So, I just turned 60 years old. Yikes. I am supposed to be doing golf, and that cross-country trip, or taking my wife around the world, thinking about health issues.
But — knock wood — I am so far in good health, so I can kind of do anything I want. I have been perplexed for a few months, wondering what on Earth I should do.
I was thinking about learning the piano, writing fiction, buying into a sports team (truly), backing a sports team, writing poetry, meditation (but not yoga, which I hate) — and this is only a fraction of all the crazy ideas I came up with.
But I kept pacing around the house until my wife said, “Well, Bruce, what do you want to do?” (emphasis added).
I looked at her and said, as if describing a guilty pleasure, “Well, I really like what I do. I like my job helping build my law firm’s culture and marketing and Power Niches and things like that a lot. I really want to do more of that….”
She is a good wife and she said — looking at me like I was being silly — “Then why don’t you just do that?”
So that is what I am going to do.
Now why am I writing this article?
The reason is that I keep seeing more and more writings, and societal and even philosophical writings and beliefs, that work is “bad” and leisure is “good.”
This is becoming a societal imperative — that people who work “too much” in the judgment of others are “bad” and those who have a lot of leisure time are “good.”
My response to this is one word: fiddlesticks!
Work can be completely fulfilling and exciting and even thrilling — and building my law firm’s culture and marketing and related matters is a thrill ride for me. I love what I do!
To those who frown, eye-roll, and give dirty looks to those of us who love what we do for our work, I say, “Who are you to judge?”
Are you really cooler and more wonderful than us work-lovers because you hang out and binge-watch a TV show or lie at the beach or go out to trendy bars where conversation is reduced to nods, grins, headshakes, and other body language (because it is too loud to hear)?
Give me a break. This view is just self-aggrandizing poppycock.
Everyone has the right to decide what they want to do.
My theory is this: Someone who feels “compelled” to work and hates it, that isn’t “good” in my judgment. But someone — like me — who says that one of the reasons I was put on this Earth is to be a great lawyer; to build a wonderful law firm of excellent people; to be a great marketer; to teach lawyering and marketing to others; well, I get a lot of fulfillment from that — and if I want to work, say, 70 to 80 hours a week doing that — don’t tell me there is something “wrong” with that. I am doing what I love.
And here is the clincher that I think makes my point poignantly. Think about that coolest guy or gal you look up to as an historical hero. Think what he/she accomplished in his/her lifetime? I’ll bet that guy or gal worked like a beaver to do it.
This is, in the end, a bit of a philosophical rant. I think it is just “wrong” to push everyone to the view that leisure time is “better” than work. That is no doubt true for some, but not for all. We all get to decide what we want to do on this Earth while we are here. And there is nothing at all “wrong” with deciding it is just a lot of fun to work, to achieve, and to accomplish things.