More and more I am realizing that the things you do (play a sport, make money) have (car/money/good job/house) and idolize (fame, locations) is not the answer to this question.
The answer — though I do still believe there is not exactly a right-or-wrong to it — is unique to each of us. But I do feel it is more along the lines of,
What defines your life? What do you bring to the world? What makes you happy, aside from things you can pay for or do for fun? If everything in the world was free, what would be your value to society? Do you bring anything to the table at that point?
These questions seem to be coming to me as I increase my meditation practice (thanks Uncle Rush! Book review coming) and meet more and more vapid people in Miami. I had a conversation yesterday (this post is not being published on the date that I’m actually writing it, btw) with a female who seemed to define herself by — and be very proud of — the fact that she makes good money.
Now, I’m no moralizer when it comes to making paper. Money is a good thing to make. It gives you power to do what you wanna do and be where you wanna be; you can even help other people with it. I get paid when I work or I don’t work. I do many things with money as the main/only motivation for doing it. Many of us spend the bulk of our time doing things for the very goal of making (more) money. I am no exception.
But this female didn’t have anything else to her. I asked her questions about herself and several of her responses began with, “this might sound shallow, but…” Followed by something about paying for this or traveling here and there or how her friends couldn’t always afford to do the things she does.
What do you do outside of work, for a good time? “Shop, buy stuff…”
(Let the record show that her chosen profession and position within was 100% money-driven, by her admission. She worked where she did, and at the level she did, because of relationship between the money she made and the amount of work required to earn it. She told me this. )
If money or material is your only motivation, what happens when you have enough to do anything — what will you do that next day? What’s your purpose?
Who are you?