WORK, SATISFACTION AND SUCCESS

Here’s something: “Success has become synonymous with financial wealth, influence and status. But can we define success in another way — one that welcomes a broader range of accomplishment? It may not be as obvious as you think.”
So reads an online introduction to the subject of success, and how it is defined in different societies.
Ted Radio Hour is an interesting one-hour program “about arts and life… ideas, inventions, new ways of thinking and creating… heard weekends (Saturdays at 12 noon, repeated on Sunday) on CJAD radio. The narrator’s name is Ted Raz, the subjects numerous, varied, and always interesting.
Listening to the program last Sunday, one of the subjects discussed was success, or better stated, finding personal success doing what one is passionate about in the process of making a decent living.
Truth be told, in this day and age most people have a knack for something, but for various reasons many are forced to forego personal passion and focus on the more immediate and practical, making a living for example. Problem is, among that many is a significant number who are making a good salary, are successful, enjoy elevated social status; ball that notwithstanding, they’re not deriving an almost priceless intangible, which would complete their (almost) perfect lives: personal job satisfaction.
Plainly put, they can’t stand their job, and in some cases can’t stand some of the pretentious people who inhabit the circles and enjoy the social privileges that their success and ‘elevated’ stations in life afford.
Thing is, defining (or definitions of) success is subjective and personal, means different things to different people, means nothing to many people who just go about their daily lives doing the jobs they managed to land and have come to love. Especially because it puts bread, meat, butter and milk… on the family table. In the process they were able to raise and feed their families, as well as live and enjoyed a certain and happy quality of life.
There’s one definition of success right there. Which suggests that the notion of success is relative. It is… can be measured in various ways. It’s all about what one chooses to extract from life and living…
The subject that caught my ear on that Ted Radio Hour episode was the man who was doing a job only a few could stomach. He wasn’t doing it because it was the only thing he could do, or because he was unable to find something else… better, but because it’s something he enjoys doing.
Call it his dream job.
Which reminds me of a certain well-known gentleman who has been plying his trade as a plumber for decades. The hell with all that “higher education stuff;” that man found his calling early. In addition to working in and around the city, he regularly travels around Quebec fulfilling contractual obligations for individuals and businesses alike.
Aside from using occasional help (I imagine depending on how big the job is) that man, an exceptional and highly recommended tradesman, works alone. And I’ve never heard anyone complain about the quality of his work.
He carved out his niche early in life, is passionate about his profession and is damn good at what he does. Did I mention he’s happy and makes a lot of money plumbing?
I call that gentleman’s line of business “rough hand work.” I never asked him where he learned his trade, but I bet, being old school, he would say he watched and learned, and has never been to a trade school. Which many people are opting for these days as they see the bigger picture, that “soft hand” work cannot compare to hands-on work. That’s becoming increasingly evident as more and more jobs in various fields are usurped by technological advancements.
Success and happiness in the 21st century, like hand and glove. Most people live in international metropolis, where all that matters is how we live, and how we’re individually and socially defined by what we do for a living.
Not everyone wants to be a social butterfly.
Many people who continue to become disenchanted with their jobs, for various reasons, are reconsidering their current line of work, job dissatisfaction and whatnot, and are looking for new and fulfilling careers. I continue to read of some who have started new careers, especially in the trades, increasingly viewed as viable options.
First and foremost it’s about happiness at work and personal job satisfaction… They’re tapping into their innate skills, not what they’ve been trained to do. It’s about seeking personal happiness… and success. The hell with [public] perception, expectations, class, social status…
That gentleman, the septic tank cleaner, didn’t (or refused to live up to social scriptures, or to be defined by others’ social norms) allow himself to be defined by his line of work.
Jut like that psycho therapist/psychologist… Call it individual job satisfaction on individuals’ terms.
So why did that gentleman choose to become a septic tank cleaner, a job most people would stay far away from, or wouldn’t do for an annual salary of a million dollars?
Something about not buying into status, class and job snobbery, social isolation and alienation among other dubious and accepted social norms…
Or as Ted Raz states, about “defining (one’s) success,” based on one’s type of employment.
You see, that septic tank cleaner, who previously worked as a psychotherapist. He said he was “tired of dealing with other peoples’ crap.”
The upshot is that he’s now dealing with crap on his own terms. Apparently he too is making a lot of money. He’s self-employed, and happy.
He bought himself a home (cash) on a hill in some exclusive suburban community, and also owns another in the country.
I’m not paid to promote the Ted Radio Hour, but I do recommend that if you haven’t been completely absorbed in the preponderance of television programs bombarding us daily, one seating in front of the TV will quickly take control of your mind (if you allow it to), with images (blatant and subtle) of what success looks like and what we all should be aspiring to
Incidentally, reading that free daily métro newspaper yesterday, an article, Les métiers qui rendent heureux, caught my eye. It was about jobs that “make people happy,” graded 1 to 10 on the happiness scale.
The information was lifted from something called The World Happiness Report 2017, which analyzed the state of job happiness and satisfaction of people in 155 countries.
According to the article, “The happiest workers in the world are managers, who rated their happiness at 6,5…”
Not surprisingly, the article continues, “Among the regions studied, North America, Australia and New Orleans have the largest number of happy workers. At the bottom of the list are Africa and the Middle East…”
Wonder if they spoke to the septic tank cleaner to measure his level of happiness and success.