Money is Important, but It’s not the Point

For our last post of the quarter, we’re going to explore the importance of doing work that’s financially rewarding, but also fulfilling. I don’t believe that money isn’t important. It’s part of life. Being paid fairly for what you do is crucial. However, if you make money the only thing that matters, you’re going to spend too much time doing something you don’t care about. 

You spend so much time at work or running your businesses, that you must get satisfaction from what you do.  It should contribute to your life as a whole. Without some sort of job satisfaction, you won’t be fulfilled. Without fulfillment, no amount of money will make you happy.

You don’t have to do super-meaningful work. If what you do supports a life full of joy and accomplishments of other sorts that’s great. If your job is simply a way for you to pursue other interests, that’s perfect. Even if you’re focused on survival, there are options to do more interesting jobs or work for companies that you believe in.

I’ve had the experience of doing work I hated because of the money. In hindsight, it wasn’t worth it. Work is most satisfying when it ignites passion. Passion can make hard, long, hours a joy rather than a burden. But in following your passion, you need to leave room for other things in your life. Life can’t only be about working.

You’ll be happiest if what you do aligns with your values. The things that are most important to you are a driving force in your life. When you’re aligned you’ll be content, even when things are challenging. When you misalign you’ll make yourself miserable and may not know why. 

Most of us believe that everyone has a calling, one thing that will ignite our passion. While that may be the case for some people it isn’t the norm. You have diverse interests which will change as you learn and grow. What is fulfilling to you today may seem boring after a while. If you have a lot of talents it’s possible you’re meant to use many of them at once. That could mean in a single career or a bunch of different ones. Don’t get stuck in old ideas about what work is. Be true to your own vision of what your life should look like, 

There will be times in your life when you can’t ignore a good opportunity. But, most of the time, there are options that you haven’t considered. Be open to possibilities. Remember, there’s no reason to stop what you’re doing now while you find something better. 

Consider what will really make you happy then make a plan. You won’t get there overnight. It might take years before you make a move. But, a small step in the right direction will make your current situation “fine for now”.

There will always be people around you who are concerned about you making a move. The bigger the shift the more resistance you’ll encounter. That’s normal. Deal with everyone compassionately and keep going. Shutting out the noise is critical when the change comes with a smaller paycheck. But, going for it is far better than a “misery for money” tradeoff.

There’s nothing wrong with making money. But, when you trade happiness for dollars you give away your chance at a fulfilling life. At the end of your life you won’t be counting your cash you’ll be looking at your satisfaction and contribution. Are you living a life that’s worthwhile?