is working for its members in terms of them being supported economically. But it would be reasonable to expect that at least it should work for me in that regard.

I don't know. NCN wasn't created directly with a money purpose in mind. So it is not a business, and particularly it isn't my business. It potentially could be, or could have been. Other networks, like {link:http://www.ryze.com/|RYZE} are lucrative for their organizers, I'm sure. It was never my plan for it to be a money making proposition. At best, a self-sustainable non-profit activity. Many people have suggested at various points that there should be membership fees, and that might support the server, and possibly me. Maybe.

What I'm more interested is in how a network like this might indeed support people in doing what they're here to do, in a sustainable way. That's certainly one of the points here. To do what you feel you need to do, and to find other people to do it with. Maybe it needs a different focus, maybe it needs more members, maybe it needs different tools. I'm not quite sure.

I'm not sure I know any network that truly supports its members like that. I know networks that are viable businesses for the people who created them. I know networks focused on business people, which the members find useful in making contacts through. And some ad-hoc networks form around and amongst successful people. It isn't necessarily the structure of the network that makes it so, though. Merely that one often will network with people who're in a similar place in life.

I'm looking for the keys. I don't see why it shouldn't be possible, with Internet technology, to create a network that truly allows groups of people to do very viable things together, which also support their livelyhood.

It is of course possible for teams of people to do very viable things together. It is possible to have a virtual company where most of the communication happens in a virtual group setting.

The different question is how it might become viable on a network level. And how people can become real enough to each other over the Internet that they're willing to risk doing more business with each other.  

29 Aug 2003 @ 12:38 by shawa : Thanks, Ming.
The last point is maybe the most important, at least for me : how can people become real enough for each other over the Internet, so as to create opportunities that could sustain their livelihood.  

5 Sep 2003 @ 06:07 by ming : Money
Great points, John. "money is a concretization of a broken abstraction of value" is a very sharp way of putting it.

And I guess we need more concrete information, like from Korten, of how specifically capitalism isn't working. So that it doesn't just sound like some vague commie political view when one is criticizing it.  

12 Apr 2004 @ 15:33 by stella @ : value
" a fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing "
Working, Yikes...Iv read some of the above, and agree with much of it, as Iv experienced it. I believe the universe invites us to trust for supply, but many times our peers try to scare us out of this...not to mention our families and society in general.
I agree that work is no longer trading so to speak but a form of slavery that is completely unfair in this society. No matter what type of work one chooses to do, it should I believe, be able to support ones life, and then some. Im not happy in the way one has to 'compete' in work to survive in this life, and I have been very unhappy the way we are continually pressured to keep up with the corporate Jones'es in this life we call Free America. I am currently unemployed, and have been nearly a year. Im discouraged as the people Iv found myself working for, have so lamely let me down, and these were either government angencies or ones that have to report to such. Our country is run by a corrupt immoral government, whom has neither my vote or my support. I hate what my country stands for now, from head to toe. And re: taxes, Im asking for an itemized statement. How dare they spend my hard earned dollar on what they please and not listen to us who have supposedly 'hired them? Yikes.  

28 Nov 2006 @ 12:28 by Alan @ : Missed the Point?
I think the Author has totally missed the point of the quote, If your only concern is whether of not job x pays more or less than job y, then your probably won't really enjoy either job x or y. If however you do job z and would do it happily even if you didn't need the income from doing it, then that is the key to happiness in the workplace.

If you only consider a job is as good as it's salary then chances are you will do something you don't like doing. I would happily sacrifice my salary for job satisfaction, having turned down a potential 50% pay increase to work in a job I didn't want to do.  

4 Dec 2006 @ 22:23 by ming : Money
Talking about me? I don't think I said that. Yes, the key to happiness would be in doing a job you'd do even without money. Well, at least if you somehow get money anyway, so you don't have to suffer to do the job.  

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2012-01-01 00:20: New year wish
2009-10-27 23:59: Compassion Exercise
2009-10-26 23:48: The power of appreciation
2008-02-21 13:04: A Samurai’s Creed
2008-02-20 15:38: Experiencing
2007-11-07 00:50: Say what you feel
2007-11-06 23:38: Steve Habib Rose
2007-06-21 19:16: How does one have a blogversation?
2007-06-20 21:53: Self-portraits
2007-06-15 16:26: Life instructions

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