work

“Life is a pain in the ass”

FATHER, TALKING TO HIS SON: Life is a pain in the ass. I’ll tell ya’, you know. You work hard, try to provide for the family, and then for one minute ... everything’s good. Everyone’s well, everyone’s happy, and in that one minute you have peace.

SON: Pop ... this isn’t that minute.

~ from the movie, While You Were Sleeping

Bruce Springsteen’s book, Born To Run

SI.com has a great quote from Bruce Springsteen’s book, Born To Run:

The band was part of a four-band showcase; one band would get the chance to move on and perhaps get a recording contract. The Jersey guys went third and thought they killed it. The fourth band, though not as energetic, was very good. Via “Born To Run:”

“They got the gig. We lost out. After the word came down, all the other guys were complaining we’d gotten ripped off. The guy running the joint didn’t know what he was doing, blah, blah, blah.”

That night, Springsteen reflected, sleeping on a couch in his transplanted parents’ home in the Bay Area. “My confidence was mildly shaken, and I had to make room for a rather unpleasant thought. We were not going to be the big dogs we were back in our little hometown. We were going to be one of the many very competent, very creative musical groups fighting over a very small bone. Reality check.”

“I was good, very good, but maybe not quite as good or exceptional as I’d gotten used to people telling me, or as I thought ... I was fast, but like the old gunslingers knew, there’s always somebody faster, and if you can do it better than me, you earn my respect and admiration, and you inspire me to work harder. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me — my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness — night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in.”

No dreams come without a bill

“No dreams come without a bill. The reality of making something happen is just a ton of hard work.”

~ Peter Gabriel

My “standing up” workspace alvin January 25, 2020 - 1:47pm

Thanks to the angiogram, I haven’t been able to sit down for over a month. These days when I work, I either (a) read things while laying flat on my back in bed, or write while I’m standing up at this makeshift workspace in my apartment.

Quotes about work and Zen (practicing Zen at work)

For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I have read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seems like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. Over time I came to understand phrases like, “When working, just work.”

This article contains a collection of quotes that have been helpful to me in understanding the relationship between Zen and work. Please note that I don’t wrap each quote in double quotes, and I also try to attribute each quote to the correct author/speaker. If you’re interested in how to combine Zen and work, I hope you’ll find them helpful.

“You’re Matt?”

Last night I counted 17 dreams that happened or attempted to happen, and I know there were many more that I wasn’t lucid for. An interesting thing about being aware of my dreams is that I know how they affect me, i.e., whether they make me happy, sad, whatever. I always wonder if other people can’t remember their dreams, and if that’s where the saying “got out of the wrong side of the bed” comes from, meaning that they had a dream or series of dreams overnight that triggered them in a certain way.

I was about to get out of bed this morning when another dream started, so I let it play out to see what was going to happen. At first I was working with a man and a woman at some company, and we couldn’t figure out how something was supposed to work. Then the woman and I ended up making out in a car outside the building. After that, she and I were goofing around at some sort of amusement park. I was in a swimming pool, holding some sort of swim/water-related device I had just broken, and decided I had had enough of the dream, so I was about to wake myself up.

What do you do for a living?

I went to a local coffee shop and a talkative man behind the counter asked what I do for work. I told him I’m currently writing three books on computer programming, one young adult novel, and a mindfulness app for iOS and Android, in addition to running this website. When you say it out loud it sounds a little crazy, but in the midst of it it’s not a problem, I like bouncing between the projects.