This Is Twittering: Inspiration Edition, Part 4

A few months ago I decided to satirize the cheesy inspirational sayings I see parroted all the time, online and off. But there’s a twist: although I tend toward pessimism on an individual level, I can’t shake the inkling of hope that we, as human beings, can be better. So, while a lot of these “inspirational” sayings are just dumb jokes, some of them are actually meaningful too. That’s why I’m expounding upon them here every day this week, and This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest: Inspiration Edition, Part 4.

The idea that “doing what you love doesn’t feel like work” is stupid. I wonder if this mistaken idea is responsible for some (but certainly not all) of the dissatisfaction people have with their jobs. The truth is, work is work. Doing something, no matter what it is, is harder than doing nothing. That’s not to say that doing something is less enjoyable than doing nothing; it just requires more effort. I have a job where I get to do something I love: writing. But to claim that it’s not work would be ridiculous. For one thing, writing is hard. If you don’t think that’s true, you’re probably not a very good writer (I bet the same sentiment applies to almost anything worth doing). For another thing, I work for clients and often write things that—all things being equal—I’d rather not (not because they’re horrible things, but because they’re just not very exciting or interesting).1

But even if I made a comfortable living writing stupid blog posts like this (which I enjoy quite a lot), it’s guaranteed that it would still be work. Any obligation, no matter how enjoyable, will sooner or later become a hassle. If it didn’t, then it wouldn’t really be an obligation. And if you weren’t obligated to work, then it wouldn’t be a job. If you want to change the saying to “Be an independently wealthy full-time volunteer for something you love (who can and will stop whenever you feel like it) and you’ll never work a day in your life,” I’d be more OK with it.

This one was inspired by the real, really boring dreams I’ve been having. I dream about things like sending work emails, going grocery shopping, and doing laundry. Not only does this have the disadvantage of being boring, but it also makes it confusing when I’m awake. Since there’s nothing “dreamlike” to distinguish my dreams from reality, it takes me a minute to remember whether or not I actually did something in real life or if I just dreamed I did. It’s weird.

Shame is an interesting thing. It implies an outside observer of some kind, whether it’s another person, society, God, or even a sentient animal. But it’s also an inherent thing. We get ashamed even if no one’s around, even if we don’t believe in God. Philosophers and sociologists can argue about whether this is a byproduct of culture, a proof of a higher power, or just plain inaccurate. But I think it’s interesting. In any case, you should learn from your failures, and blah blah blah.

For more information about me thinking everything is going to be OK, please see “I Think Everything Will Be OK”.

This is funny.

This is true.

This is funny and true.2

This is a comic book joke for nerds.

Especially if you’re Stalin. This is a joke about you not being a very good person today.

That concludes this extra-special episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest. Tune in tomorrow for Part 4!

  1. No offense, clients! []
  2. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about curse words and bleeping. I may write about it more in the (relatively) near future. []