Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Success, Power, and Respect

by Skald

"When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you."
--The Tao Te Ching

The above line provides a clue to my recent "success" at work. In fact, since becoming a hobopoet... Ive noticed I get much more respect from bosses and co-workers.. when I must work. I also seem to "get" more freedom and autonomy on the job. More independence. Less annoyance and bullshit.

At first glance this might seem strange. Why would living in my car produce benefits at work? Why would drastically simplifying, following my whims, and travelling the world translate to more power when I choose to work?

Perhaps "conventional wisdom" is wrong. The conventional view is that respect & "success" come from lofty goals, hard work, and loyalty to the company. We are supposed to be driven, type-A personalities in order to succeed. To earn more respect/money... we are told to kiss ass, and slave away.

But that, really, is a slaves way of thinking. And if you think like a slave, you will most likely act like one... and thus be treated like one. But if you are free, if you are autonomous... if you dont need a job.. you tend to project a detached kind of power. People sense it and respect it. They know they cant fuck with you too much.

My sister, who lives a very conventional life... nevertheless reports a similar phenomenon. She works for IBM and thinks "IBM is bullshit". She has a fiery personality,... quick to tell her boss to piss off. She reports, "The more independent and defiant I am, the more they keep giving me raises".

Success is not money. Its not a big car or an obnoxiously large house. Success is self-reliance.. autonomy, freedom.. living the life that makes you happiest. Success is the will and the power to follow your bliss.

Do that, and you just might find that monetary success happens too... as a byproduct!

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