Why do you work? While this question seems trivial, its answer could leave many of you baffled.
In many cases we obviously work because we need money. To live, to thrive, to develop. But while there are societal reasons for this, they are not as prominent as the darker, deeper reasons that make us work for money: We seek safety in money. And the one thing that we can get money for is our work. Ergo, we work to be safe, to fit in, to become part of a narrative.
There are important instances where this is a must: When you can barely provide for your family, keep a roof over your head and are facing emergencies. Society demands payment for these things. Under these circumstances, you have to see your work as a gateway towards provisions.
But what about all the other cases? When we have a choice as to why we work, we tend to fall into the same trap as those seeking to survive: To extend and strengthen our lack of safety.
Is this a valid reason to seek employment? Is this a good reason to start a business? Is this really the umbrella under which you choose to hire people, develop products and services and manage relationships with suppliers and customers? Because if you do, then you have to know that your entire operation has been founded on the aversion of destruction, the reinforcement of safety and the avoidance of failure.
This is a reality that can be felt by clients, as well as corporations that seek to extend their power without clear aim. Aggressive and competitive cultures are the hallmark of executives’ mindsets to fortify their ivory tower of power. When we become greedy, we don’t just do it because we are obsessed, but also because we seek to remove ourselves from the masses as this gives us a sense of being untouchable and safe for the rest of our life.
As you may have read, many of the uber rich have a tendency to invest in safekeeping practices. They build bunkers, panic rooms, buy armored vehicles and hide behind the thickest of walls. Not because they feel exposed, but because they want to guard something.
The reason why we work should always support the reason why we are alive. Otherwise, work becomes disconnected. If you turn to nature you will realize that nothing seeks to work towards the illusion of safety. Total certainty is an impossibility that is engrained deep in the genetics of the universe. The likelihood for things to unfold and eventually dissolve is 100%.
To try and remove oneself from this process through money and power is as foolish as the idea of living a safe life. There is no such thing.
Therefore, the “better” reason to work is one of total fearless self-exploration. Work turns meaningful when it fuels your emotional experiences and becomes a truthful expression of yourself. When work is not here to fill the wallet but the heart with the whole range of emotions while still bringing you bliss (money is part of this because it functions as a tool to expand your bliss), everything falls into place. With such a reason at the core of your work, you will always create the things you care about the most. And there is always someone who needs that thing, and who is willing to pay a premium for it.
This is how you connect the magical dots of what life is about: Serving your own bliss by serving others with opportunities to find their own bliss. This is how we expand as individuals and as a species.
Become aware of the reasons why you work. Are you keeping the illusion of false survivalism alive? Or are you truly on the path of embracing the full range of life’s emotions with what you do? This is your power.