Work Hard, Play Less

I have known people that have blown their bonus checks in Vegas. I know people who work 70 hour work weeks and stay up the entire weekend to "enjoy" what little time they have for pleasure. I have heard stories of people spending $1,000 on dinner just to say they did. I know people that buy houses that they cannot afford and work longer hours to keep up the mortgage. I know people that cheat on their significant others on a frequent basis, and say life is too short to stick to one person. I see men and women indulging themselves in all kinds of ridiculous activities under the sun. Do you know what their justification is for all this? -- "Work hard, play hard."

I don't know much, but I do know that this is a really stupid way to live your life. I have never heard of any great man or woman that has worked hard and played hard. When you really work hard, you do not have the capacity to play hard - you are far too concerned with your purpose and calling. I have heard mediocre musicians say that they put in many hours in the studio so they can enjoy their time off. They boast about their hard work at their craft, and boast even more about everything else that is a by-product of their craft. This is probably why they are mediocre. If you are a real artist, music is what you are - your real life is music and everything else is work. Real artists have to work hard at everything else. Kobe Bryant has to work hard at everything off the basketball court. Kanye West has to put in work when he is not making music. When you are walking your purpose, everything outside of your calling is a chore. It bothers you that you have to waste your time with anything else. Most people unwind by going to a party or bar. Endangered Species unwind by doing what they know best. This is a very different way of living life - and I already know most of you are rolling your eyes as you read this.

Roll your eyes all you want - and do it in unison. Everything else you do in life is in unison anyway. It is in unison to how the world lives and breathes. You can allow institutions and people to determine your timetable - I'll choose my own.

We need to be a generation that works hard and "plays less." I am not referring to worshipping work ethic and drive. This is equally foolish. I am however questioning the concept of playing hard. I never understood working so hard to undo everything you worked for. This is what playing hard does. You earn a bunch of money to waste it all. You lose a bunch of weight to gain it back. You go to the gym and then get hammered, sloshed, trashed, wasted (and any other word you use for being inebriated) on the weekend. I do not understand. I do not speak this culture's language. Am I an alien that walks alone on this planet, or are there any other aliens that travel with me?

None of us deserve to play hard. We did not do anything special - Kanye West and Kobe Bryant included. In 2010, I am flipping everything. You can call me a rebel, but I call the rest of you rebels. Maybe rebels are not the ones that do something different. Maybe the rebel is the normal one, and everyone else is rebellious against what is best. In 2010, I am working hard - and that is it. I'll play. But I'll only play to win (shout out). Peace and much love to you - John Baptist!


  1. Or, for some of us lucky ones living The Dream, "work" IS "play." Can't that be an option?

  2. This also reminds me of one of my favorite poets, Marie Howe, who glared at me when I said, "Oh, I should work on that" in reference to a poem. She cringed and said, "That's such an American way of thinking." :) Interesting to think about... I agree with you about the dedication/hours. Just not what you call it. But then again, potatoes/potatoes [pronounced differently].

  3. thanks for this post john baptist! this is helpful for me to hear from a peer (you know older ppl always give you advice and you're like "errr, you're old...") btw, you write A LOT! YAY!!!


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