An endless pressure for money
When I talk to clients about career development an issue that usually comes up is money.
And it’s a very practical point of view.
Many, or perhaps most of us, work because we have all sorts of financial obligations to meet: Mortgages to pay, training and education, school fees. Plus there are holidays we’d like to take. Thing’s we’d like to own. The car needs replacing and the washing machine needs fixing…and one day I’d really like to put in an air-conditioner. Plus there’s that tax bill and the cost of heating and water and food to consider.
There’s an endless pressure for money.
And this often drives our career choices. For sure the meaning this brings us in supporting ourselves and our families is valuable. This alone can be enough to add vital purpose to a lackluster role and gives us a reason to get up in the morning.
But it can also keeps us beholden to work we have fallen out of love with – if we even loved it in the first place). And it keeps us diverted from our dreams – if we can even remember what they are.
If money didn’t matter?
So a little thought experiment I ask myself and my clients (in one way or another) is:
What would you give to the world if money didn’t matter?
If you could set money aside, would you do what you are doing now? Or would it be something entirely different?
Perhaps you’d like to volunteer in a hospital or school? Or maybe you’d like to write a novel or poetry? Or maybe you’d like to bring music and laughter to other people’s lives? Maybe you’d like to be a stay-at-home mum or dad? Or coach a sports team? Or foster a child? Or paint?
The key question here is what would you give to the world, not what would make you feel good. Although of course giving feels good in it’s own right. But the key is in thinking about what you have got to contribute. And maybe it’s as simple as the way you make people smile.
Each one of you will have your own unique answer.
The possibilities are endless.
Raising the world a little higher
So, far from being self-indulgent, thinking about this can awaken the altruistic and compassionate parts of ourselves that want to serve others. These yearnings open a window into our broader mission in life. They tap into the unique way each of us can help raise the world a little higher.
And of course money does matter. We do need to work. We have mortgages to pay.
So in practical terms, maybe there’s a way to get the best of both worlds and bring a little of your dreams to your working life.
But the dreamer in me asks: What would life be like if we could take some of the energy we use in striving towards earning money and invest it in giving to world instead? Wouldn’t we all be enriched?
What are out missing out on giving?
Just as the world would be poorer had Vincent had ignored his urge to paint, we are all diminished without each one of us making our unique contribution to the world.
So think about it for a while.
- What are your dreams?
- What’s your contribution to make?
- What is your inner purpose for being alive and breathing?
- How will you help raise the world just a little higher?
- If you settle just for money, what are you missing out on giving?