Enduring Value

Enduring Value

I start working around 8 in the morning, and I’m normally done by 8 at night. Last week I took Sunday off, and built some games.

But what am I doing that I call work? How can I look back at the end of the day and know I was “productive”?

Hours worked are irrelevant. The real question is:

What have you built today that has enduring value?

I could argue that my photo readings have enduring value because they can change peoples’ lives, and who knows what value will come from that in the long term. But using that logic, sneezing at the right place and time has enduring value.

Energy Anatomy: A Grounded Guide to Energy Work & Energy Healing

No, what I mean is producing something that didn’t exist yesterday, that is valuable now, and will continue being valuable for the foreseeable future. I always feel like I accomplished something when I release projects like my Energy Anatomy book, which will be helping people learn about energy work for years to come. I always feel productive when I’ve published a blog post that I know will inspire someone and continue inspiring people.

And I think, assuming you follow through, it’s productive to build part of a project that will be released. Most of my days are spent working on projects that are not yet ready to be released. When they finally are released to the world, all the “potential productivity” is transformed right then to actual productivity. Before that moment though, you’re just spinning your wheels.

Research is spinning your wheels. Thinking is spinning your wheels. Half completed projects are wheels that are spinning in place.

But let’s be honest. We all spin our wheels, and spinning is necessary. It’s like training for a triathlon. Sure, practice swimming and running and biking. But then show up to the race. Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels.

Not only that, but sometimes we take a day off and play. If you’re just running for the joy of it, don’t worry about the race. I do photo readings because I love doing them, even though they don’t meet my definition of productivity. I write software most of the time just for fun, not to be productive.

The thing is I know the difference. When I’m doing something for fun, I let it be fun. When I’m doing something to be productive, that simple question is how I keep myself honest.

What have I built today that has enduring value?

10 or 11 hour work days are well and good, but they don’t mean shit except that I’m a masochist unless I produce something that has enduring value.

What have you produced today?


  1. Tanja ()

    “What have I built today that has enduring value?”

    Damn good question. My big task this weekend is to proof read a workmate’s Masters thesis (for which she sponsored me to walk 100km for charity earlier this year), and I got a chunk of that done… so that feels like it has at least some enduring value. Also, the thesis topic is something directly relevant to my job, so it’s doing double duty in the “value” (if not enduring value) stakes.

    But I think the most value I built today has been in the small moments I’ve spent with my husband. With both of us being crazy-busy lately, it’s been hard to carve out time together – so each moment we spend together that we’re both actually present in the moment with each other feels like it’s a small part of building a relationship with enduring value.

    Thanks for making me think about this, Pete… I just discovered your blog today, and I can SERIOUSLY tell I’m going to enjoy reading your posts! (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      Welcome Tanja! Yes, some things like relationships with your SO are intrinsically valuable 8)

      I’m glad you’re enjoying, I hope you stick around! (Reply)

  2. Elizabeth ()

    I worked today, like every day, on helping to shape my son into a productive human being. He has special needs; it’s a 24/7 job, no monetary benefits-quite the opposite-it costs a lot of money to do it. There is very little support from the community, family. BUT the internal satisfaction of knowing I’m doing the right thing by him, as his mother, is priceless. (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      Well done Elizabeth, you’re a obviously a strong and loving woman. Kudos 8) Glad to see you here, hope to see you again! (Reply)