What work will never give you


“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” Blaise Pascal

Do you ever read a story so compelling you mull over every word repeatedly?

Sometimes the words are beautifully crafted (Pride & Prejudice anyone?) or surprisingly touching (The Book Thief comes to mind).  But, sometimes words are memorable because they are raw, unfiltered, and honest.  Such is the combination of words from Linds Redding's blog.

I can't stop reading.

An art Director for Saatchi & Saatchi in New Zealand, Linds died in 2012 of esophageal cancer.  During his battle with cancer, Linds wrote a blog post about life balance, though he never used the phrase (full article here - the language is raw).  Instead, Linds writes about dealing with truthmarriage, and the outcome of living a life devoted to work.

His words are sad and sobering.

After six months away from the office Linds reflects:

My old life looks, and feels, very different from the outside. And here’s the thing. It turns out I didn’t actually like my old life nearly as much as I thought I did.

He asks questions:

Countless late nights and weekends, holidays, birthdays, school recitals and anniversary dinners were willingly sacrificed at the altar of some intangible but infinitely worthy higher cause. It would all be worth it in the long run…

So was it worth it?

Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising. There was no higher calling. No ultimate prize.

And, in the end, he offers sage advice with the authority of a dying man:

As a life, it all seemed like such a good idea at the time. But I’m not really sure it passes The Overnight Test.


Oh. And if you're reading this while sitting in some darkened studio or edit suite agonizing over whether housewife A should pick up the soap powder with her left hand or her right, do yourself a favour. Power down. Lock up and go home and kiss your wife and kids.

Newsflash: No matter how successful you are at work, you will never be fully and finally satisfied by what you accomplish there. Linds sounds surprised that he fell for "the con."

Work is always urgent, but never the most important.  More than anything, I want to be the person who will always hurry home.