Inquiry :: Being Paid

I have noticed a tendency to enjoy an activity far more when I don’t get paid than when I do. Here is one exploration into it.

Once I get paid, I have to make them happy.

  1. Yes (If I don’t inquire into it, then that is the sense that is there).
  2. No (I don’t know that is true. I don’t know if they expect to be happy, or what would make them happy, or even how to tell if they are happy or not. Their happiness is their business. What I am paid for is different, it is a particular task independent of anyone’s happiness.)
  3. Discomfort, since I am doing it for someone’s elses happiness, and don’t know what would make them happy. The task in front of me may or may not make them happy, but I don’t know. Dread, for the same reason – I am doing it for someone elses happiness. My communication with that person deteriorates, is not as open or frequent as could be. I put off doing the task if I can.
  4. I would be free to enjoy doing it, for my own sake. I would find passion for it again.
  5. (a) Once I get paid, I don’t have to make them happy. (Yes, that is true. I am paid to do a particular – usually well defined – task. Not to make anyone else happy.)

    (b) >> Once I get paid, I have to make myself happy. (Yes, this is far more true than the initial statement. I have to make myself happy, that is my main task. Even before doing anything else, I can sit down and find a way to make myself happy with the task.)

In Breema, they have two guidelines which I find very liberating:

  1. Do it for yourself. When I give a Breema sequence, I do it for myself. There is only one person’s experience I can take responsibility for, and that is my own.

    This ensures that at least one of us gets something out of it (!). It also gives space for the recipient to have his or her own experience, and for whatever happens to unfold on its own.

  2. Open communication. If the recipient find anything uncomfortable, they speak up and let the giver know. This allows the giver to trust that if they need to know anything, the recipient will speak up. Again, I take responsibility for my own experience and my own comfort, and don’t have to try to guess their experience – which I can’t anyway.

When I went through this inquiry last night, in our small Byron Katie group, I brought up these two Breema guidelines, and someone asked me how would it look if you applied those to your paid work? (Another take on question number 4)

I would do it for my own enjoyment, find my passion for it again. I would take time right away, before doing anything else, to see how I can do it in a way that is enjoyable for myself. In a way that is rewarding and meaningful, and still gets the task done. And I would make sure there is open and frequent communication so there is a good feedback loop established, allowing me to adjust how I do the task as we go along.

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