Vocation and lifestyle manifesto

This is my vision for my job and lifestyle, as of January 2014. Additional comments from August 2015 appear in italics. These represent ideals to aspire towards, not goals to arrive at.

A. Vocation

A1. I will develop a livelihood(s) that maximize the monetary return for hour spent, with a target of $40 an hour. $40 an hour is a bit ambitious at the moment, but it’s a figure I’m keeping in mind.

A2. These livelihoods will make useful things, tangible and intangible. Secondarily, I  will counsel or teach. The primary focus is on producing things for customers (e.g. reports, analysis, homes, handicrafts). Otherwise, I will prefer providing those services for which I can bill by the hour. Being paid for concrete and relatively short-term results makes the economic relationship more transparent.

A3. My livelihoods will be for the purpose of creating beauty, but also for my own fascination. The activities should ideally be intrinsically enjoyable. It’s more virtuous to do something that makes me happy than it is to have a miserable job helping other people. Fortunately, some jobs helping other people can be intrinsically enjoyable. And anything that I give my entire passion and being to is a help.

A4. I will develop multiple income streams. They will be independent of each other and provide redundancy. I will not be economically dependent on any one thing or source.

A5. I will be able to change the relative emphasis of each income stream from time to time.

A6. If more than half of my income is from a single employer or client, the work for that employer will be in a recognized and highly valuable trade so that I can quit that relationship and find a similar arrangement elsewhere with relatively little effort. Having a professional transferrable skill that is easy to describe means not being stuck. Being stuck is a burden to me, but also to my employer(s) or client(s).

A7. My economic success will not be reliant on work rules, a union contract, tenure, habit, or the quirks of a single employer. My economic success will be ensured by being useful, liking the work I can do, and my flexibility. Furthermore, my success will be secured by having several skills or trades that are in high demand everywhere.

A8. I will leave any job or quit any contract if there is doubt that I am the best person available to do the work. If an employer or client thinks they/s/he could find a someone to do the work better, I’m not going to argue with them!

B. Lifestyle

B1. I will live in the city, or will live in a rural community. Suburbs are evil, and living in them is an unjust act that tends to increase residential segregation and ecological impact.

B2. Unless I take an overnight trip, rarely will I have occasion to go more than six miles from my residence. A good rule of thumb is eight hours a week outside of six miles. I will live near where I work and play.

B3. Most of the time, I will use a bike, public transit, or walking to get where I need to go. Hasn’t happened yet.

B4. My choices about where I live and where I shop will be concrete testimony to my commitment to a pluralistic society. I will live where it is cheap and convenient to my other goals, without regards to the class or race of my neighbors. I will know my neighbors.

B5. I will prioritize free time and enjoyment over accumulating riches or fine things. I will live more and own less. It’s not how much I work or earn, but how much I keep and how much I enjoy myself.

B6. I will reduce my ecological footprint by buying as few new manufactured goods as possible.

B7. I will not reproduce. We don’t need any more people, and I am not fit to parent.

B8. I will value all variety of close relationships with other people, especially friendship, without regard to whether romantic or sexual entanglements are possible within these relationships.


C. Leisure/Fitness

C1. I will be unusually physically strong and capable for a man of my age in this society A body and a life are precious, and should be preserved
C2. I will take time to reflect in writing on my experience on a regular basis

C3. I will nurture special relationship I have with dance and dancing

C4. I will value the important tasks that I do in creating beauty in the world for which I do not receive payment as highly as the things I do for money

D. Spirituality

D1. I will learn and practice spiritual skills for the cultivation of gratitude.

D2. I will live with the assumption that other people are good, worthy, and holy