Well, which is more important to you…?
A client asked me this question the other day. He had been struggling in a job he loathed but was reluctant to give it up to follow his dream. The conversation reminded me how I had recently been waiting to be served in my local bank and noticed the bad mood of the teller. Looking to be in his mid ‘50s, but possibly years younger, he was grumpy with everyone he came in contact with.
Behind the grumpiness, I detected a well of deep sadness and wondered if maybe he had a sick dependent at home – a wife, mother, child – who was preoccupying his thoughts and making him appear bad-tempered.
But then I noticed his hands, broad and robust like a labourer’s, his fingers like sausages. It was difficult to watch these lumps of meat hold a fine pen and try to flick through documents and money notes. He looked quite smartly dressed but the collar and tie seemed to be strangling him and I felt he would be happier in an old sweatshirt and jeans.
Rarely am I so aware of someone looking so wrong in a job. This man, I would say, could be an artisan by nature – a sculptor or builder, forced into a daily grind that is wearing him down and making him and everyone around him miserable. For sure, his soul seemed to have forgotten how to fly. And for what, I wonder – a regular paycheck, a pension at the end, job security? At what price?
Most people believe that money equals success. Many children are still expected to follow in their parent’s footsteps, or upsize from them, or go into some ‘safe’ profession. Or are taught that work – by its definition – is to be endured, not enjoyed. Spouses are too often expected to stick at a job they loathe, simply to keep their partner or children in a lifestyle they have become accustomed to.
My mother tried to steer me in that safe direction too, many years ago when I left school; “…a nice job in insurance with a good salary and a pension at the end”, she said. Sadly – though through no fault of her own and due to her being brought up lacking all but the basics in war-time England – she simply did not get my creative spirit, need for self-expression and desire for independence. Like most parents, she was concerned for my physical welfare, but also in fear of a future lacking in whatever was her idea of security. My heart was sinking fast…
Luckily for me, I got straight into advertising, then interior design which led me into the mind/body/spirit world of feng shui, then personal development and then coaching. Happily, none of these professions have ever felt like ‘work’, simply working at what I love and do best. It has not been all rosy though; as with most people there have been times I have had to do jobs that I have not liked, hated even. But I have made sure they have been temporary, simply fulfilling a specific economic need for a short time.
Vocation or paycheck?
So, the question comes back to time or money – which is more important? If you take a long-term job just for money, it can be difficult to go back to what it once was that defined your core being and made your heart sing. If you are going to take a job for the money, make sure you have a get-out date in mind – and the sooner the better.
There is an endless supply of money in the world, but only a limited amount of time for each of us. If you are not enthusiastic about doing something, it is not for you. So, for the sake of your soul and your sanity, find a way to choose again. Whereas you can sometimes make more money, it is impossible to make more time; when it is gone, it is gone.
Listen to your soul – your intuition speaks to you through your body. Pay attention if you are always tired, depressed, hungry, smoking, drinking, using drugs, in pain, oversleeping, endlessly shopping, watching TV, etc. There are many other factors that create these diversions too, of course, but they can be indicators that you need to look at your choice of work. And interestingly, when we are doing what we love or – at least – like, we somehow find ourselves being provided for.
The energy of what we put out is what we get back, and money is just another form of energy. Listen to what your heart is whispering and make the very most of your time available here on earth.
If you are ready to choose again and follow your dream, I am here to help you. Contact me for a Free Exploratory Session. I look forward to hearing from you!
PS: Is there anything more important than time? What do you think? Please leave your comments below – I’d love to know your views on this…
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I enjoyed reading your blog.
This topic speak it daily with people of my around.
Many people work on something that you don’t like.
Many people complain every day of their work, salary, the lack of time… but no they do nothing to change it.
People don’t realize that their bad mood, is being overwhelmed working on something you don’t like…
There is a limit to the time you can not buy time.
The money can earn more and less.
The quality of life is for my most important.
I recommend to write on a sheet of all the things that you don’t like and make you feel bad.
and write on a separate sheet all the things that you like and make you feel good.
This helps us to follow a path to happiness.
Our happiness is to do the things that we like.
The nice thing is waking up in the morning thinking and feeling that you like your job, people that you see, your friends…
It is a good reflection to do it every day and help us lead a way towards our goal.
The goal is happiness.
You’re right, Lidia…some people complain all the time but do nothing to change their situation… then, one day, they realise they have no time left, they’ve run out of it…it’s sad that they haven’t woken up ‘in time’. I love your ideas to improve the quality of life…thank you for them…
I found your blog very interesting. It’s something I think about quite a lot. I want the money or the time? What makes it even more complicated is I enjoy doing my job and it’s hard to say no. I just wish there were 48 and I would probably work 48 hours!
I love that you enjoy your job so much, Juliet…it sounds amazing and obviously doesn’t feel like work at all. I’d say, if it makes you happy, keep doing what you’re doing…but remember that to maintain a healthy life balance one has to factor in other elements along the way…
I’ve enjoyed reading your article. Thank you! Probably most of us are faced with such a question at one moment or another. I would clearly say time is definitely more important than money. However money is necessary because of the kind of social organization we live in. I don’t agree so much on your statement that money is just another form of energy… I understand money is something created by man and only a few people have the power to decide the amount of money to create and where it goes, so they use this power to be in control of many people’s lives. I quite agree with the Common Welfare Economy in this sense: money needs to be considered a means and not a goal in itself. Cheers!
Hi Judith – thank you for your ever-thoughtful comments. The idea of money being a form of energy is that money, as with all forms of energy, must flow. Just as we experience insufficient chi in the body as sickness, we experience an insufficient flow of money as dis-ease. In our modern culture, a lack of financial energy flow often becomes a form of stress that can divert us from our path. But the reverse situation is equally dis-easeful. As too much chi, blocked and concentrated, leads to illness in the body, do you think that money that is earned or hoarded in fear that we won’t have enough doesn’t also lead to a condition of spiritual dis-ease…? But, as always, getting the balance right in the mind is key…
Thank you for making us reflect on how much important is the time in our lives. I quite agree.
Hi Ana – thanks for taking the time out of what I know is your busy day to read this and respond…
Thanks for this Jean – an interesting article. I believe that time is more important than money overall – time to spend with loved ones, time to devote to a healthy mind, body and spirit, time to discover and enjoy one’s passions in life, time to fully experience many aspects of what life on earth has to offer etc. However, it is often money that “buys” us time and enables us to experience life to the fullest. What is the point in working in a job you love when you can’t even pay your bills or put food on the table, this causes far more physical and mental stress than working in a job you don’t particularly like but which pays well, and in the little free time you have you are able to enjoy some of life’s wonderful experiences, you are also able to help many more people. Being poor is pointless. It simply doesn’t serve anyone. There comes a point where money if far more important, if only for a certain amount of time. I don’t agree with sacrificing your life by being a slave to the office, purely to indulge oneself in superficial luxuries. However, I do feel it is important to have some kind of financial security, and enough money to provide various options in life (even though nothing is guaranteed of course !)
Thank you so much for your thoughts, Natasha…. The key to a happy and fulfilled lfe is clearly having enough of both time and money…accessing that key, however, is not always easy. The pursuit of it is, though, a worthwhile goal in itself, I believe, and the rewards of finding that balance of the match between our inner desires and outer realities are infinite. We all seem to have our blocks – perhaps that is an integral part of being human – but how we deal with them, I feel sure, is part and parcel of what we’re here on earth to experience too…not as a test or lesson…more as a challenge to show ourselves and the world what we’re made of…