Sloppiness and carelessness destroy our
By performing actions crudely, with
little regard for the quality of the outcome, we have
no chance of receiving satisfaction from our tasks.
We also lose peace of mind.
However, when we
work carefully, something extraordinary happens. By
dedicating ourselves to the task at hand-attempting
to do things as well as possible-our minds become
peaceful. The task actually becomes enjoyable as a
sense of productivity sneaks up on us. When it's
over, we feel satisfied in a job well
Conscientiousness, in our every movement,
puts us in harmony with our tasks. This effect is
magnified when we work in the spirit of goodness, in
the spirit of kindness, or find the higher purpose in
In sharp contrast, when we hate every
moment of what we're doing, we could care less. We
think, "Who cares . . . I don't." We fill ourselves with
dislike, wishing it was over. We want to be any place
but here, doing anything but this. The end result is
that we are miserable. We waste part of our lives to
A task takes the same amount of
time whether we enjoy the process, or not. But . . .
the passage of time is also subjective. By hating our
tasks, time slows to a crawl and we sentence
ourselves to prolonged suffering.
putting our whole being into a task, time flies by.
Before we realize it, it's over, time for lunch, or time
to go home. We actually get paid for working fewer
Something else happens, too.
attending to every detail, our awareness improves.
We become more sensitive to the signals we used to
ignore. We aren't just pushing a broom. We feel how
our body reacts to the push of the broom. We find
ways in which we become less tired while sweeping.
We hear the way the broom sounds when it's a good
sweep versus a sweep that misses dirt. We learn
better how to hold the broom; the angle; the
position relative to our body; the swing of our arm.
We become aware of the subtle details, and we
become more alive.
Aliveness is the sensation
that we are fully in the now moment. We sense the
world more vividly. We begin appreciating the colors,
sounds, pressures, tastes, and smells to a high
degree. We become more grateful and appreciative
of everything around us. The result is a strong sense
of well being. It's like the feelings we get from the
glory of a Spring day when new life is bursting forth;
the birds singing; green buds emerging . . . we feel
Although it requires some initial effort, the
conscientious way of working, it's worth the effort.
We actually gain pleasure from the part of our lives
we used to call "work."
Copyright (c) 2005, all rights reserved. Julian
Kalmar can be reached at