Sunday 22 February 2015


2015-08 James Allen:  Seven-fold Wages of Work

James Allen [1864-1912]
In James Allen's book, "Men and Systems"the second chapter "Work, Wages and Well-Being" gives an insight into the seven-fold wages of work

Wheresoever there is ability, there also are scope and opportunity. Where there is energy, there also are legitimate channels for its exercise. 
Of all abilities, the capacity for work is the most useful and necessary, and its possession is a glorious power. 

Work is of two kinds - it is either loving labour or enforced slavery. The man whose sole object is to get through his work in order to draw his pay, who has no love for, and no interest in his work, beyond what it represents in cash, is a slave and not a true worker. His entire interest is in getting instead of in doing. 

On the contrary, the man whose heart is centered in his work, who aims at the perfect performance of his duty, is a true worker whose usefulness and influence are cumulative and progressive, carrying him on from success to greater and greater success. 

The wages of work are sure. In the universal economy no man is cheated; he cannot be defrauded of his just earnings, for every effort receives its proportionate result; first work as the cause, and then wages as the effect. But while wages is the result, it is not the end; it is only a means to a still greater and more far-reaching result and end, namely, the progress and increased happiness both of the individual and the race - in a word, to well-being.

The receiving of so much money for work done does not represent wages in its entirety; it is, indeed, only a small portion of the actual wages of true work.  

The sevenfold wages of work are as follows: 
1. Money  
2. Usefulness  
3. Excellence  
4. Power  
5. Independence  
6. Honour  &
7. Happiness.

First, he receives the full amount of money of which his work is the equivalent; but in addition to this, his usefulness to the world increases and continues to increase in an ever ascending degree; and this greater usefulness is one of the pure delights of labour, for one of the chief rewards of use is to be of greater use. 

This accumulating usefulness leads to the wages of excellence, a growing perfection in the work undertaken.

A point of excellence is at last reached which merges into power, knowledge, mastery. The man who is devoted to his work becomes at last a master in that work, whatever it may be. 

Associated with power is independence. The true worker takes his place among his fellows as a useful citizen. The fearless flash of honesty is in his eyes, the ring of worth is in his voice, and the steadfastness of self-reliance is in his gait. 

Honour is one of the higher forms of wages, and it comes unerringly and unsought to all who are energetic and faithful in the work of their life. It may be, and often is, late in coming, but come it must and does, and always at its own proper time; for while money is the first and smallest item in wages, honour is one of the last and greatest.

They who receive the fullness of wages, receive the fullness of happiness, for true work as surely brings about happiness as idleness and enforced labor are paid in the coin of unhappiness. 

From the perfection of happiness proceeds well-being - a quiet conscience, a satisfied heart, a tranquil mind, and the consciousness of having increased the happiness and aided in the progress of mankind through the full and faithful exercise of one‘s abilities.

First work, and then wages; but well-being only follows when the work is of the true kind, when it is loved for its own sake, and when the money received for such work is utilized for further work and better achievement instead of being squandered in folly and self-indulgence. 

It is demanded by the law of things that every man shall receive the equivalent of what he gives. If he gives idleness, he receives inactivity- death; if gives stinted and unwilling service, he receives stinted and hardly secured pay; if he gives loving and generous labor, he recipes generous recompense in a life replete with blessedness. 

James Allen: Men and Systems: YouTube Audio: [Click Here]

James Allen: Men and Systems Text [Click on Picture below]

 James Allen: Complete Works pdf: [Click Here]                        


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