Choosing between money and meaning

When did it become the middle class dream to quit your well paid job and open up a little artisan coffee shop in the slightly dingy part of town? I can’t count the number of people who have confessed this secret fantasy to me recently, and I know one person who has bitten the bullet to make it happen. It’s easy to see the allure. Especially for Generation Y (of which I am just on the verge) who have grown up with the expectation that work should be a rewarding and empowering pursuit, not a ball and chain around your neck.

This is partly because the wealthy western world is moving higher up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s no longer enough for jobs to provide money, security and status. Now many of us are looking for careers which help us grow as people and reach our full potential. And that doesn’t just mean stimulating our brains, but our heart and soul aswell. In 1980 21% of British people felt the need to “fulfil myself as an individual by being more creative” whereas in 2012 this has risen to a staggering 61% (NVision). Creativity is no longer the sole domain of bohemians.  “Making stuff” has gone mainstream. “Making a difference” is building momentum.

London now feels to me to be a city divided (for aspiring professionals at least) into those who chase money and those who chase meaning. Success looks different depending on where you fall on this spectrum. And I see two parallel cities sitting side by side. There is the city of bankers and lawyers, whose astronomical wages allow them to exist on a higher plane to their once-while peers. And there is the city of the aspiring bloggers/fashionistas/tech start-ups/foodies/social entrepreneurs, rich in education and taste but priced out of ever owning their flat. They’re cycling to work partly for health and environmental reasons, partly because the tube is too expensive.

One of the reasons I decided to go into advertising was because it felt like I could have the best of both of these worlds. A career where you could make a bit of money while also fulfilling your intellectual and creative ambition. Of course what you realise once you’re in, is that you will inevitably still have to make that choice, at least once in your career. You’ll have to be honest with yourself: which is more important to you, money or meaning? Do you take the high paying job with the status boosting title and accept that the work will not be that exciting or ground-breaking. Or do you punt for the innovative hotshop where the drive is high, client budgets are low, output is near invisible and wages are modest. Most people will fall somewhere between the two. The ultimate dream is to have both creativity and commerce, but is that an impossible ask, or an outcome limited to the lucky few?

Perhaps we should take lessons from Hollywood. They don’t choose money or meaning, they alternate. The smartest actors do the big -budget box-office smash to earn enough money and credibility to invest into their indie project, which in turn gains the Oscars and kudos to drum up the next bankable role. That’s how George, Brad and Johnny roll. Less idealism, more pragmatism. Oprah Winfrey, the original celebrity sage sums it up best:

“You CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all at once”

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  1. Great post and one that we need to talk about more often in the larger culture. But I suspect (as a self-employed writer, of books and journalism) that we self-select into these piles fairly naturally. For some of us, there is no pay packet large enough to put up with corporate insanity, politicking, meetings, etc. and for those who thrive in that world, the $$$ and status is too seductive to ever give up. You can’t pay the mortgage with meaning, so every creative person (without a trust fund or wealthy partner) will have to get their hands dirty, so to speak.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Yes I think most people decide early one what they are willing to compromise on. Though I do wonder whether some people self-select mistakenly? Perhaps that’s at the root of so many people being unhappy with their jobs – despite the fact that nowadays there are so many career paths available to us, and much more flexibility when it comes to changing jobs and career disciplines.

    • I thoroughly enjoy your perspective on the inner struggle between cash and personal fulfillment…a battle I’ve been waging for most of my adult working life. I worked for years supporting the Board of Directors for the Clorox Company and Kaiser Permanente, and I can tell you, despite the lofty company and the luxurious digs, I certainly did no favor to myself on the financial front. A year and a half ago, my wife and I purchased an Airstream and have been traveling across the United States; she a talented freelance graphic designer, me finally working on writing my first book. Again, it’s not a plan that will pad our bank accounts, but the “deposits” we make daily to personal growth and professional fulfillment are substantial. Reading your article was not only enlightening, but necessary. Thank you.
      You mentioned in your profile that you take on clients assisting in editing/guidance for manuscripts. Any chance I can run my work by you to see if you are interested in collaborating?
      Again, thank you for sharing your experience and insights. What a thought provoking read.

      • P.S. One of my short essays was recently “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress. If you are interested, it is on the front page now, under writing, entitled, “Writing for Ghosts.”

        • Neasa Cunniffe
        • October 27th, 2012

        Congratulations! It sounds like you and your wife have made the right decision and will look back on your lives feeling you did the right thing. I think you could be mixing up my profile with another one as I don’t work with manuscripts – not yet anyway, who knows in the future!

  2. Alternating between money and meaning is how a lot of successful artists operate. You begin your career doing commercialized work, and after a few years – if you’re successful – you have the money and connections to do what you want to do. Unfortunately, a lot of creative types consider that “selling out” and want nothing to do with people who do it. And, for that matter, it’s something that only a handful of people can manage, but the ones who can aren’t sell-outs, they’re wily.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      That’s a good point. I’m not sure there even is such a thing as selling out. What’s wrong with balancing practical work with more idealistic work? That strikes me as a sensible way to express yourself creatively while still keeping a roof over your head.

  3. :) too right, I am currently at that juncture where I’m being forced, very much, to decide between money or meaning.
    I am despairing about my choice!
    http://www.suggestivedigestive.wordpress.com

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      It’s such a hard decision! My gut tells me that if you don’t NEED the money right now, for something really important like supporting your family or paying your mortgage, you should take advantage of this luxury and try for what you really want. You have to believe that if you do what you love, eventually the money will follow. And even if it doesn’t, at least that’s a life well spent :)

  4. Interesting. Western world moving up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

  5. Not only is it a false choice, it’s NOT a choice. It’s simply how life works. As long as you are alive, you will have to figure out a way to get food into your gut and a roof over your head, until you’re dead. That’s it.

    There is no one choice, no one moment where you can cease having to think about that duality. You don’t “make” that choice once, or even a few times in your life. You negotiate with it your every waking moment.

    It’s not a treadmill, it’s not a ball and chain. It’s just the basic, boring maintenance that comes along for the ride when one has a physical body that one uses to carry one’s brain around.

    Sometimes I think that’s the chiefest sign of maturity, when someone finally stops thinking that there will come a glorious day when they will never have to think about mundane things like laundry, rent, and paychecks again, comes to grips with it, and just starts getting things done nevertheless instead of waiting for The Perfect Day or The Perfect Moment when The Choice Becomes Clear.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      A fair comment. Or perhaps you no longer see it as a choice because you change your perspective on what “meaning” is. In the same way that something like doing the dishes can feel like a chore, or like a small and productive action, depending on how you decide to look at it.

      • And that how one looks at it will not make it go away any time soon, so you might as well just do it and whether you find it meaningful or not doesn’t matter. Do the dishes however you may see them, and then go do what IS meaningful to you.

        I guess to me it’s one of what Buddhists call “questions which do not edify.”

    • Interesting take, but I can’t help but disagree.

      I do agree with your idea that it is a constant negotiation, but I’m not sure that simply “getting things done” is any more of a solution than dreaming about never ever doing anything mundane again.

      It all depends on where you place the balancing point: you might say that decent food and a house to sleep in are the basic essentials. Or you could say that going to the soup kitchen and sleeping in a tent are enough to get by. A lot of our “needs” have been created and influence this choice that we make, but it does remain a choice.

      Anyways, interesting post, and interesting comment.

  6. Thankfully as a student with a well-paying part-time job through the university, I don’t have to make that choice. However I’m working to make sure I can have both, that is, write what I like to write and make some money out of it. Is it working so far? Maybe a little. Ask me in a year and maybe we’ll have a different answer.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Am happy for you Rami – long may it continue :)

  7. Love this post, it really got me thinking what is most important to me. Being a student at the moment I feel that this experience has great meaning as I am studying a subject which I am passionate about, but who knows which road I will end up down in the future. Great quote to end on, nice to think that you have a chance to experience everything at one point or another in your life!

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Why not! We’ve never had more opportunities to change our minds or paths. I’m hoping to have at least three careers :)

  8. my downfall has always been that i chose meaning over money … but every now and then my bank account forces me to go money and I think it’s right what you say … a balance is the trick

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      That doesn’t sound like a downfall – it sounds like a good way to go :)

  9. I think an additional factor in some people opting out of corporate gigs in favor of owning their own small shop is that working for the man is not as stable an option as it once was. I think it was United Airlines that couldn’t afford to pay pensions out to an entire generation of retired employees so they had the government pass a law that allowed them to not pay it. For some people, it may be a climb up the hierarchy, for some they may see it as a lateral shift to something more stable…

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      It’s an interesting idea that managing your own career is actually less risky than being dependent on employers or companies. In the long run it probably protects you more.

  10. I have been thinking about this exact thing for sometime now. It used to be that ‘having it all’ meant one thing, but now it varies depending on the person and situation you pose. I think it’s a step in the right direction when citizens reach for personal growth rather than professional, but you are absolutely right in the parallel societies that manifests as a direct result of that choice.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Hopefully personal growth can come through professional growth – especially in good businesses (those which aim to make a positive contribution to society)

  11. I think that money usually overrrules than meaning!

    • The Savvy Senorita
    • October 26th, 2012

    Life is merely a gamble; right place and right time. We all have different obstacles to face, but hope is something we all cling to. I can’t abandon meaning in my life, but money makes my meaning continue. Without it I feel I would face destitution. Creativity isn’t always accepted or fruitful (unfortunately), but there is no reason to give up, if it is what you believe in and want!! Everyone is entitled to try.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Trying is probably the main point. Especially if you see life as a dance, and not as a journey. This is one of my favourite vidoes on the point, hope you like it:

        • The Savvy Senorita
        • October 26th, 2012

        Yes this is very true! I like the link! It is about success, but who measures that? It is relative, it is something we learn to desire, and learn how to measure (according to society norms), For example; how big our house is, how new our car is and so on. It is pressure from society that makes us feel like a failure if we don’t achieve what they sanction as ‘success’. Yet some people want something different, something more, something that can’t be measured or quantified. If you admit to wanting that, you are looked at odd, but its brave to admit it; if not easy to achieve it! Life is a journey, an experience, but you have to battle to find that; because other people around you want to orchestrate your life, and direct it for you (with their own ideals on what should be). You have to break free from this first, to truly find what you desire.

        • Neasa Cunniffe
        • October 27th, 2012

        Yes, I agree! We need broader definitions of success. Or else we need to be confident defining success for ourselves.

        • The Savvy Senorita
        • October 27th, 2012

        Yes, that is true, exactly so!

      • Really like this. Watts has had a profound influence on my life. There were several years when I never went anywhere without one of Watts’ books within reach.

        meaning meaning meaning….

        • Neasa Cunniffe
        • October 27th, 2012

        He is brilliant!

  12. A very thought provoking post and something I’ve been thinking about more as I pursue a career in Engineering. I chose it more for what I could do with these skills rather than how much money I could earn but the money is a definite bonus as I need it to save a decent nest egg for my retirement (a long way off right now but something I’m always thinking about none the less). I’m just pleased I found a job that pays well and I’m passionate about.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Fair play to you – it sounds like you’ve found a good match!

  13. “Perhaps we should take a lesson from Hollywood.” Wow – you don’t hear that very often!

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      Very true – but they must have something to offer beyond fashion trends!

    • jozel
    • October 26th, 2012

    Reblogged this on tidbits to consume.

  14. After years of doing trying that flip-flop thing, I am beginning to realise that living itself is a creative process, into which you can inject meaning, if you are willing to take the trouble. Whether you are a “creative”, a carer, a banker, a house-wife – the motive and the meaning is everything. I think that some of you are making a common mistake in ascribing meaning and significance only to what you enjoy doing. It’s easy and understandable, but it eventually leads to a rather contorted self-indulgence. I know – I’m just in the process of extricating myself from it,:)!

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 26th, 2012

      That’s true. Technically everything we do has meaning, because it’s all purposeful. The motive makes it mean something.

  15. We spend so many of our waking hours at work that the question extends beyond money or meaning to include what sort of culture and people do I want to spend my life among? A faceless corporation where no one is responsible which is the hang-out place for the mediocre or among people who find creative ways to make money, take responsibility for their actions and can’t afford to be mediocre.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      Mediocrity is probably the most soul destroying part of it, especially if you really want to be part of something excellent.

  16. I say live a money filled life with meaning by becoming a stripper. You put a smile on peoples faces everyday, plus people literally (see I know what that word means) stuff money in your underwear. PERFECT job I say. ;)

    x,
    Becca

  17. I think nowadays so many young adults are being taught what money can bring you as opposed to what it can’t. We live under the belief that money is a flexible tool that can solve any problem and it is often later in life that we realize this is not the case when we discover there is no “meaning” to our strive for money.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      That’s a really interesting point. We don’t think enough about what money doesn’t give, or even the downsides of money. It’s always seen as a uniformly positive thing.

  18. I think I”d only have the perfect job now (as I do) because I had the relatively high paying one before.

  19. I love this! I’m trying to find my balance between making moolah and being happy and free.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      There’s an assumption money gives you freedom – but maybe it just makes you more dependent!

  20. I enjoyed your comments. I would only add that there really isn’t a choice between money and meaning. It’s really only a choice of what is meaningful. Some people find meaning in things and lifestyles that take demand more money and others are able to find meaning and be fullfilled more modestly.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      I agree, it’s a very good point.

  21. Reblogged this on birdmanps.

  22. What if you don’t yet KNOW what you want your life to mean? What if you can’t pinpoint what that little dream is? Then what?

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      It’s a good point. I’m not sure you can think your way into finding your passion. I think you have to try as many things as you can, until you stumble on the activities you enjoy most.

  23. This past year my heart has really started calling me, so when I saw your post, I had to stop in =). After working 2-3 jobs for several years to meet those responsibilities, now my son is grown and at college and flying independently from the nest, my husband is happy in his new and final career and I am more than ready to make less, take less, give more and be happy and at peace. For me, instead of two parallel cities side by side it is more like a soft colorful version super-imposed over the stripped down basic version: doing whatever I love and long for even if it is just enough to meet reality. That’s really more than enough for me at this point in time! =)

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      It sounds like a good time for you to make this decision. Best of luck!

  24. How realistic is this !! And true, you can’t have it all at once.

    I stressed for several decades in “Aircraft maintenance” before semi retiring and getting into humour.

    I now lose weight as a starving cartoonist, instead of losing it as a stressed out maintainer.

    And I earn a mere fraction of what I used to, but I’m happier, relaxed, and will probably live longer.

    I’ll have no money to live longer with, but that’s a minor detail when compared to the alternative. Not using oxygen.

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/humorous-illustration/#jp-carousel-236

    Cheers

    Mick

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      Losing weight and living longer – that sounds like a great outcome to a career change! And from everything I’ve seen, happiness and low stress levels are much greater determinant of how long we live than money.

  25. Reblogged this on Pastor Tim | timbayer.org and commented:
    So true in ministry today, too! This is wisdom… And challenge where passion, competency, and marketability all need to come together.

  26. I think that it’s completely possible to change how society is structured so that we don’t have to pick between money and meaning. This system is soon going to become unsustainable.. the priorities and values are all misplaced and it will take a toll on society through mental health. I think it is possible to mobilize everyone to create a shift in our perceptions of value and worth.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      I hope we can. We need a wiser society.

  27. Great post, I believe life is full of opposition in all things, and that there may even be times where both can be as equally rewarding! It I hard to feel like you have to choose one or the other! Thanks for sharing.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      It’s all about tradeoffs and balance – but that’s no bad thing. You probably appreciate things more when you’ve experienced the opposite.

  28. What a great post. I’ve been struggling with this for quite some time. At the end of the day I found that meaning will be trumped by money so you might as well incorporate it into your motives and your cause before you find yourself in distress.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      Hopefully it will be – otherwise you’ve probably made a wrong turn!

  29. Reblogged this on BlackArtisan and commented:
    What a great post. I’ve been struggling with this for quite some time. At the end of the day I found that meaning will be trumped by money so you might as well incorporate it into your motives and your cause before you find yourself in distress

  30. You sum up this theme sooooo brilliantly and concisely and the closing quote from Oprah is a complete gem:-) I’ve been struggling with this one for years because, though money has never drawn me, I do get tired of worrying where the next month’s rent will come from – so sometimes, as now, I get a wage paying temporary job until it’s drained me of meaning again and I have enough nuts (and it is peanuts) squirreled away to get me though another few months of being me and writing.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 27th, 2012

      Squirrel is a good metaphor! Maybe the hard slog is just our version of hibernation, before the summer months when you can do what you love!

  31. I’ve never been into living for work. I’m not interested in money particularly or the pleasures it can bring. When I have money, why would I want to give it to others for some whimsical moment of pleasure or some tatty transient belonging. The reality is though, if you live in London you need to work to have a place to live.

    My dream is to live in the country, maybe run a B & B or a small landholding with a campsite or shop. Perhaps have some animals to go with my home grown veg or maybe set up my own travel company or do more writing.

    Whatever pass I choose I am pleased to say the 10 or 15 years of gut slogging has paid dividends and I’m closer than ever to giving it all up and living how I want to do whilst still at a relatively young age.

  32. Luurve this post!!! I’m hoping that I can have it all eventually.. : )

  33. Thanks for the great post. The issue strikes a chord with many people and I often battle with it myself.

  34. Reblogged this on Rattlers Pit.

  35. Great post. I’m still trying to have both, but I face little challenges periodically that make me choose. Sometimes money wins out, but I always have my creative projects on the side.

  36. The same dilemma of money vs meaning is happening with all my late twenties and early thirties colleagues and friends here in Toronto. Now that careers have been established, the thought is “is this it?”. Good post.

  37. Reblogged this on Demented Musings.

  38. the eternal question! glad you dared to make the right choice …good luck :)

  39. Thank you for your post. I recently had to make a decision between career and creativity. I chose creativity and quit my internship. It’s hard when your boss is chasing money and you’re chasing meaning.

  40. I loved this post – especially Oprah’s sentiment at the bottom.
    I went to art school where it was considered the ultimate sin to be successful – it meant that you weren’t a real artist. As I’m getting older that idea just seems more and more preposterous.
    I also spent a lot of time trying to find a career that I was passionate about (in fact, that’s what my blog is about), but I’ve realized that you don’t find passion in your work, you bring passion to your work. If you are creative and driven, you can make most jobs rewarding.

  41. I think it’s all about balance: work in the day to earn the money to live and pursue your creative streaks in the evenings or vice-versa. Being creative full-time eventually gets dull, just as living in a monotone, mundane bubble of money-making schemes and profits gets tiring. I’ve been in this situation (albeit still in education, it works the same way; the work I should have invested into learning and exam techniques were instead spent in creative endeavours and I ended up with poor grades, an annoyance with the paranormal genre and a new outlook to work).

    I loved your idea about it being a middle-class dream! I always thought only the more well-paid and people of a higher social standing had the money and time indulge in their artistic natures.

  42. Though my blog is really about life as a working parent, I have found myself more inspired lately by my gripes about work. I, too, have found it to be a struggle to strike the appropriate balance in life. And, I can’t seem to figure out a way to be both fulfilled and have a full (enough) pocketbook.

    It is so refreshing and comforting to hear I am not alone. I loved this post. And the timing, for me, was perfect.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  43. great post! i enjoyed every bit. keep this up!

  44. This really made me think – I wholeheartedly want to choose meaning but it seems money is the only way to even live (paying the rent, buying food, etc.). Goverment funding for entrepreneurs and things like that formulise the whole thing, but I think this is a personal choice.

  45. Really enjoyed reading your post. This is currently the struggle in my life. I agree with many of your thoughts on the topic– but I believe that it isn’t just about having it all at once. People may be able to compromise and strike a balance between the security they crave and the ability to do meaningful work and achieve self-actualization. Check out my post :)

    http://psychologybits.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/how-to-decide-your-career/

  46. Thought provoking…. my thought is, is it not, rather than choosing between ‘money’ and ‘meaning’, choosing between dreams and practicality?

    Some lucky (or gifted, or hard-working) people manage to make lots of (or enough) money by pursuing their heart’s desire (or something close to it). For those who have to choose, the choice is between following their heart (and hoping they can make the rent) and taking a sensible job that will ensure a good standard of living, but putting the dreams on the back-burner for a while.

    Or maybe it’s a signal to avoid the need to choose, if we can, by adopting a long-term plan that will allow us to do both? Work like stink for ten years, to finance that chance to see if we can achieve the dream?

    But whatever we do, I don’t think we can afford to slide into the depressing view that we can either have our dreams or be financially secure. To accept this would seem to be to give up on the idea of – like Oprah – having it all. It may be difficult to see how you might achieve the perfect state of doing your dream job AND having loads of money, but if you don’t even see it as a possibility, you’ll never make the effort to see if you can do it.

    I don’t know who it was who originally said, “Aim high; you may not hit your target but at least you won’t shoot your foot off,” but I think they make an important point.

    Currently, I’ve done the ‘working like stink for ten years’ part… I’m now in the ‘see if I can achieve the dream’ stage, so I am putting my money where my mouth is!

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 28th, 2012

      I agree. It’s never an “either/or” – you make trade offs to find some compromises in between. But knowing what your priorities are (and feeling financially secure is a very important priority) can help you find the right balance.

  47. I’m actually working through this myself at the moment… and I’ll be honest I’ve never been as torn between two things as I am now.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 28th, 2012

      I always think there’s no wrong decision, so whatever you decide will be right for you.

  48. Love this! Thank you for this great post.. straight to the point..

  49. I really loved this post. This is something that, in my short 24 years, I seem to have struggled with over and over again. I desire to create, to dream, to live out life doing something that actually makes me feel alive. I have had many odd jobs and am currently working as an esthetician in a day spa. It has its pros and cons, but mostly I’m miserable at the end of the day feeling as if finding my true passion and getting paid for it is unrealistic and out of reach. I’m hoping to prove myself wrong before its all said and done.

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 28th, 2012

      A friend of mine has a job he hates, but it allows him to pursue his passions in his spare time. I think as long as you pursue something you really enjoy somewhere in your life, whether as a hobby or through your job, then you can get to the right balance. And if you don’t know what you’re passionate about yet, I say – try lots of things!

  50. confused…. I’d like to have it alternately too, as you’ve said, have it one at a time….:-) oh, html tag – adventures of life…

  51. You are a very meaning-full writer, somehow you easily put all these thought provoking questions I have into perspective. Keep up the AMAZING writing!:)

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 28th, 2012

      Thank you so much. I’m so glad you found the post an interesting perspective.

  52. I have to admit, I am one of those dreamers who would love to own a little coffee shop. I do believe you can have it all. The trick is being aware of your choices. Go for what feels good and never sell out just for money. It equals burnout. Great article. :)

      • Neasa Cunniffe
      • October 28th, 2012

      I’m not ruling out the coffee shop just yet – could even make a nice change when I’m in my seventies!

        • kuemper@gmail.com
        • November 5th, 2012

        My thoughts exactly. :)

    • VincentWee
    • October 28th, 2012

    Reblogged this on newemergent.

  53. Reblogged this on Spectrum of the Mind and commented:
    WELL? :))

  54. Totaly Agree with this post! Re-posting this! Check out my blog, would love your opinion! howtomakeitwork.wordpress.com

  55. Reblogged this on How to Make it Work..

  56. Well spoken. I think that in this world, you must have a good balance of both. If you choose one over the other, then you are screwed. If you choose wealth over happiness, there will come a time when you are standing on the edge of a very high bridge looking down upon traffic. Then you have the starving artist looking for the next months rent while trying to draw something meaningful. It seems like both alternatives are very gloomy, however, the middle might be able to keep you sane enough to survive.

  57. Well said. I am the director of marketing at http://www.playgroundentertainmentgroup.com. I think in relation to your post, the idea that once maslow’s hierarchy has been fulfilled then we look for a higher degree of satisfaction beyond our immediate survival is very true. I think any mundane job can be creative though. By being in the moment we can bring the greatest amount of pleasure and intelligence to whatever we are doing. I think this is in direct relation to happiness not being connected to wealth once basic survival obligations are met, it is up to us to develop intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic qualities to achieve the greatest heights of satisfaction.

  58. It is funny what a good company buy-out and some lay offs will do for your perspective!

    Now, for the sake of survival, I am currently at a fairly great job if you don’t mind dumbing yourself down and being under utilized. Due to the lay offs and the poor management at my current job, I have realized that I have amassed the skills to go it my own and take my destiny into my own hands. I am just finding a way to put the wheels into motion.

    Oh yeah! Good read!

  59. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing site!

    • Thank you! Delighted you enjoyed reading it – sounds like you’re putting your downtime at work to good use :)

  1. October 27th, 2012

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