Working vs Living


Have any of you read this book?

The Monk and the Riddle : The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Life

by Randy Komisar

The sound bite from the book that everybody quotes is "What would you be willing to do for the rest of your life . . . ?" and that you should seriously answer it. Based on comments I read it seems the author thinks most people don't seriously answer that question or they answer it in an un−realistic way as in "well, if I won the lotto I'd travel for the rest of my life".

His point is that you need to figure out what you will enjoy doing for the rest of your life, whatever that is, then do it. As in, "I enjoy making games so I'm going to make games for the rest of my life" or "I enjoy helping people get well so I'm going to be a family doctor for the rest of my life".

Separate from his book, what do you guys think about that kind of idea. Do most people even know? Is there a way to figure it out if you don't? The author's point seems to be in relation to a career as in since you spend 8 to 12 hours a day at the office you going to be dis−satisfied with your life if you define it as stuff outside of work. Or, conversely, if work is only a means to get that stuff outside of work then work is unlikely to be successful. I'm not sure how that follows but that idea seems to be in there too.

Do any of you know what you want to do for the rest of your life? I sure don't. From 15 to 25 I thought it was be the president of a succussful game publisher. From 25 to 36 I thought it was be the president of a successful game developer. Now I'm not sure. So far, developing games is alot of work. People seem to think there's got to be a way to do it without working lots of 70+ hour weeks but is there a single case in all of the game industry where a *hit* game has been made on 40 hours weeks?

But, maybe that's just the problem, making games requires 70 hour weeks and instead of being upset that you'd like more time outside of work you should just look at work as one of the things you enjoy in life. Hmmm, I find that hard to buy, staring at a monitor 8 to 12 hours a day.

Maybe that's not the issue, maybe it's just a balance issue but that life would still be better if you enjoyed the 1/3 of your life at work as well as the 2/3rd outside of it.

I find it often dis−ingenuous when I read a successful person's advice because lots of people's successes are the result of luck. For example look at Naughty Dog. They work their asses off, don't get me wrong, but where would they be if they had not scored the Crash deal with Crash as a Sony mascot. Would they just be like most, making game after game but never actally getting ahead. Or how about Microsoft? If Microsoft had not scored the original DOS deal would they be the industry leader today or would they be about as relavent as Lotus? So, you read these books and they say "if you just try hard enough you'll succeed". While that feels true I'm not so sure.

Whatever, I can see that I'm rambling.

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