When we think of wealth, we mostly associate it with money, investments, and assets relating to our financial capital. And then we might pause, and intuitively feel that wealth is definitely much more than just having money. My first understanding of wealth, came from this excellent essay by Paul Graham:
"If you want to create wealth, it will help to understand what it is. Wealth is not the same thing as money. Wealth is as old as human history. Far older, in fact; ants have wealth. Money is a comparatively recent invention.
What is work anyway?
Our beliefs about work are so embedded in our culture, that we often forget to pause and examine our understanding of work. How we view our work gives us our story of why we work, what good do we work for, and when we should work, and gives us the very reason to work in a way that is meaningful.
The old story of work has been rather bleak. It was even in the understanding of some religions that viewed work as a punishment for sin. In classical times, greek thinkers started to view work as “the lack of leisure”, popularized by Aristotle’s “we work to have leisure, on which happiness depends”.
On the surface, the labor market appears to be undergoing a crisis that is especially hard on young adults at the beginning of their careers. But if we examine the drivers of what is really happening, we start seeing with fresh eyes and discover a goldmine of opportunity to design our lives in a way that gives us the freedom to flourish.
How meaningful do we find our jobs?
I was not surprised to read In a recent study of 180 million employees in Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace, that 87% of workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their jobs. That is a whopping 7 in 8 people waking up everyday, to spend majority of their lives doing something they do not find meaningful.