This is a sequel to my previous article, What’s the purpose of wealth? Why are we working? A further question could be, are we working to live, or are we living to work? Would we sacrifice material comforts of life in the pursuit of passionate work?
Lots of people would probably say that the reason we work is to earn a living (that is, make money to take care of our needs). Now, hypothetically assuming we don’t need money, would we still feel a need to work? Why exactly do we work? Are we happy doing what we do?
For the very rich, many of them became so because they loved what they were/are doing and focused so much effort and energy into it, that it eventually paid up by making them lots of money. For them, the money is just a by product of service rendered in some sphere of human activity. So we could say that these lucky set of people got to be rich doing work that’s basically play to them, just following their passion. Diego Armando Maradona, the popular footballer of years past, says he loves football so much he would play for free. The icing on the cake, according to him, is that he is being paid handsomely for doing what is basically “play”.
For the most part of the human populace it can easily be concluded that people work because they have to work. If they don’t work, they don’t make money.. a scary prospect. Some other reasons why people work could be for professional satisfaction, the deeply fulfilling feeling of nurturing a business from struggling incubation to maturity. Another motivation could be the passion to make an indelible mark on the sands of time, contributing one’s quota to making the world a better place. For people whose primary motivation is not money, you could find them doing work that doesn’t give them abundant money, but gives them lots of professional fulfilment. A researcher in the Research and Development section of a company may get the best fulfilment by doing his research work, and wouldn’t take another job offering far more perks, if the work is different.
This post is crafted to make us think about why we work (if we do), if we need to, whether we are doing the best work suited to our abilities and motivation in life. We may need to take a break from the daily roller coaster bustle of daily grinding work to give this some thought.
Since most humans obviously need to work to earn a living, the trick to being happy could be to determine, early in life.. what is more important to us.. lots of money, or professional satisfaction.
Blessed indeed are those who have the two, together, in equal measure. The majority of humans live the most part of their life, doing a job they hate earthly, not earning the kind of income they need / want, day in, day out.