What is the purpose of work? It is to turn thought (an idea) into actual, physical form (a product or service) through action.

Before doing any work, ask yourself: what is the intention of the thought, deed and form, here?

That will determine how you experience work, and whether you actually want to be there or not.


People extol the virtues of work. It is only virtuous if you derive some kind of value or benefit from it. If, out of every conceivable way that you could spend your day, you would happily choose to spend it, doing that.

Otherwise it is servitude – no matter how well you happen to be paid.


Blessed is he who has found his life’s work. Woe is she who spends her life doing someone else’s work. That is labouring for the Devil, no matter how you look at it.


To be ready to join the world of work, you need a special kind of training: “Look busy, look interested, look important.”

What? Do I need to go to Drama School to learn how to work? Do I need to know how to raise my eyebrows in a certain way?

Maybe, if I spend a year learning the Stradivinsky Method then I will know how to look

Which begs the question: if you really want someone who can fit in at work, why don’t you just advertise for people who are great actors? Who can give you an Oscar-winning performance?

When are we going to get rid of this charade and make work, as a rule, productive and valuable?

Anything else is a violation of the Trades Description Act.


I get it. I get it. “The devil makes use of idle hands.”

Yes, if we aren’t busy, busy, busy we will all sink to the depths of depravity, right?

So what do we do to stave off the nasty devil?

We create an environment that is hellish! That’s what.

If there isn’t joy, fulfilment and love in your work environment, that is hell.

If there isn’t the opportunity to fully express what a bundle of creativity and dynamism you are, that is hell.

If you aren’t completely inspired by what you do, that is hell.

If you are going through the motions, bored out of your tiny mind, that is hell.

If you are counting down the hours, the minutes and the seconds until you clock off, that is hell.

If you would rather cross the street, than spend time with your workmates there, that is hell.

“Yes, but what about those people who have to clean the streets, and those people who have to clean out the toilets? Some jobs are hellish, but someone has to do them.”

First of all, you are absolutely right, those kind of jobs are necessary – whereas I am referring to the many, many jobs that aren’t. Where you would be better off being idle and letting the Devil does his worst.

And, when it comes to cleaning the streets, and cleaning the toilets, there are those people who bring love and joy to the task. Hence, they love and enjoy their work. They don’t find it in the least bit demeaning.

So, by all means do something necessary. In fact, only do something which is necessary. Because anything that isn’t necessary, that truly is demeaning.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment