I have a friend who works in an office. One day the AC was not working as well as he liked. instead of 70 degrees, it was up to 73 degrees. He called and said it was stifling hot, he just could not stay in that "sweatbox" and he invited me to go play golf.

Outside, the temperature was 88 degrees. Though there was a breeze, it was really hot. Much hotter than the office. Yet he enjoyed golfing and paid a lot of money for the Golf Club, equipment and greens fees.

Why did he enjoy playing golf more than working?

A man who works for me as a laborer loves video games. He will spend a day's pay to pay for less than two hours playing at video games a a facility, and put a LOT of effort into playing.

I shoot skeet and Sporting Clays. Clay pigeons. It was mid day. Hot. Carrying a heavy shotgun and a vest full of shotgun shells. Hearing protecting ear muffs causing our ears to sweat. We paid a lot of money for the shotguns, the shotgun shells as well as the fees for the course. I was tired and thought to myself, WHY am I doing this? and What would someone have to pay me to go through this much effort? It would be a high dollar amount! Yet I was here, having "fun" and paying for the "privilege" to be hot, sweaty and tired"

Spiritually there seem to be more JOY in playing than in working. What do you suppose are the underlying reasons for this?

EDITED April 30, 2012

Doing what you love is important!

Excellent book I read many years ago http://www.amazon.com/What-Love-Money-Will-Follow/dp/0440501601

There was a man who worked for us that was truly exceptional at his work, yet he complained constantly. He said that he hated the work, but HAD to work to support his family. He was not working for joy, but to avoid the pain of having his family "do without"!

Though part of the same double sided coin, we seek pleasure and avoid pain. Not the same thing, but related. So what factors make a job fun?

But there seems a difference in work and play that goes beyond reframing work as fun. Enjoying your work with a passion, as a positive addiction.

I think that being self-employed is different than having a job. In a job, you are usually told what to do by someone else. If you do a good job, hopefully you will be better paid and/or have a longer employment.

Let's take a look at the difference bewteen a job and a game. I am still mentally chewing on this and value your input. I do believe this is on topic for IQ, because I believe there is a spiritual basis for anything that gives us pleasure.

asked 29 Apr '12, 08:53

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

edited 30 Apr '12, 08:56

It's all to do with inner experiences ... when you do something you love doing, what you really care about are the feelings you experience ... for example when reading a great book, the words that you read act as a trigger, an "on switch" for the feelings you really want to experience ... the labourer who loves video games surely mentally creates video games in his head whilst mundanely working ... take away the feelings and all the fun and pleasure evaporates

(08 Jun '15, 02:04) jaz
showing 0 of 1 show 1 more comments

@Dollar Bill, in my opinion, the underlying reason is fulfillment. We usually do a job that does not fulfill us in some or even all ways. Be it spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically. Only financially. And while money can buy you food, it cannot feed your soul. Unless of course your reality is such that possession of money does make you happy.

Fulfillment is the reason I rather read question on IQ and dwell in deep thoughts or read a book instead of reading my work mails when at work. Fulfillment makes me sit on a meadow with a bottle of wine and smile as I oversee the scenery in front of me and ponder of how wonderful world it really is.


answered 30 Apr '12, 03:38

CalonLan's gravatar image


edited 30 Apr '12, 03:58

ursixx's gravatar image


Work is a label and a belief. If your doing what you like it is not work. If you place the label "work" on an activity and work is something you think is "hard" it becomes the that.Your free time actives you do not associate with the toil of "working" .You are doing something you love.
I don't work anymore. I do go to a place and they pay me to be there. So I love my job.I use the word work to describe where I am going, but it doesn't have the same incantations anymore.


answered 30 Apr '12, 03:28

ursixx's gravatar image


If only we could get paid for playing!

The ideal situation is that our work IS our play. But few of us have that luxury! I found great satisfaction in being a stay-at-home Mom, and enjoyed every minute, despite the mountains of dishes, laundry, housework, etc.etc. I had to stay at home (I thought) because I had four gifted kids who needed me to be there. They ran circles around any babysitters I hired. My ex-husband traveled for a living, and I decided that since he was gone, I had to be home for my kids. I was fortunate. At that time, the grind was hard, but the rewards were great.

Looking back, I see that I gave too much to my kids. My health collapsed in 1993- I was exhausted and burned-out. It has never been the same since. I very nearly worked myself to death. I started to stretch my wings, despite the wheelchair and the operations and all that. I took classes in Art and Piano. I slowly discovered that I was worth something, and deserved to have a life apart from my family.

So here I am, going to college now that the kids are all grown. They hardly call me or even care about me (except for my youngest). I am hoping to get my degree and do something better with my life; in other words, please myself.

If I could do anything I wanted, I would play the Piano and create art all the time. But that does not pay too hot! (I am no genius at either thing!)

Play is play. But a lucky few find their happiness in getting paid to play. What a wonderful gift that is for some people.

Spiritually, I know I did the right thing in being home with my kids. I was never so connected to God as during that time. I spent a lot of time praying and meditating, which was a bonus to my "job". Maybe that was the reason I did it. Now, God has called me to follow Him more directly, and I hope and pray that working for God will feel like play.




answered 30 Apr '12, 07:12

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 30 Apr '12, 09:46

as mentioned by Jai, we
usually get paid for work
then there are commitments
and expectations of the boss

play is more spontaneous,
without commitements nor
watching a clock
like back to childhood


answered 30 Apr '12, 11:50

fred's gravatar image


I think the feedback in games is so much more powerful than the feedback we get from a job. My friend plays golf, he can measure his score against previous scores and others. He has a number positive or negative. The way the score accumulates during the game gives him instant feedback and he can adjust stance, different clubs, depending on how he is scoring.

How do you know your score in a job? Once a year reviews? You don't get fired? You get a raise?

In games, the rules are much more clear-cut than a job. How can you tell if you have pleased the boss, hour by hour, at the end of the day? The rules may appear to change according to how the boss, and coworkers feel.

Maybe, in our shifting rules and standards society we have a hard time knowing how to score.

Maybe this is why teenage gangs can appeal. There are rules that everyone obeys. There is swift feedback for violations, with few exceptions. There are rewards for obedience to the rules. When everyone is treated similarly a greater sense of team and comradeship happens.


answered 01 May '12, 08:33

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

I have noticed that people are not usually matched up with the right 'job' for them. For example within a school, the teachers who love math and are good at it should be teaching math. However, that is often not the case. The math peron ends up teaching Language Arts or something and doesn't have the same spark or energy for it. The result is that the spark doesn't get passed on in the 'work' and the results are not as good as if the math person was teaching math. When people can get paid to do what they are passionate about, the passion carries over into the work and the results and others around them, etc...

Another factor is that many people don't like to be told what to do. They might love making cakes, but as soon as someone else starts telling them what to do, it becomes work instead of play. Maybe they were already planning on putting purple flowers on the cake, but as soon as the Boss tells them to, it isn't as fun any more.

Also the constraints of time and doing what you want when you want. People are happier if they can do what they want when they want. Maybe they love the work they do, but don't like being 'tied down'. If someone is stuck inside four walls when they want to be outside, they can find anything wrong with the environment because they don't want to be there. Even the most comfortable bed can become uncomfortable if you are not in need of a rest. You want to be somewhere else, so the bed becomes hard or too soft, or hot or whatever.

Since it is in our mind that we don't want to be there, our mind can go anywhere it wants with that, if we let it. We can decide to love our job and to look for ways in which we find it fullfilling. Whatever we focus on will get bigger. Like in the case of your happy gardener who loved to garden when your wife did not. He chose to love his job.

There is also the pride factor. Some people take pride in a job well done, where as other people are too proud to do certain jobs. A gardener can take pride in a job well done, or feel ashamed that they have to do grunt work for the rich people. The gardener can look at the job as playing in the dirt, or grunt work depending on their perception, their judgement of themselves and the job they are doing.


answered 01 May '12, 11:19

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

edited 01 May '12, 11:22

Hi Dollar Bill

Somehow, I missed this question when you asked it.

I like chewing on these thoughts myself.

I think the difference is the un-predictability and the opportunity to let our guard down.

In work, regardless of self-employment or working for someone else, there is a clearly defined expectation that needs to be met, and this "expectation" puts a strain on the psychology of the person most responsible for meeting that expectation.

When we play, there is this un-predictability factor and a socially approved opportunity for us to let our guard down and be ourselves instead of whom we are expected to be.

In your clay pigeon example there is plenty of discomfort leading up to the moment of unpredictability, such as the trekking, the sweating, the cost etc.

However, once that clay pigeon starts flying, your primal hunting instincts are awakened and you are "hunting" within a highly controlled environment of un-predictability.

And, in a way, your childhood instincts from playing hide & seek or any other activity that gave you pure un-restricted exploration of joy are awakened within every part of your body and mind.

However, since you are an adult, you automatically withhold yourself from whooping and hollering every time you hit a clay pigeon (Unless you do, in which case...Good for you :)

In play, we give ourselves permission to be kids again in mind and body, and it is socially acceptable to let our guard down (during controlled play).


answered 02 May '12, 20:21

The%20Traveller's gravatar image

The Traveller

edited 02 May '12, 20:29

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