Krazy Karl Rabeder

Karl Rabeder is an Austrian millionaire. But he’s sad – so sad that he’s giving away his entire $5 million fortune, to charity.

“My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing,” he said. “Money is counterproductive –it prevents happiness.”

Karl continues: “For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness,” he said. “I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years.”

Later in life, his views changed. “More and more I heard the words, ‘Stop what you are doing now — all this luxury and consumerism — and start your real life’,” he said. “I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need…I was just listening to the voice of my heart and soul.”

So, he has moved out of his mansion into a small hut. I wonder Mrs. Rabeder thinks of her new home.

If Karl’s move is successful, he should write a user guide describing the process: The Millionaire’s Guide to Living Poor. It could cover such topics as:

  • Filth is Your Friend
  • How To Eat Almost Anything
  • Got Mud and Straw? Let’s Start Building A Home!
  • Saying Goodbye to Your 55″ TV
  • Convincing Your Family that Poverty Builds Character (yeah, right)

I sympathize with Karl. Feeling sad sometimes is completely normal. I’m just not sure the solution is to become a hobo.

We’re often challenged by our docs. A draft review comes back, and it ain’t pretty. That doesn’t mean we have failed; on the contrary. The only thing worse than a draft full of revisions is a draft with none. Mistakes and omissions are important; from them we grow into better technical communicators.

It’s also important to remember that the end user never sees all the changes, heated discussions, endless debates and other nonsense that occurs when a document is being developed. All they see is the final product. They don’t know, nor do they care, about how it got there, just that it’s good now.

Think about it – do you care about all the errors that were made before you got your hands on a product you were using? Whether it’s a TV, a chair or a pair of shoes, all you care about is that the errors were resolved. Especially if you own a Toyota.

So, if work’s getting you down, don’t quit, and don’t move into a hut. Savour the challenges. For when you hammer steel, it becomes harder.

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