one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hire life-a-holics

I feel like I'm in a time-warp, since before SXSW I was really busy, then got busier during SXSW, then got really sick, and I'm only now reading through Jason and C.K. and Duncan's round-robin regarding "workaholics." I remember hearing about it, but didn't have the bandwidth to read up on everything. I had an opinion at the time, but given certain issues in my own life lately, plus some of the comments made around the issue at hand, now's the time for me to chime in...

Basically, if you hire lifeaholics, you'll be fine. I noticed one commenter suggested the book "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Mihaly talks a lot about this, of course (I'm just now finishing this book). But the bottom line is pretty much a cliche: "if you love what you do, you don't call it work." Workaholics have no balance, no flow, no real life because they drudge through the bullshit because the bullshit is in and unto itself what they are fighting for and against. Sad.

Lifeaholics, on the other hand, embrace what they do and who they are. They strive for balance and they achieve flow in their work because the LOVE it and wouldn't want to do something else. I only worked for Jason for a brief period, but having seen plenty of bloggers come and go will tell you: this is the secret. Lifeaholics don't say stupid shit like "I don't have time for that" when they are really saying "I'd rather piss around on Myspace for a few hours instead of following up on stuff that matters."

I'm not sure one can teach this level of passion. I think you either have the hustle or you don't. I think many of us (myself included) can use a re-awakening of this passion, and events like SXSW certainly help. But ultimately you're getting people who either love the game, or hate to even watch. I have no patience for the latter and nothing but admiration for the former.

The tech industry is blessed with lifeaholics who start companies and lead the charge publicly, but cursed with a bunch of lazy ne'er-do-wells to man the IT departments of every Fortune 500 company. I've been fortunate enough to befriend a number of lifeaholics, and hope to count myself in their ranks. Where things bog down is when we have to interface with the workaholics, their dour attitudes and smug complacency that merely stinks of the meeting rooms and make the rest of us look at work as drudgery.

But I've said enough already, you get the point. Back to life!

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