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Live like it really matters. August 9, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I understand that there was once a soap opera called “One Life to Live.” Well, we all know what soap operas are, yesterday’s forebears of today’s reality TV shows. If you truly realize that you only have “one life to live,” hopefully you won’t be wasting it watching either of the above.

Instead, what would you do? I was just talking to a friend who chose “early” retirement and severance when given the choice of that or giving up her job of 34 years (and all benefits) and reapplying for a different job, competing against God-knows-who for it. Her company’s betrayal paled beside the toll corporate mismanagement had taken on her health in the past few years. She said she’s still going through an adjustment/mourning phase, while thinking about her next steps, perhaps forming her own company.

People who work outside of a corporate environment don’t “get” the comic strip “Dilbert.” They don’t find it funny that the pointy-haired boss, the conehead CEO, and numerous other jobless higher-ups make it their business to ensure that the company’s engineers, who actually do the work and make the company’s profits, are incapable of doing their jobs thanks to bureaucratic incompetence.

Those of us who have worked in a corporate environment find “Dilbert” hilarious. Been there, done that. Our bosses call us “worker bees.” We call them “drones,” completely worthless idiots who contribute nothing to the bottom line or to innovation and progress—who in fact suck the life out of the bottom line with their exorbitant, completely unearned salaries, and who suck the morale out of their employees with their blatant contempt for them.

They don’t care if they’re morons who inherited the business from Daddy while their employees have genius IQs and doctoral degrees from Stanford and MIT. Hey, they’re in charge!

So what’s the point of this post? Should you give up your job at Wal*Mart and apply for a job at Tesla? My real point is this: Life’s too short to stay stuck in a job that kills you slowly, day by day.

The head of a company I once worked for was a health nut. He had it all—tons of money, the luxury of launching new initiatives that he genuinely believed in, and donating to all the charities he felt strongly about. He worked out, cycled, and ate right. He should have lived to be 112. Instead, he was killed at 60 when a bus crashed into his cab.

None of us can know when our time is up. Rather, it’s up to each of us to make the most of the time we actually have, the time we have now, day by day and hour by hour. I’m not saying you should cash out your 401(k) and head to Vegas. Instead, think about doing what you actually love, in a context that won’t kill you.

Life is short. Make the most of it. Be true to who you are.

‘Til next time,

Silence

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