All Adam's Fault
By Dan Miller
CBN.com – We are now in the second half of this year. It seems 2008 is flying by. But I trust that this year is bringing you success in many ways – in your family, in your friendships, in your personal development, in your finances, and in your work. Our lives are much like vacant fields; what we plant comes back in abundance. Make sure you’re planting the seeds of what you want to see returned.
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" The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both."—James Michener
Are You Making Money?
This morning I read in one of my business magazines that it costs the government 1.67 cents to make a penny. Somehow that struck me as totally absurd. How could they possibly justify making pennies when each one costs them 1.67 cents? Now, you and I are not the U.S. government. We have to make our businesses make sense. We can’t just tax our customers more to cover our mistakes and inefficiencies.
(I might add here that even if you are an “employee,” you are in business for yourself. You must provide a valuable service for your employer or you will not continue to be paid. If it costs your employer to have you around, he should release you to go bring value somewhere else.)
Another way to “make” money is to use sophisticated copy machines to reproduce counterfeit money. Of course, that’s illegal and will land you in prison.
Actually, we don’t “make” money – we “earn” money. When you hold a dollar bill in your hand, you should see it as a certificate of achievement. You provided a service or product that someone valued more than that dollar. There is nothing shameful about it. You had to serve someone to receive that dollar.
So it appears there are numerous ways to get money:
- You can make money the way the government does – going in the hole on each penny you make. Or just take it from someone who has gotten it honestly.
- You can make counterfeit money – and risk going to jail.
- You can beg for money or expect luck to bring it your way – expecting free money from the government, the lottery, good fortune, or the charity of those who earned it.
- Or you can earn your money by providing a valuable product or service to someone else.
Governments and churches re-distribute wealth; they don’t create it. Giving people money they did not earn only destroys their self-esteem and leads them to an unhealthy dependency. The only real win-win solution is to teach people how to earn money. Earning money creates wealth for all involved. Earning money is a privilege – and in the process, we have obviously provided a service for a boss, customer, or client.
Don’t try to “make” money. Just be clear on your unique value and people will gladly give you their money. If you understand this principle, you will understand that wanting wealth is not greed – it’s looking for more ways to be of service to those around you.
Want to comment?
The 'Curse' of Work
I get lots and lots of questions and comments each week. And, yes, I try to write in ways that prompt your thinking – and challenge some old traditional beliefs that may not actually be true. We frequently establish our beliefs because of tradition and repetition – even if they are not true.
One self-defeating belief I see repeatedly is that I can remove responsibility for my miserable life by blaming Adam. God punished Adam by making him work. Thus, work for me now is a curse – a bitter pill – something to be endured but not enjoyed.
Here’s a crystal clear description from a reader this week:
“I am a 48-year-old career changer who has fallen flat on his face financially after leaving my first career as a CAD operator to pursue my passion of teaching Bible. I've invested too much into getting a master's degree to turn back, so I feel like vocationally I'm back at square one, just starting out. I've come to see that seeking after our "dream job" more often than not leads to disappointment and despair – especially as we age and feel we are running out of time. We should rather learn to recognize the value in what we are already doing, and find our contentment in being good at it. Remember, work is part of the curse incurred by Adam's sin – we are not promised fulfillment in it. God blesses each of us as He sees fit – some with great marriages, for instance, others with good health, and still others with rewarding careers. Though we make our plans, ultimately it is He who directs our steps and determines our path.”
Okay, so why try? We are cursed because of Adam’s sin. God doesn’t promise us fulfillment in our work. Some enjoy it, some don’t. It’s all a matter of chance. Suck it up and accept your lot in life.
If I believed that I would close the doors of my business today. Everything I teach and speak about promotes that work is a gift from God. We have the privilege of integrating our God-given calling into fulfilling, purposeful, and profitable work. If you’re not experiencing that kind of work, don’t blame God. We are not little robots that God delights in seeing miserable. I believe it grieves Him to see us put up with work that does nothing but extract a paycheck. Seeking after our “dream job” does not lead to “disappointment and despair” unless we were wishing and dreaming rather than creating a clear plan.
In Genesis 1 we read that God placed man in the garden to “tend and keep it.” This was before any sin. In Isaiah 65 we are told that in heaven we will have work assignments and will “fully enjoy the work of our hands.” The Bible is full of teachings regarding the benefits of work that matters. Settling for less than enjoyable work is a cop-out; not a mature acceptance of some imagined punishment.
Let your comments rip.
48 Days Radio
Each week I create a new online radio podcast—that you can hear in iTunes or at the 48 Days Online Radio Show .
Check out the last question here. It’s a great question for all of us. I trust I was honest in my response.
1. What kind of entrepreneurial choices are available for someone whose personality is that of a follower instead of a leader? I'm the type of person who enjoys working in the background and letting others manage and network with customers.
2. I have a passion for helping people work through addiction recovery. I want to write a daily devotional to help encourage them. Even better: make an audio recording they could download and listen to whenever they chose. I'm trying to get out of my day job. Do you think this idea can work?
3. Dan, I am an extremely introverted person. I have been very successful in sales for almost 20 years but have been miserable the whole time. I come home to my family but just want to be left alone because I am so drained at the end of the day. I love doing research and collecting motivational and Christian quotes but don't know how to convert this into a career, particularly one that will replace my current salary ($100K/yr). Thank you!
4. Dear Dan, could you recommend a few books on marketing that would be applicable to churches? I am currently the full-time minister for a small congregation, but I see myself moving on to another congregation in the next couple of years and I would like to position myself as a church marketing expert. Any suggestions would be helpful.
5. Dan, I was contacted by a recruiter who scheduled a face to face interview regarding a job opportunity. While at the meeting, I was told, "You need to take this crap off your resume," referring to the six years I was a stay-at-home mom. In it I outlined my volunteer efforts as a church secretary, co-youth director, and PTA helper. I was offended, since I consider the time I took off to raise my kids as the most rewarding job I've ever had. I just wanted to know what your thoughts were on this, and please, offer any help you can give to women (or men) who may be up against the same hurdle.
6. I'm 44, in a job I loathe (for 20 years). I don't really know if I have a passion for anything anymore. I've lost myself through the years. How can I find what my gifts are and find my passion to work for myself?
7. If you only had 7 days to live who would you call? What would you do? Why?
If you have a question, just click on the 48 Days Online Radio link below and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life.
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Find Work You Love
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the Computerized Personality Report. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!
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Humor: Thought I Was Doing My Job
A man got a job as a night watchman at a factory. There had been a lot of thefts by the workers on the night shift, and so every morning when the night shift workers passed through his gate, it was his job to check their bags and pockets to make sure that nothing was being stolen.
Things were going along very well the first night on the job until a man pushing a wheelbarrow of newspaper came through his gate. Aha! he thought. That man thinks he can cover up what he is stealing with that newspaper. So he removed the paper only to find nothing. Still he felt that the man was acting strangely, so he questioned him about the paper. "I get a little extra money from newspapers I recycle, so I go into the lunchroom and pick up all the ones people have thrown away."
The guard let him pass, but decided to keep a close eye on him. The next night it was the same, and the night after that. Week after week it went on. The same guy would push the wheelbarrow of newspapers past the guard's checkpoint. The guard would always check and find nothing.
Then one night, about a year later, the guard reported for work only to find a message had been left for him telling him to report to his supervisor. He walked into the supervisor's office and before he could say a word, the boss said, "You're fired!"
"Fired?" he asked in total surprise. Why? What did I do?"
"It was your job to make sure that no one stole anything from this plant and you have failed. So you're fired."
"Wait a minute. What do you mean failed? Nobody ever stole anything from this place while I was on guard."
"Oh, really," the boss answered. "Then how do you account for the fact that there are 365 wheelbarrows missing?"
Dan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at www.48days.com.
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