AWSI: Ponderables in the WSJ Review – Part 2

It was easy enough to blast past this essay with the title “Get a (Real) Summer Job.” Seemed not relevant but what the heck, might as well scan the byline and see who wrote the piece.

WSJ Review - Saturday Essay

WSJ Review – Saturday Essay

By Dave Shiflett

Also noted:

Mr. Shiflett posts his writing and original music at

Hang on… Really? Made us curious because that was a description we were not expecting for a piece that ended up being over 2300 words. About 2/3 the way through, we came upon this from the author:

“As a part-time musician and full-time geezer with delusions of musical grandeur…”

Aha! A music reference. The last 8 paragraphs make more music references with the key notable quotable coming in the penultimate from a member of Jefferson Airplane, Jack Casady, who described his early jobs (He was a “paper-delivering prodigy” where he made “good money,” some of which was used to start a grass cutting business that paid for his first musical instruments.).

“All of that taught me the thought process of setting your goal and then putting together the steps to reach that goal,” said Mr. Casady. “I learned that work was a means to independence and that if something you want is not available, you can make it yourself. There was no drudgery involved for me. Work was a means to freedom.”

Yup! There’s something that seems to get lost in translation. Work as a means to freedom — a great message hidden in an essay many would claim is TL:DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read).

Again, that’s why we advocate allocating time on weekends and during the weekday to do reading / discovering / wandering around making serendipitous discoveries.

BTW, we love his closing counsel aimed at young workers but really should be rated “E” for Everyone:

Live and toil “with integrity,” and adopt a no-slacking attitude. “Luck and timing can make a big difference,” he said. “But Lord knows, prepare. If you prepare properly, you’re ready for luck and timing if they come your way.”

If we were editing this piece, we’d pull the notable quotables up — in eye-grabbing areas.

Be prepared and stay curious. Always!


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