Arianna Huffington gave the commencement address at Smith this year, with the heart of her message being the need to redefine our notions of idolizing money and power as the measures of success.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about making money or about making a name for ourselves, but Arianna says, “It is time for a third metric beyond money and power – one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder and our willingness to give back.”
I have never understood people who approach their work as I win and you lose. They may have the trappings of success as defined as money and power but I don’t see much success in the areas of relationships, happiness or legacy.
What a difference it makes it makes in our lives and those around us when we can find fun and wonderment in our work.
Thomas Edison said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.”
Most of my career choices have come out of hobbies or interests of mine that I loved doing where I found a way to get paid for doing what I loved.
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” – François-René de Chateaubriand
Arianna’s advice on the need for wisdom and wonderment is well taken. Sometimes we need to take a breather from our work, even if we love it, to look around and see what other things might call to us. Sometimes those things might be a bit outside of our comfort zones.
I have found that my ideas of what is fun and play change over time and I have been doing some experimenting with new ways to find joy and wonder. As summer rolls in it feels like a great subject to explore.
What about you? What is floating your boat these days?