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Get Invested. Get to Work

George Grombacher August 25, 2023

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Get Invested. Get to Work

When you think of Labor Day, what do you think of? Do you think about manual labor, or something else? When was the last time you put in a hard day’s work? Do you see value in work, or is it something to be avoided? 

George talks about the importance of cultivating a mind-body connection and how to feel more invested in your life and work.

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Episode Transcript

yeah once famously said, you know, they couldn’t get work on Labor Day. Happy Labor Day. When you think about Labor Day, what do you think of what comes to mind for you. And don’t worry, this isn’t any kind of a history lesson or a lecture about the true meaning of Labor Day, or why it was started or anything like that, or anything like that. What it is, is my take on perhaps a different way to think about it. And perhaps a way that would benefit you should you decide to think about it in the way that I advocate, but I’ll leave that totally up to you. So these days, I don’t know how much labor the average American the average person is actually doing. We’ve made this transition away from laboring with our, with our actual hands or our bodies to being knowledge workers. And that’s, that’s good. And that’s bad. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. But if I’m being honest, when I think labor these days, being a dad of three, I think about giving birth. That’s what I think about more than I think about actual work when I think about labor. And when I think about Labor Day. And before we go any further, thank you to the moms out there. And certainly thank you to my lovely and amazing wife for giving birth and going into labor and doing all that stuff, which is essential to the propagation of our species. So again, thank you, Happy Labor Day to you especially. So when I think about it like that, I almost think about it like a rebirth. I think about Labor Day, when I was a kid, it was the end of summer, we didn’t go back to school till after labor day when I was a kid back in the 40s. As it would be. But I was always excited about going back to school and the first day of school was awesome. It’s kind of downhill after that, now that I’m thinking about it, but you get the idea. And I think that it could be an opportunity for a bit of a rebirth for each one of us, as well. When we do think about Labor Day, there is an absolute dignity in a hard day’s work, honest day’s work. When was the last time you did roll up your sleeves or put on a pair of gloves or work boots, and did something physical with with your body, then when was last time you you built something or created something or help somebody to do it. Maybe you did it Habitat for Humanity built or something like that, where you actually put a hammer onto a nail, or you dug a shovel into the ground and dug a hole or trench or something like that. I know for me, that is some of the most rewarding work that I have ever done is doing habitat builds or working in my yard. And seeing the actual result the direct result of your labor, digging a hole, painting, painting a house, cleaning up something cleaning up a park, cutting the grass, it’s a drag, it’s not the most fun thing in the world to do. But at the end of it that has a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that has very little has very little comparables. So when was the last time you did that, and that’s the reality is that there is real dignity in labor is so important. So the thing about labor is that we have, we’ve moved out of our bodies, this, this transition from actual physical labor to knowledge work has taken us really out of our bodies. And in some ways, that’s a good thing. Because through knowledge, work and innovation, our lives are vastly better than generations ago could have ever even imagined. So in a lot of ways, that’s a really, really positive thing. But it’s also really stolen from us. Because it’s stolen this connection that we have with our actual physical bodies. And I think that for many of us, and this is certainly me, everything I talked about is because it’s something that I’ve struggled with, and what I struggle with something, I try to figure out how to make it better for me in my life. And then when I figure it out, I want to teach it and I want to help other people to to get wherever it is they want to go. But I want other people to benefit from the mistakes and the experiences that I’ve had, fixing a problem or solving a problem, something like that. So I know that it’s very, very easy for us to be detached from our actual physical bodies. And that is a real real shame. It’s important that we be connected mentally and spiritually, but it’s also really, really important that we have a better or a stronger connection. Shouldn’t with our actual physical bodies. And when you look at the state of our physical states, how do you think we’re doing? It’s a rhetorical question because we are sucking it up. We’re stinking the place up. We are. We are, we are sucking pond water, or fucking everything up. Our bodies are a mess. Everybody is overweight, or obese or struggling? I don’t know. I don’t know what the percentage of Americans that could run a mile is. But if it’s not very good, can you run a mile? Can you do 20 Push Ups? Can you do sit ups? Can you do a pull up? These are all things that we ought to be able to do an advocate that you make that part of your rebirth. If you’re currently sitting here and you say, You know what, God when was last time I ran mile or did a push up, or did a pull up or a sit ups. That is something that I advocate that you do. So this knowledge, work and comforts of modern living has, in many ways stolen, our mind body, just our body, our connection to our body and our bodies are, are viewed less as an instrument. A finely tuned instrument that is capable of so many amazing things and more of this is a burden that I’ve got to drag around with me from one place to the next. I’ve got just it’s it’s more of a pain in the neck than it is anything else. I think that we are meant to be both human doings and human beings. This is something I’ve really struggled with. Because I’m a human doing. For sure. I am a human doing. My spirit animal is a beaver. Through a beaver on Broadway in Manhattan, beaver is going to build a dam right there, right there on Broadway. You know why? Because that’s what beavers do. And that’s in a lot of ways. Me. I’m going to do things. And as I’ve thought more about what it means to be a human being starting to make sense to me a little bit more. Having that connection with universe or spirituality, however you want to think about it. It’s just another layer to what our existence really is. So it’s important for us to be both human beings and I think human doings and think that we are very much meant to be both. But it is a waste when we allow our bodies to, for lack of a better term just atrophy and sort of waste away. Of course, it’s not really what they’re doing. They’re just getting bigger and bigger and kind of softer and punchier. Think Walley movie Wally, my kids and I watched that again recently. And it’s pretty good glimpse into the future glimpse into the future if you are more of a dystopian person. But I think that when we allow our bodies to slip, which again, I’m guilty of this, when we allow ourselves to be disconnected, just disconnected from our bodies, I think that we are really wasting our potential. When we feel like we are disengaged in our work, or we’re checked out of our lives. And we’re constantly just trying to mask that discomfort or unpleasantness with booze, with porn, with drugs, with social media with, you know, dopamine, whatever, whatever it is that we’re constantly trying to cover up the missing parts of our lives. I think that that’s evidence that we need to get a little bit more more more engaged. And when we allow ourselves to be disconnected from our minds from our bodies. Not only do I think it’s a shame, I also I think that it’s really pathological. I think it’s a legitimate pathology. I believe that our number one prime directive reason, the driving force that connects human beings is the realization of our potential. What I can be I must be working to get incrementally better working to become the highest and best version of me. Now, I might be a minority there. It might be that I’m just a beaver who is just constantly building new things. And that may not be you at all. You may be listening to be like, What are you talking about? You frickin psycho. That’s not me. I’m just interested in putting my feet up and just taking it easy, very well. Very well. I might try to convince you all otherwise,

I do. I believe that we are here to realize our fullest potential. One of my favorite words, it’s, it’s Arete. And it is a Greek word with no literal English translation. But the closest one is, is virtue. And the closest translation is what I can be I must be. And that’s really what I’m driving at with this prime directive reference for realizing our fullest potential. And Maslow talks a lot about this. We’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but he also refers to mediocrity as a pathology. And I’ve done an enormous amount of writing on this that I will share with you at some point in the future. Anyway, I advocate that you get invested in your mind, your body and your life. And then you get to work doing whatever needs doing. So get invested, and then get to work. Jordan Peterson talks about how meaning is found in responsibility. And I believe that he is right, I believe that meaning is found in doing work of value in service of something that is greater than you. Meaning is finding responsibility, it’s found working hard in service of something that is greater than you something that is meaningful, something that is worthwhile. I think it’s all about picking up something heavy, carrying it, where it needs to go. And then looking around, and finding the next heavy thing, the heaviest thing you can pick up, and then carrying it to where it needs to go. And then repeating this process again. And again. And again. If you’ve ever moved, you look around at the sea of boxes, you’re like, oh my gosh, how in the world? Am I ever gonna get this done? Well, the trick is to pick up the first box, bring it where it needs to go, come back, pick up the next box, bring it where it needs to go. Pick up the next box, bring it to where it needs to go, repeat, repeat, repeat. This is not not a challenging concept. But one that sounds easy, but as hard. Believe me, I’m trying to teach my kids about just being really focused and doing hard work like that. Not necessarily a natural thing, and I get it. So if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re feeling listless, if you’re feeling disenfranchised, or hopeless. I think we’ve all felt that way at some point in our lives. And many of us feel that way now. Even amongst or amidst the greatest time in the history of humanity, where we have every innovation and all the technology is available to do whatever you want to think whatever thoughts you want to create whatever kind of life you want. Yet, so many of us feel that way. We feel pointless, like what’s the point of all this? We feel disengaged, we are disengaged, we’re unhealthy. So what’s missing? I think that it is figuring out what is necessary. Where are the areas of need. In your world that you can touch, super easy to get to get seduced by staring at the biggest problems of our time, which are never ending. We’re still staring at the biggest problems from 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago. And there are new problems coming out all the time. And it is intoxicating. It’s a trap, because there’s very little I can do. Very little I can do about big worldwide problems. But there are a fucking million things right at your fingertips that you can do. Right in your neighborhood. You look around. What? Where has responsibility been advocated? What needs to get done? What can I pick up? What’s the heaviest thing I can pick up in my sphere of influence and the part of my garden that I can reach? Where can I tend to it? Where are the weeds? Where have the weeds grown in my garden that I can tend to that I can pull out and that’s the place to start. Where can you make a difference? What matters? What can I do in service of what matters and then I need to do those things. When you start doing those things, when you start taking personal responsibility when You take ownership, you start doing work, and service of what matters that you’ve identified. Lots of wonderful things are going to happen, you’re going to start to feel that sense of meaning you’re going to start to feel a greater sense of dignity, you’re going to start to feel a deeper connection with the work that you’re doing and the people that you are serving by doing the work that you are doing. And deservedly so. You should start feeling more confident. Getting more in touch with your body, getting more physically active, you will start feeling better, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be healthier. Getting in touch with with with your mind and your thinking being more focused and directed in where you are giving your attention and what you’re spending your time and your energy on will have a virtuous effect and will have a net positive on your overall health. I guarantee it, I promise. And finally, again, we are far better served cleaning up the park by your house than you are posting a hashtag or flag flag. That is God’s honest truth. That is the reality that we all know that to be the reality and the truth. Happy Labor Day. Do your part. Doing your best

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