Painting from my most recent collection “A Thousand Smiles”

Frustrated? Dig a Hole.

I’m tired of get rich quick scheme business models and all the attention grabbing 5 minute workout titles that are nothing short of absolutely ridiculous. Nothing in life is easy. There’s only one way to get rock hard abs; an insane amount of crunches over a small amount of time. It’s the same with products. If business success was as simple as slapping a label on someone else’s bottle of sugar pills… everyone would be a millionaire.

I recently added a pool to my cottage this summer; and by added, I literally mean I personally did the physical labour. I didn’t pay someone. It was an above ground pool, but my designs required a circular hole 4 feet deep and 20 feet in diameter. I started this project the day before a long weekend and therefore wasn’t able to rent a backhoe for 72 hours… so I grabbed a shovel and began to dig.

Once my determination made a small (yet noticeable) dent my ego kicked in and even being fully aware that I had over 96% left to go - I felt my initial 4% would have been wasted had I caved and rented a machine to complete the dig. Completely illogical, I know, however this bizarre passion is what makes humans so amazing.

It’s also why there aren’t any great Vulcan impressionists.

As I proceeded to dig this hole I couldn’t help by draw many comparisons. Most people would never just dig the hole. They would have spent hours working - to save enough money - to pay someone else to dig this hole; or they would have rented the proper machinery (still a very valid option, however useless to my point).

Very few people are willing to put in the hours and just do the work. They spend twice as much time searching for alternatives. I recently had a business venture go south (no seriously it moved to Florida) and welcomed the therapeutic aspect of this labour, but through all these hours of personal reflection the theme that kept surfacing was this concept of work ethic. So few people are willing to put in the time and it’s a shame, because there is nothing more satisfying than standing in a completed project; even if it is something as simple as a hole.

The Zen approach. — please see “Art of Counting” post for elaboration on this topic.

In conclusion when you accept that life is work, anything is possible. Don’t wake up thinking today will be easy, or I’m just gonna chill. You’re letting your life pass you by. It’s the same way fearing death or speculating about an afterlife is pointless. Have you ever once thought about a pre-life? Probably not. No one worries about what they were before they were pulled into existence, so why worry what happens after this terrestrial realm? Just except that one day you will die and never think of it again, devote all your time and energy to living here and now. You won’t regret it.