Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Childhood, briefcases and the big bucks

When I was a kid, I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. Basically, the reason for this was that I’d been watching LA Law, and I wanted to wear a powersuit and carry a briefcase. That was pretty much it. Still, the idea stuck in my head until I had to start thinking about which college I wanted to apply to. It wasn’t until then that I started asking myself why I wanted to study law. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the outfit and the briefcase weren’t all that important to me, after all. And so, law was out.

Another thing that I was even more obsessed with as a child, was the thought of having a big income. And by big, I mean huge. And by huge, I mean gigantic. And by… Well, you get the picture. My parents used to say that I could probably chew my way straight through the walls of the National Bank. Sometimes I dreamt that I actually did.

I figured that in order to be like the people on LA Law and make really big money, you’d have to be an overachiever. The only problem was that I had very mediocre work ethics. I still do. I’m lazy at heart. But I’m okay with that. It’s not necessarily a good thing to overachieve. Look at Napoleon, for instance. He did really well at first, but in the end – not so happy.

So the fact that I’m sitting here, writing this, in stead of solving various math problems, like I ought to be doing, doesn’t really bother me all that much.


Anonymous said...

I'm sending a big slacker solute out to you!

choochoo said...

Thank you very much *deep bow*

Tim Rice said...

It's all about balance. There's a time and place for just about everything under the sun.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope I didn't stretch your brain too much by my photo. ;)

Here's the response I made to your comment: The original picture was a creek lined with trees on either side. It was taken in the early morning hours while mist was still rising off the waters.

choochoo said...

that's okay. My brain stretches but it never actually breaks. Yet, anyway.

TCP said...

I think I still remember the theme song to LA Law. I used to watch it too as a kid. And I loved "Thirtysomething."

I agree with tim rice that it's all about balance.

IMHO, in the end Madonna may have been right: (almost) nothing really matters... and so on. Some research done at Harvard suggests that it's not the actual amount of money people make that "satisfies" them, but their affluence relative to their peers: people would rather be earning $50K if their peers were making $35 than earning $100K if their peers were making $125K. And if you can get rid off the constant comparing, well, I'd say you're all set! Economic researchers have also found that beyond a certain income level X, people's happiness doesn't increase much at all.

So it seems that job satisfaction and life satisfaction are, to a large extent, not dependent on material issues: it's more important to be comfortable with why you work and what the work is about and whether it meets your needs and reflects your personal values. That's priceless.

Just my two cents.