Means of support; subsistence.
One of my favorite sports is watching others at their chosen profession. I enjoy it because it tells me so much about a person whether I think they are doing their job well or not. It is not my desire to rate them on their overall performance as much as actually studying how I can learn or unlearn from whatever they are doing. So during the course of every day, I am taken aback by how much information that I take in. When we commit to a job or a group or a project that we are being paid to do, does the level of our commitment depend on our personal integrity or the actual amount of money that we are being paid?
I have chosen to use the word "livelihood" because it has always been one of my favorites. For starters, the word "lively" by itself is a wonderful word. Now take that word, drop the "y" and add "i", then combine it with "hood" and this word is meant to mean the bread and butter, the means of living and so on. If you have not guessed it yet, the word lively seems to get lost in most people's profession. Actually, I do not remember the last time a person in my circle actually described what they did for a living as making them feel lively. I just really enjoy the word because for me it conjures up an image and a feeling of floating or soaring in the air on a trampoline or a giant roller coaster.
This morning I was in yet another book store right when it opened. This particular store is closing soon, so the books are slashed down to the minimum. I had heard that it was closing last week, so I thought I would pay it a visit before getting on with my day. I decided to ask two different employees how they liked working here and what was their plan when the store closed? The first young man had a sort of heavy vibe about him, however, he was very friendly. He told me that he had no plan and that he was going to look for another job. The second young man was very happy and with a smile on his face told me that he too was going to look for a job because he had nothing. I offered them both an opportunity to engage in something that I am presently involved in and they both gave me their phone numbers. My goal was to introduce them to a livelihood that they can be in control of and not ever be let go by someone else.
Not every person on this earth has the capacity or the hunger to be lively about what they do in this life. As I have studied many "lively" individuals, I notice that they cannot go anywhere without exposing their vigor and colorful dispositions. On the other hand, some just stay quiet and observe how the other 85% is living and that keeps them fully alert at all times. So what makes you lively? Does it have anything to do with your job or your chosen profession? Actually, to put it another way, what makes you feel lively and how often can you be in that state either through your chosen vehicle or through the influence of others? Are you in the 85% or the 15%? Can you tell the difference between the two?