Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Selling out – or not

2 October 2015

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A few days ago, I wrote a blog about “Being tested”. I should have realised what would follow. Yesterday, I noticed two interesting job vacancies. One is actually on a bike riding distance. Instead of the usual appreciation of new opportunities, a weird new sensation occurred to me: I suddenly felt sad. It felt as if I was about to sell out on my new passion – writing.

Writing doesn’t earn me a living and it may never do. Letting my passion become a principle, without applying any pragmatism, doesn’t fit my character. My principles are of a moral nature. Pragmatism and principles go hand in hand in my case. It took me some time yesterday, to realise that I was almost caught in the AND/OR trap (see my 21 August blog). Others needed to point out to me that having a job doesn’t automatically imply that my writing would stop. It’s basically time management.

It took me even some more time to realise that earning income again, would probably be the pivotal point in my life to achieve all of my remaining 3 goals. Hence, I have come to terms with myself that applying for those jobs is the right thing to do. My sabbatical has been long enough to allow for significant personal growth. I wouldn’t mind an extension but I doubt that I could maintain my pace of personal growth. It’s like the economic “law of decreasing marginal returns” (Wikipedia).

It’s unlikely that any paid job – apart from writing – would ever become my passion again. My work used to be my hobby (and perhaps even my passion) in the absence of a loving and peaceful family life and/or a hobby. That was a serious mistake as you lose a lot when the music suddenly stops playing (also see my 13 March blog). To me, it felt like falling into a black hole. Having a passion next to your work allows for substitution and expansion. A black hole only allows for negativity.

Remarkably, being a writer hardly qualifies as a job when you look at the drop down menus of certain applications. Nowadays, a Rembrandt painting is valued at tens of millions of Euros. Yet he died in poverty (Wikipedia) just like many other famous artists. This is probably the main reason why I support a basic income (see January 7 blog) for everyone as it would allow people to follow their dream, their passion: drawing, music, painting, religion, science, sports, writing or any other art.

Creating something from nothing is a marvellous experience. I refuse to call myself a consultant. To me consultancy is empty. I’m a resultant: I add value by solving problems. Creating order into chaos is satisfactory. Creating more chaos by consulting is not. I love complexity in assignments as it challenges my talents. I also love reducing complexity and creating simplicity. Adding value rather than creating and leaving chaos.

As already mentioned in my September 30 blog, we are being tested each and every day. Yesterday was a perfect example and follow-up of my moment of complacency. Getting what you wish for doesn’t always bring what you want. The solution may come in different shapes or forms. I decided to accept the test and will see where it brings me. Stopping with writing is not an option. All of my near 300 (blog) articles are just the start of the real thing: my book on religion and science and how they interact with – rather than exclude – each other.

All in all, I don’t think and/or feel that I’m selling out. Certainly not on my principles. And not even on my new passion – writing. Pragmatism and principles are counter balancing forces. Like Yin and Yang (also see my April 10 blog). Together they make me a complete rather than a shallow person. My passion is to write. My dream is to write a novel on the Yin and Yang of today: Religion and Science. In the meantime, I’m exercising with my daily blogs. Practice makes perfect.

—–

A medical doctor, an engineer, and a management consultant were arguing about what was the oldest profession in the world.

The doctor started… “Well, in the Bible, it says that God created Eve from a rib taken from Adam’s body. This must have required surgery, and so I can claim with a high degree of confidence that mine is the oldest profession in the world.”

The engineer responded, and said, “But earlier in the book of Genesis, it states that God created the order of the heavens and the earth from out of the chaos. This was the first and certainly the most impressive application of civil engineering. Therefore, dear doctor, you are wrong: mine is surely the oldest profession in the world.”

The management consultant leaned back in his chair, smiled, and then said confidently, “Ah, but who do you think created the chaos?”

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