John Scherer: Quit Your Job and Find Your Work at TEDxKrakow (Transcript)

My son, Asa, I wonder if you’ll get a picture of Asa. No? Too bad. Oh, there he is. My son, Asa, is now 25, plays piano and trombone, classical, jazz and so forth, and I came in this little house that we had, little teenie house, big grand piano, filled the whole living room, and Asa was playing this Rachmaninoff piece, OK? The whole house was shaking. You know, little teenie house, big grand piano. And I stood at the back door, and I just let the music wash over me.

And I stood there, and I had this insight. I could picture Asa at the piano. And then I realized that the house was not shaking with the piano. The house was not shaking with Rachmaninoff. The house was shaking with Asa. Asa was filling the house. That grand piano just sits there until Asa puts his fingers on the keyboard. That Rachmaninoff is just dots on a piece of paper until he reads it and interprets it through who he is, and puts his hands on that keyboard. And then the music happens.

You are in a job somewhere, workplace somewhere, your name is in a box on an organization chart. That’s just your piano. And your job assignment is just the dots, it’s Rachmaninoff. It’s just dots on a piece of paper until you put your hands on the keyboard, and then you start to play. If you leave and another name goes in that box, the music will be different. The music is your music. It has nothing to do with the job. It’s you interpreting that music into the world.

So my suggestion is: When you don’t know what to do, go for “tov.” Go for “tov.” Tov is when what you’re doing is a full expression of who you are at the core of your being in such a way that it contributes to the other people around you, and it is in alignment with what life, or what creation, needs from you.

So, every day that you go to work, just ask yourself, “What’s the lesson here? What is this for me?” Instead of saying, “I wonder why this happened to me?” Just turn it slightly, and say, “I wonder why this is happening for me? I wonder how this might be happening for me?”

So, thank you so much for the chance to be with you. I highly recommend going for tov, it’s an extraordinary way to live. You get Emma, you get a dancer, you get me, you get this, OK?

Thank you very much.


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