Marty Nemko, a career coach, author and radio talk-show host in the San Francisco area, who has very practical career and educational advice that I highly recommend, wrote a very personal article titled “What the Hell is the Meaning of Life”. This article is the third (here is the first) of a seven part series in response to Marty’s question. In this article I’ll address the issue of work, and noble work, from a spiritual perspective.

Marty wrote,

“Then I tried noble work—teaching in the inner-city. But the problems those kids faced were so big, so multi-dimensional, that despite my trying hard, very hard, I felt I wasn’t making much difference.”Later he wrote “I’ve been trying the values route: focusing on what did I most value: work. To that end, I decided to be a career counselor. I believed that helping people find right livelihood would make my life feel meaningful. But now, 18 years and 2,400 clients later, despite a 96 percent client satisfaction rate and the San Francisco Bay Guardian naming me “The Bay Area’s Best Career Coach,” that feels empty too.”

You separately mention noble work and work. Your discussion of “noble” work implies that it’s not work that you truly want to do but rather that your doing because you’re “suppose to” according to society or your family. Obviously this is not the right attitude toward proper work. However your discussion of “regular” work and your accomplishments are from a higher perspective! Work is one of the main places where we’re meant to express goodwill, competence, wisdom and peace. We’re meant to serve humanity and contribute to it’s growth and one of the main ways to do that is through work. You are doing that! You provide great practical advice and guidance for people particularly in the areas of career and education. Your are “shining” as I discuss in my article “The Meaning of Life: Rise and Shine!”

I have to mention your comment about how your services may negatively influence another and, by extension, society since it’s a perfect example of how you’re looking a life from a limited perspective. You wrote,

“Even when a client lands a good job, I too often wonder if my efforts to package my client yielded a net negative to society: some more deserving person, who couldn’t afford a career coach, didn’t get the job.”

From this perspective you “see” how your services may negatively influence another and, by extension, society instead of “seeing” that from a broader perspective that these other people are guided and influenced by their benevolent Higher Self and that what is meant for them will be…maybe the job they would have gotten but for your client with your influence would have been a terrible disaster for them, maybe they’ll find their own “Marty Nemko”…maybe they’ll totally change careers and do something they’ve always really wanted to do…who knows….the point is that they’ll be “OK” in the end.

Next time – is prestige the answer to the meaning of life?

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One Response to “What’s the Meaning of Life? A Response, Part 3”  

  1. 1 What’s the Meaning of Life? A Response, Part 2 at Brendan

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