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Home > Blog > Work As Play -- Why Not?
Out of Our Minds
Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:53 PM
Work As Play -- Why Not?
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

Deep down, we all know it's true -- the way traditional jobs are structured makes no sense, particularly as it relates to work that involves any measure of creativity, which is to say, just about any job anyone would want to have.

Someone recently steered me to a fun British site, the Idler, whose creator, Tom Hodgkinson, writes:

A 'characteristic of the idler's work is that it looks suspiciously like play. This, again, makes the non-idler feel uncomfortable. Victims of the Protestant work ethic would like all work to be unpleasant. They feel that work is a curse, that we must suffer on this earth to earn our place in the next. The idler, on the other hand, sees no reason not to use his brain to organise a life for himself where his play is his work, and so attempt to create his own little paradise in the here and now.

The Idler will also set his own working schedule. He may work all night, all weekend and sleep till noon in the week. This is because the idler is more interested in the results of his labour than in the amount of hours he has put in. Again, these unpredictable working habits disturb the non-idler, who likes to see workers arranged neatly in rows and working to certain schedules.

The non-idler is suspicious of poets, of artists, of writers, and even of entrepreneurs. He doesn't like the way they control their own lives. He doesn't like the way they wander round thinking.

He doesn't like the way they wander round thinking, because when they think, they see the truth...




3 comments

joe charles - 5/15/2006 1:03:50 PM
Work is self-imposed servitude. Read - "the artists way" By Julia Cameron. In it you will find power, the power of the artist within you. None of us need work for pennies; All have talent that must be unlocked. I went to an acting coach in 2001 who got the actor out of me, and out of my janitor job. Persue art. Singing, dance, acting, music, painting, crafts. Forget this factory mentality, its for the birds.
Janet Auty-Carlisle - 6/28/2005 4:37:09 PM
And I say why not? I want to be an Idler in fact I think there should be an Idler revolution in North America. What's wrong with living a life of fun and productivity as opposed to living to die rich and then leaving it all to somebody else to enjoy? I have merged both work and play quite successfully within my coaching practise. I encourage others to do the same. Who says you have to make a lot of money to be rich and who says you have to work at something you don't love just to have money? We have bought into this theory and now it's time to buy out of it....Go, live, play and work....Still living la vida fearless. Janet Auty-Carlisle
pat kane - 6/26/2005 8:40:11 PM
No, play is *bigger* than work... Think work/finite game, play/infinite game.

I wrote the book on all this: www.theplayethic.com

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