Find a way to make it pay Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:56
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It’s been ten years. Can you believe it! Ten years ago Gerhard and I started an independent community publication, free nogal, with no funding from any group, institution or organisation. We’ve remained independent and not only has the Bronnie survived in a challenging economic climate; it has thrived.

Actually, as I’m writing this the smile on my face is enough to power a small kitchen appliance. I was thinking that I’m bizarrely lucky to be doing this job. But then again, it’s not a job in the way people use that term.

I didn’t answer any ads recruiting people who want to write, while selling ads and sending out invoices; neither did I send out my CV declaring me capable of delivering magazines while taking photographs, or queued at the unemployment office for trying to proofread something at midnight, or meet a benefactor offering me money to do any of these things. Insofar as this can be called a ‘job’ it is one that Gerhard and I keep making up as we go along.

Life coach Martha Beck writes that she is continuously amazed by the way people frantically look for jobs when almost nobody likes them. She says that most of the clients she has coached tell her two things: Firstly, they absolutely hated all the jobs they’ve done in their lives, and secondly, they desperately need another one.

Isn’t this insane? “The whole construct of a job is just a cultural anomaly that has existed for a brief period of history,” Martha writes. She says that we are problem-solving animals, born with brains that can make astonishing things happen. Why would such an amazing creature submit to a lifetime of drudgery on the assumption that there is no other option?

Your survival doesn’t hinge on replicating what somebody else made up and labelled ‘job’. Do you know what that person was doing? Martha says that he or she looked for something they loved doing and was thinking: “Find a way to make it pay.”

She says that you may think the thing you love has no possibility of creating an income. Not true. The job you are meant to have has not yet been named. All jobs are invented. This is actually the single most important skill you can have this century – not to do a job but to invent a job.

In the process you can show some soft white underbelly and yet survive. You can find the level of fulfilment you’ve been looking for, but you cannot do it from the sidelines. You have to jump in. Yes, chances are that you’ll get hurt, that you’ll fail and that you might, to top it all, do something indescribably crazy in public. So what? I excel in all of the above.

Let me tell you a secret – you have to focus on what you want and not on what you’re scared of. Action is important, but it’s not your action that makes things happen; it is who you are; your intent, the strength of your desire.

Dr Robert Anthony writes that the reason we put such a lot of emphasis on action is because we do not understand the power of our thought. He says that 90% of most people’s actions are spent trying to compensate for inappropriate thought. Any time you feel pain or struggle, your attention is directed at that which you do not want, rather than at that which you desire.

Still, it can be easy to buy into the illusion of your own insignificance. It happens when you compare yourself to others. We’re convinced that our own lives amount to little when we compare ourselves to large corporations or institutions, celebrities or successful people in our community.

Madisyn Taylor says perhaps you are aware that on some level you believe your life does not matter. As a child you may have formed belittling beliefs to help you make sense of confusing situations. “You may have felt unseen or unheard and decided that there was something wrong with you, rather than with the attention span of the people around you.”

Try to find out where your feelings of insignificance come from. Chances are you’ll then finally understand how you’ve been hiding your own light. The clue to your worth is to think of something you really love. Then repeat the following phrase in your mind after Martha Beck: “Find a way to make it pay.”

We did. - Angie Kleijn

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