What do you fear about retirement?

Aug 19, 2012

The Joy of Not Working in Japan


Below is the latest e-mail that I received from a reader of several of my books, including The Joy of Not Working:

----- Original Message -----
From: Shane P.
To: vip-books
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 4:33 AM
Subject: A Fan from Japan

Dear Mr. Zelinski,

Hello, my name is Shane. About 18 years ago while I was a university student I was lucky enough to chat with you in a cafe just outside the Princess Threatre, where you kindly gave an autographed copy of The Joy of Not Working. I was very motivated and impressed with your work that I bought my younger brother a copy for his birthday, as well as a copy of your other book, Seeing Double or Better in Business.

Unfortunately a year later, I gave away the book along with most of my possessions as I took a teaching position in Japan, got married, and spent the next 18 there. My brother got so inspired that a few years later he followed me over the pond and has been living 15 years in Kobe, Japan, as well. I was visiting his apartment one day when I happened across your book Career Success Without a Real Job.

I was quite surprised that a writer I recommended to him ended up having such a big impact on him as well. I quickly snatched the book off of his shelf and started reading it. It was great timing in my life as I had become more and more disfastified with my Japanese corporate life and marriage. (I see on your homepage yoou have written a book about marriage as well. I plan to make it my next read.)

[Incidentally], Career Success without a Real Job was a great book.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my letter and I hope you found my comments to be useful. As for myself, I just turned 40 and I am working up the courage to try and tell my wife and child I want more out of life than the corporate existence I presently find myself in.

I better read your book on marriage [The Joy of Not Being Married] first. Thanks for all the great advice and inspiration you have given me over the years.

All the Best,
Shane P.
Hiroshima, Japan

Here are some quotations about work and quotations about marriage to place the two in proper perspective:

There are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work,

Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality, Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Every prosperous person who does not work has a creative scheme that does.
— John Otway

If a man has important work, and enough leisure and income to enable him to do it properly, he is in possession of as much happiness as is good for any of the children of Adam.
— Richard Henry Tawney

In careers — as in marriage — we are astonished at what others choose.
— Dave Erhard

Old people at weddings always poke me and say, "You're next." So, I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.
— Unknown wise person

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.
— Mae West

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
— Oscar Wilde

There are two kinds of marriages — where the husband quotes the wife, or where the wife quotes the husband.
— Clifford Odets

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