Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I'm not sure I'd enjoy being CEO of Apple.
Yes, it has its glamorous moments, like launching a new product and shaking the hands of Bono and Oprah.
It does seem like a lot of hard work and stress, too.
Especially, one imagines, when things don't go Apple's way. Which really does happen.
What was it Steve Jobs used to say? "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."
It's surely hard to love what you do when the problems seem to fly at you from every side.
You'd think, then, that Apple CEO Tim Cook might be wallowing in his sorrows.
Yet on Saturday, he popped up to give the commencement address at Tulane University.
There, he offered brilliant, sanguine thoughts on loving your job. He began:
There is a saying that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.
Surely you've heard that one. Surely you've marveled at the bliss some people apparently feel at going to work every day to do what they love.
They just breeze through it, don't they?
Cook explained that this was bilge, balderdash, and nonsense. He said:
At Apple, I learned that is a total crock.
Here's the truth, said Cook:
You will work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands.
He added something equally powerful:
There's nothing more beautiful than trying.
You might imagine, then, that through all stresses and annoyances, through all the angst, Cook gets up every morning and begins to try.
That's after he's read what customers are saying--which he claims to do at 4 a.m.
Yes, he has the advantages of Apple's fine tools, but success doesn't come without the trying part.
Cook offered one final thought for work satisfaction:
As you go out into the world, don't waste time on problems that have been solved, don't get hung up on what other people say is practical. Instead, steer your ship into the choppy seas. Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It's in those places that you will find your purpose.
Some seas may, indeed, be too choppy.
But beware those who seem to bathe in their adoration of work and act as if it's all one fine breeze.
Maybe they're deluding themselves. Or just trying to delude you.