Being useful

Lately I’ve been lolling around reading Megan Hustad’s ‘How To Be Useful‘ in lieu of actually, you know, being useful in any measurable way. Today I asked Megan to explain how people should work to get ahead/not hate their lives. Her smart response: “Even though it seems like you’re spinning your wheels / doing useless grunt work / lagging behind career-wise, you’re not. Not if you’re really paying attention. There’s life around — look at it. There are things to be grasped about human nature, human nature in groups, the fragility of egos, the use and abuse of power, the use and abuse of tenderness, even…the office (esp. an unhappy one) is a good place to study these things. May be my own brand of naivete, but I’m convinced that people who notice and understand these organizational dynamics will wind up more successful. And write the best novels.”

5 comments to Being useful

  • Anon

    Hello, we don’t know each other, but I happened upon your blog and read this entry and now I feel I must thank you – for me, these were the perfect words at the right time.

  • james

    pretty sure those people definitely don’t write the best novels. josh ferris excluded.

  • visitor

    They probably won’t write the best novels, gray-flannel-suit time having passed, but I agree about everything else.

  • amplesufficiency

    This helped me with a play revision I was doing last night. Thanks, Emily.

  • Ben

    I’m gonna have to disagree. It is those people who find complexity and disorder in the mundane that write the best novels.

    Those are the novels that I enjoy, at least. And I have excellent taste.

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