The Message Company Homepage
Contact Us
BSJ Current Issue

  Featured Articles


  The Tao at Work




  Advertising Rates

The International Consciousness Conferences
Business & Consciousness

  Science & Consciousness

Sacred Sexuality


Sound Healing

Other Links

Visionary Audio & Video

Visionary DVD Club

 Publishing Division

Business Training Central


Wholesale Investment

Shamanic Healing Art


The Evolution of Work

by Martin Rutte

It used to be that work was a place where, if a person worked hard and was loyal, and if the business was successful, there was an implicit guarantee of security and of lifetime employment. In the past few years, however, a handful of factors have combined to produce a transformation in the very nature and meaning of work. Manufacturing and service industries are moving off shore. Technology is replacing people. Companies are outsourcing much of their work.

What all this leads to is that successful companies are now laying off people. American Express recently announced a substantial profit, while at the same time laying off thousands of people. This kind of action strikes at the very heart of our collective assumption about what work is - that when a company is successful, it keeps the employees it has, or hires new ones, but it never lays off people. Clearly that’s no longer true.

People go to work to earn their daily bread - to have a roof over there head, food in their stomachs and maybe some luxury items. Our collective belief is that we work in order to survive.

But we long for more than just our bodies to be alive. We want our souls to be fully alive too. We want our hearts to be touched and engaged. We want our spirits to soar

I believe that the real underlying purpose of this profound transformation in the workplace is precisely to fulfill these needs. I believe that “work” is moving from being something which supports only our “survival” to something which nourishes and encourages our “livelihood.”

The Three Stages
of Livelihood
1. You’re alive

2. Your aliveness

3. Their aliveness

What is Livelihood?
Livelihood has three components; the first of these is “survival.” Obviously, we still need to eat, we still need to have shelter and we still need to clothe ourselves. Our survival needs don’t just vanish. They must still be tended to. To put it another way, stage 1 of livelihood is: “you’re alive.”

The second component is that we want our souls to be nourished and our hearts to be touched. Our work should provide us with the creative expression of ourselves. Our gift, our contribution/purpose, our (as Barbara Marx Hubbard calls it) “vocation of destiny” needs to be both experienced and expressed. In addition to our being alive, we also want our aliveness to flourish. Stage two of livelihood is, therefore, “our aliveness.”

We then take “our aliveness” and contribute it, through our product or service, through ourselves, out to others, out into the world. And so stage three of livelihood is “their aliveness.”

Imagine work truly being a place of “livelihood” for each and every one. Imagine the condition of work, that which we assume work to be, as a place for livelihood to be expressed. Imagine people demanding that “livelihood” be a condition of work.

If we look at today or at the past, this is not what work is. But if we look at what we truly want, this is the workplace of tomorrow - and I don’t mean the tomorrow of pipe-dreams. I mean the tomorrow of our deepest desires, the tomorrow of our commitment, the tomorrow of possibility. I invite your active participation in having work genuinely be livelihood.

Martin Rutte is a management consultant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He speaks and consults on work and spirituality. He can be reached by phone at (505) 466-1510, email [email protected] and on the web.

Visionary DVD Club - The thinking person's DVD club

Visionary Audio and Video - Conference Audio and Video Tapes
DVDs, CDs, Audio and Video Tapes

Publishing Division
Unique and Practical Reference Books

Business Spirit Journal
Bringing Consciousness to Business

Cutting-Edge Business Training and Self-Study Resources

Produced by:
The Message Company
4 Camino Azul
Santa Fe, NM 87508 USA
Phone: 505-474-0998 or 505-474-7604
Fax: 505-471-2584
Email Us

Request Email Newsletter


If you have difficulties using this site, please email the webmaster.