Work We Can Live With

Focusing on the outcome distracts us from the process.

When we begin doing creative work, we tend to do so for the work itself.

There is something in us that we want to get out.

Whether it be in writing, in song, on a canvas or a plate, we feel pulled to create.

The creative process itself is what drives us.

Over time, however, as we hone, polish, and sharpen our skills, as we begin to master our craft and others begin to be drawn to it, we may start to see the possibility of being rewarded for our work.

Such rewards may be material or financial, or they may come in the form of acclaim or prestige.

Regardless, it feels good to be noticed, appreciated, and even compensated for work that began as something extremely personal, especially if we are now good at what we do.

There is a danger in this, however.

The reward itself distracts us from the very thing that brought us here.

By focusing on what we can get from our work, our work begins to change.

This may happen slowly, subtly, and over a long period of time, but it nevertheless starts to take us off track.

Eventually, our work feels foreign to us.

When we start to feel like our work is being made by and for someone else, we must choose between being outcome driven or process driven.

The former may bring us more immediate results, but the latter gives us work that we can live with.

‘Work We Can Live With’ by Robert Van Valkenburgh

HOLISTIC BUDO: As in Life, so too in Budo. As in Budo, so too in Life.

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