Sloppiness and carelessness destroy our happiness.
By performing actions crudely, with little regard for the
quality of the outcome, we have no chance of receiving
satisfaction from our tasks. We also lose peace of mind.
However, when we work carefully, something extraordinary
happens. By dedicating ourselves to the task at hand –
attempting to do things as well as possible — our minds
The task actually becomes enjoyable as a sense of
productivity sneaks up on us. When it’s over, we feel
satisfied in a job well done.
Conscientiousness, in our every movement, puts us in harmony
with our tasks. This effect is magnified when we work in the
spirit of goodness, in the spirit of kindness, or find the
higher purpose in our work.
In sharp contrast, when we hate every moment of what we’re
doing, we could care less. We think, “Who cares… I don’t.”
We fill ourselves with dislike, wishing it was over. We want
to be any place but here, doing anything but this. The end
result is that we are miserable. We waste part of our lives
to bad feelings.
A task takes the same amount of time whether we enjoy the
process, or not. But… the passage of time is also
subjective. By hating our tasks, time slows to a crawl and
we sentence ourselves to prolonged suffering.
However, by putting our whole being into a task, time flies
by. Before we realize it, it’s over, time for lunch, or time
to go home. We actually get paid for working fewer hours!
Something else happens, too.
By attending to every detail, our awareness improves. We
become more sensitive to the signals we used to ignore. We
aren’t just pushing a broom. We feel how our body reacts to
the push of the broom. We find ways in which we become less
tired while sweeping.
We hear the way the broom sounds when it’s a good sweep
versus a sweep that misses dirt. We learn better how to hold
the broom; the angle; the position relative to our body; the
swing of our arm. We become aware of the subtle details, and
we become more alive.
Aliveness is the sensation that we are fully in the now
moment. We sense the world more vividly. We begin
appreciating the colors, sounds, pressures, tastes, and
smells to a high degree. We become more grateful and
appreciative of everything around us.
The result is a strong sense of well being. It’s like the
feelings we get from the glory of a Spring day when new life
is bursting forth; the birds singing; green buds emerging…
we feel great.
Although it requires some initial effort, the conscientious
way of working, it’s worth the effort. We actually gain
pleasure from the part of our lives we used to call “work.”
by Julian Kalmar