Living In A Material World …

We all get caught up in questioning the reasons why we choose to work. Some of us think it’s the only way to build a career and follow your life’s dream. Others see it as a means to pay the bills, one paycheck at a time. And others still, have the attitude, “Well, what else would I do with my time if I didn’t work!”  Do you ever stop and wonder why we “work?” The concept of “work” is a bi-product of the Industrial Revolution where you needed to produce in order to survive. But today, work has taken on a whole new meaning or has it?  Have we just bought into the notion that we are living in a material world and it’s the only thing we need to focus on in order to move through this lifetime?

It’s a sobering thought when you begin to realize your only options when it comes to not working is to either be homeless and destitute, perhaps living off the kindness of others or maybe as complete liberation and the ability to live your dream-whatever that might be. When it comes to working or not working, there really is no in-between. How have we evolved over the centuries from making a living “aka work” which really was what we did to sustain our being, to having the luxury to pursue a “career” which really means you will still work but just at something you like rather than something you do in order to survive. Work vs. Career doesn’t mean you get out of living in a material world, it just means that work is something you do if you want to eat, where a career is something you do while you figure out what you’d like to eat.

When asked, “What do you do?” some people will automatically reply that they “work” for a living as opposed to stating, “I have a career.”  Careers really are what you do when you are working at something you like for a long time and something you have chosen. Work is well just that, something you do to get by and make a living whether you really like it or not. Work really does not give you many choices unless you don’t mind living hand to mouth.  Not a great life-strategy especially if you have other mouths to feed.

What living in the material world forces us to do is to choose. The choices may be limited but if you are going to survive anywhere you’ve got to work at something whether it’s your chosen career path or not.  Even those with endowments work, even if their job is to give money away or set up charities to help those in need. Most of us really don’t have a choice to “not work” regardless of how much accumulated wealth we have built. Work, career, job not only commands how you spend your time but also how well you choose to spend it. This applies to those who have a chosen “career” or those who need to work for any reason.

Whether you think you’ve figured it out and have an exit strategy in place no matter how long you think you need to work or not, keep in mind, survival is the number one motivator whether you call it work, career or a job. Money may not buy you love but it certainly will put food on the table and clothes on your back. We all live in a material world whether we like it or not and in order to survive it the plain and simple truth is you have to work it no matter what it is you choose to do.