Sunday, January 07, 2007

Job Security...

You want to use what you've got. You figure it couldn't be that nature would equip you with tools that don't apply to this reality. You scan the horizon, you open every door, you scrutinize the underside of every rock and the wet depths of every cave. It's hard to find a match. You paint wall-sized murals of ancient mythological themes and they want someone who can print the coupon circular on a grain of rice. You have a knack for clog-dancing in the headlands and they want someone who can noodle for flatheads in the riverbeds. You can perform painless open heart surgery with a violin bow and glitter, but no one believes you. You start to lower the bar, devalue yourself. Be sensible man! Maybe you should work your way up to flipping burgers. Start with the grease fryer. Give it your all! At least you got in on the ground floor. Phew! Doesn't that feel better? Security is on its way... with early injections of embalming fluid at no extra charge.

Aim "high" amigos. I put that in quotes because really, there is no hierarchy. The ladder is mostly an illusion. There's no set climb. Where you end up is mostly a reflection of your self-worth and your perception of how this all works. Your awareness of the relative arbitrariness of things like money can make all the difference. As my friend Jonathan, a dealer of rare books, says, "You can deal in books that are worth $10 or you can deal in books that are worth $10,000. It's the same amount of work." As I see it, most people tend to get stuck on the shelf they slot themselves into. Better choose that shelf wisely. Is it better to be a $10,000 book than a $10 book? Don't even try to answer that, it's a trick question.


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