It’s hard to deny the therapeutic value of manual labour.  Not brain dead labour, manual hard labour. I have always been a fairly “brain” driven person. Meaning I would rather pick up a book than a hammer. But as time goes by I have realised one big truth, at least for me: Manual labour is an amazing therapeutic venture. I have different activities that I consider manual labour, and I find myself gravitating more and more towards these activities. I find that my ambitions of money, power and success are not and have never made me happy. The more money I made the more sick and burnt out I felt. Never in my life have I been so stressed out as when I had my restaurants, hedge fund and consultancy firm. To be honest, the stress sucked the life out of me. I hated it and when I came home I threw myself on the sofa and died slowly every day without ever really living. 


After a while I discovered among other things, the joy and simplicity of hiking. I consider long hiking trips to be manual labour – what else is it, if not manual labour? The hard therapeutic trudging on, one foot in front of the other, hour upon hour, left foot, right foot, left foot. For me this labour intensive hiking cleans my mind, body and soul and I am left naked without a care in the world.

At this stage in my life I find that my only ambition is to be a good husband and dad, be a good boss, hike and rebuild cars. I still have some of my companies, though I am selling and closing down most of them as I don’t want the stress or hassle of owning them.  I don’t really care too much about money, why should I? After having money I realise it does nothing for me. My interest don’t seem to cost so much, a plane ticket every once in a while, a new camera to play with, some old cars to rebuild and play with my little boy.. these things don’t cost much and create all the joy in the world.

I can spend hour after hour, day after day and week after week sanding a car, welding panels and scraping rust: And feel completely rejuvenated. That is the joy of manual labour: A hurting body and a free soul.




Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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