Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to increase your pay

Why does "getting paid" conjure images of drudgery?  Isn't it true that when we speak of being paid for our work, it is usually attended by feelings of ill-will towards our employer - who doesn't pay enough; or towards the government - who takes too much?  

Somehow, when we count our pay in dollars and cents, it never seems adequate.  The minutes and hours of our lives - items subject in infinite deflation (you can't save them - each minute is useless whether it's spent or not.) are traded for crumpled pieces of paper that cannot compare in value to the stuff of life itself.

Yet, we are instructed from childhood to look forward to our pay - that this is the goal of work, and that if we are lucky and save enough of it, we can some day use it to buy time with which to do what we really want in life.

It is possible that the "pay" for living isn't money.  L. Ron Hubbard said, "The pay is communication, sensation, affinity, reality and communication, understanding, cooperative endeavor, enthusiasm over goals, activity; the feeling one is going someplace and doing something.  These are the only payments that can be make to anyone for living."

By this definition, it becomes clear why volunteers are able to enjoy their work out of proportion with the paid employees who surround them, doing the same function.  It also makes clear how it could be true that people feel better paid for their efforts when they donate the work to accomplish a project which inspires their passion than when they are recompensed financially for their efforts.

Mark Hanses, the St. Louis org Fundraising Chairman, came with me to LA to attend the fundraising convention this weekend.  He wasn't paid to do this; and in fact, he missed many hours of sleep as well as a family function, and used God knows what supreme ability to even arrange the travel, which was impossible to arrange but which "magically" worked out around him.

We spent the time at the conference working out how to complete the St. Louis org building fundraising project, carefully "battle-planning" the next six months.  While this was not easy work, it was necessary - akin to finding the building in the first place, which was done by Mark and his crew of volunteers.

We now have a plan to achieve our goal and have, by virtue of this, given ourselves a lot more work.  But - it is assuredly the only work for which we can expect to receive any pay at all.  

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