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      June 18, 2003


"We all want to be in a rut: we just want it
 to be a nice rut."

 -- Harley Hahn

Harley Hahn's List of 25 Things
to Do When You Should Be Working

When it comes to the really important issues in
life, it is inevitable that — as hard as we might
try — we eventually realize there are no easy

For example, it is natural to wonder if we have a
purpose.  Is there a reason for our existence?
Are we sentient beings with a capacity for
volition, or are we mere insignificant fragments
of spiritual flotsam, forced to live a short,
absurd existence in a lonely, godforsaken
universe, with no hope of purpose, meaning, or
enduring happiness?

Philosophers have wrestled with such questions for
ages but have produced no universally satisfying
conclusions.  There is one conclusion, however,
upon which philosophers do agree: If there is to
be meaning in life, it is Man himself who must
create and appreciate that meaning.

Like you, I have spent many solitary,
introspective moments wondering what it might take
for life to offer mankind both purpose and

For example, right now, as you read this, are you
at work?  If so, it is possible that you, like
countless others, think about your few precious
moments here on Earth and yearn for a way to spend
your time doing something more worthwhile than
carrying out the dictates of an irrelevant
manager.  I imagine that, like many others, you
also ache for activity that holds more personal
reward than sitting in long, purposeless meetings
playing hangman on your PDA.

Well, I am pleased to say that I have found
meaning in my life.  Moreover, I have been
able to do it in a way that promises to bring
satisfaction and purpose to your life as well—
for I am the keeper of The List.

Which List is this?  Why, nothing less than
"Harley Hahn's List of 25 Things to Do When You
Should Be Working".

Let others search for immortality by creating
great works of art, building magnificent
structures, or leading humanity by steering the
Ship of State through the rocky straits of life.

I am charged with a task no less important and no
less difficult: to ensure that, at any moment,
people like you, who may not feel like working,
are able to find pleasant, entertaining and —
dare I say it? — useful diversions.

And so I toil, working ceaselessly into the long
night, making sure that, come what may, The List
remains not only captivating, but functional.
Toward this end, I will, from time to time, revise
The List to make certain it reflects the high
standard you have a right to expect from one
blessed with such a compelling and essential

So, here it is, a brand new version of "Harley
Hahn's List of 25 Things to Do When You Should Be
Working", newly revised for the current economic


Let's face it, if you are an under-appreciated,
underpaid servant of an impersonal corporate
master, you may never be able to conjure up an
enduring sense of purpose in life, but at least,
as one of my readers, you will never lack for
meaningful diversion.

-- Harley Hahn