Life Is More Than Just Working to Make Money
Our work matters, but so often we can lose sight of the greater things in lieu of the lesser when our perspectives go askew.
For example, I recently heard some of the best advice shared on how a young person, or even an older one, can determine the type of work he or she should go into.
Quite simply, consider what need or problem exists in the world. Then, consider what gifts and skills you possess that can directly help meet this need and contribute to reducing the problem.
Good advice. Yet how many of us instead consider the work we go into simply based on the amount of money we can make?
An old proverb says that only a fool wears himself out solely for work. This is not to say we don’t give our best to our work, but rather that it is foolish to live for our work and money. Life consists of far greater things than money. However, money seems to rule our lives in many ways and often dictates how we live our lives. It calls the shots far too often.
Wisdom says we should invest our time, our lives, our gifts and our skills for something greater than money. Money is important, without a doubt — but it is not the most important. To identify a problem in the world we care about and to then invest our time to work that helps make a difference contributes to energized days we can get excited about.
Some people might be thinking it’s too late or that you are trapped in a dead-end job, but most of us can find, or start to build, meaning in what we do — if we look beyond measuring our impact simply in monetary terms.
For example, whether a person is a secretary, a janitor, a manager, a business owner, or even a retiree or someone who stays at home, we can all begin contributing to causes that allow us to offer our skills to matters we care about and that address problems in the world. This keeps us from feeling trapped by our work and unfulfilled, because no matter how much money we make, if that is the only thing we work for, more is rarely enough. Typically, striving only for money creates a lingering emptiness that can never be satisfied.
I need only to think back on the countless people I have met who are miserable in their jobs and feel trapped because of the volume of money they make. Even though it’s a lot, it still doesn’t satisfy — it rarely does, but most people will most always prefer to try and figure that out for themselves.
The balance in work-life dynamics is more an art than science. The goal is to align our passions with a purpose.
I was fortunate to migrate into the financial industry and am forever grateful for it. I migrated into it, because I didn’t plan on making it my primary work initially. It wasn’t my first choice — writing was.
Yet, my passion for financial literacy, communications and helping people improve their lives unified in a way that allows me to contribute to a cause I believe in, one person at a time.
Money issues have been shown to be a leading driver in marital issues and poor health. So, I love working to help people improve their families, health and overall well-being through teaching, writing and building teams that help establish sound financial disciplines.
This can be true for all of us. We might not all achieve the highest platforms and be made famous for our work, but our work can matter and can make a difference one person a time. This is the power of our work when it catapults us into interacting with others and with the world, thus providing great opportunities to make a difference with the days we’ve been given and have left.