Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free - part 2

I said yesterday that we'd do a little dreaming on potential PHUL jobs.

Dreams aren't always linear so follow me on this tangent, it's a bit long... Life sometimes seems to be broken in to 3 main sections, often we in the United States try to break them into 8 hour chucks each day:

1.) Sleep
2.) Work
3.) Play

Ok, I know some (many?) readers may throw a fit "I work 18 hours a day, and sleep 2 hours a night", right, but hopefully that's not the long-term goal. Humor me.

When I was younger I decided I wanted to maximize #3, play. Dropping out of school to eliminate "work" didn't seem too bright, so, when I was in middle school I started reading up on sleep and seeing if it was really needed. Theory turned to practice and in High School I was sleeping less and less thinking maybe every hour of sleep I could eliminate I could devote anew to play. I'm slow to learn my lessons and before long I was beginning a somnambulic journey through college. Eventually I found out this model just doesn't work. Those 22 hours awake on two hours sleep just aren't quite the quality regardless of quantity.

It was time for a new approach, what if work just went away? I've actually always enjoyed working on problems (though oddly, not puzzles. Problems seemed like a game dressed up as work, while puzzles were work dressed up as a game). The solution came rather quickly though, as you may have just learned parenthetically. I was reading or listening to an article on achieving goals/wealth/happiness, and the narrator said: "I love what I do, If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free." I had my new definition of success, and one that turned work into play. What if what you did, full time, was exactly the same thing you'd do if you didn't have to work at all? Or if someone gave you $10 Million how would you spend your day? Could you turn that activity into your job somehow? Suddenly we had:

1.) Sleep (8 hours)
2.) Play (16 hours)

For me, if someone were to give me $10 Million today, I'd probably do almost exactly what it is I'm doing now during the "work day" (running PHUL), though perhaps the rest of my play might be a little better funded than it currently is... We're close though.

I've found that for whatever project I want to do, PHUL is the vehicle through which it is easiest to make it happen. Thanks to the "PHUL Machine" (shown below), things just... kinda work out:

If you were to ask me the purpose or goal of my life it is: "To inspire others to follow their passions and dreams; to enable them to lead wealthy and deeply fulfilling lives."

But the purpose of this post isn't to teach about meeting your goals or living your dream life (if you want that join the PHUL Leadership Council, now that the PHUL Board is done, or let's have lunch if you've "graduated PHUL"). More practically what I do is split time between my real estate business (slumlord) and PHUL. The former hopefully will pay the bills down the line so that I can continue the freedom of working on PHUL without worrying about having to make 100% of my money through PHUL. While I believe the league can pay people enough, I don't think it's the quickest method to make anyone rich - it's just the best way I've found to live the way you would if you were rich.

Working for PHUL full time is a little odd, and freaking awesome, musically analogous to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-FC3DLKwc (Do me a favor, shift-click and crank it so your neighbors can hear it, music is a wonderful thing)

Ronald Jenkees (from the above clip) is an example of the idea of turning your hobby or your passion into your work. As he tells his listeners: "Keep playing stuff, keep playing even simple stuff. You can have a whole lot of fun just jamming out Mary Had a Little Lamb, K? So keep going." When you love what you do you want to share it with others and let them have similar experiences with what they are passionate about.

If you have a hobby that you'd like to turn in to a PHUL job, what would it be?

Even if you don't post or answer, give yourself a little time to sit back relax and dream about what you'd do today if today was your birthday and you could do whatever you wanted. Knowing that is a great first step to finding out where you want to end up down the line.


Sean said...

I can gladly say that while I would (as you would likely to) change some things about my job to make it a little easier and/or in my control, I am confortably in a similar place. Its a good place to be. I wanted to ask if you could link me to the article you mentioned listening to where the narrator said I love what I do, If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free."

Thanks Darren. Keep up your great work, you inspire outside of PHUL as well.


Anonymous said...

Gee Darren, I was going to write that check out today and now I'm reading this and realizing....

Just kidding.

It wasn't long ago that Ultimate players dreamed of having a "job" in Ultimate so they could spend all their time on it. Jimmy P once pointed out how great that would be. Many of us do anyway without getting paid (umm, me a bunch of the time I hate to admit it), there's just something compelling about it, not sure I can explain it though.

Darren Shultz said...

Thanks for the compliment Sean. I will look for the article for you.

Henry I agree. I think some of what may draw organizers to the sport, or draws out the organizer in people is the relative newness of the sport, how much discovery occurs for new players and how tightly knit the culture is for Ultimate players. Most leagues across the US/Canada/Europe are less than 1000 players, I wonder how that culture will change as the sport grows and "ages".