Chapter 4

Work Wisdom

TAKE THIS JOB AND LOVE IT

FROM SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE

TEACHERS EXTRAORDINAIRE

KEEPING UP AND KEEPING ON

WISE WORK ADVICE

As many of our centenarians were being born, President Theodore Roosevelt robustly contended that no person in America ever needed to be pitied because “far and away, the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Unless you happen to be born with a silver, gold, or platinum spoon in your mouth, you will spend close to half of your waking hours for a large part of your adult life working at something. There is a proliferation of work/job satisfaction surveys conducted by numerous educational, governmental, and research organizations annually, and the results vary as much as the estimates on exact population numbers of centenarians in our country. Some show that over 80 percent of Americans hate their jobs, while others indicate that the vast majority of Americans love what they do. Go figure.

As most of our centenarians described their work, it reminded us of the story about three different stonemasons performing their craft. When a young boy stopped by the first stone worker and asked what he was doing, the stonemason frustratingly exclaimed, “I’m trying to cut this stone and it’s breaking my back.” The boy quickly moved on and passed by another worker who did not appear to be so languished and asked the same question. The second stone mason replied, “I’m shaping this stone for a large building.” ...

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