The Monotony of Life and Work – Lessons from Zen, Kung-Fu Flicks, and Juggling Cantaloupes.

A Zen proverb goes, “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”

The idea being, as I understand it, that despite achieving a certain goal (happiness, spiritual fulfillment, income level, or whatever) you will always beholden to life’s daily tasks at some level. It is just the nature of life as a human.

I know I’ve been seduced by the bumper sticker phrase, “If it’s not fun, then why do it?” This seems like sound advice, but it misses the mark some.

Our modern day quest to eliminate discomfort may be our downfall. We’ve mostly become a race of sniveling slugs that don’t want to do anything that we perceive as hard or unpleasant (guilty!).

What does the word “work” mean to you? What mind-set do you bring to your job, your chores, and your responsibilities?

The real answer does not lie (necessarily) in chasing fun and comfort, but developing the correct attitude. Instead of figuring out how to make things easier, figure out how to be the ultimate badass of all the little things in life that “you have to do.”

Hate to do the laundry?


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or the updated (but not nearly as impressive) version…


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Bored with Cooking?


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Dreading going grocery shopping?


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How do you deal with the monotony of life and work? Please leave your comments and questions below!

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Photo by kurtz433

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6 Responses to “The Monotony of Life and Work – Lessons from Zen, Kung-Fu Flicks, and Juggling Cantaloupes.”

  1. Maria says:

    Haha, I love the laundry picture!

  2. Nancy Wilson says:

    I wish I could do my grocery shopping with the same finesse as the woman in the video!

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