Someone told me the good answer lies in good question. Always try to ask a good question if you want a satisfactory and eye-opening answer.
Lately, I have been thinking one question again and again, Why do we work? It might sound silly at first to think such a thing but give me a chance.
Most people spend life in a circle. Going to work, taking care of personal needs & family, sleep and repeat.
Many of us take a different approach and leave that comforting Job in search of something fulfilling. After all, the purpose of life is a life of purpose. There is no denial we need money for our basic needs. But do we need so much money we are after? Is it worth to compromise health and relations for money and work? There is no right or wrong answer here. For some people, money is the only factor in the equation. For others, it is just one variable. I am yet to meet someone who does not have this variable in their equation.
We are so immersed in our Jobs that we define ourselves with it, Especially white collar Job people. We make it our identity. We feel the pride to introduce ourselves as Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer etc. We do not simply say John, Maria, Kiran. Most of the days, we spend our waking time either working OR thinking about work. The work which we landed upon, did not choose by intention.
I ask many of my friends this question: Did you plan the profession you are into OR you landed upon because of a sequence of decisions you made? Most opt for the latter. Many of them still have a zeal of doing something other than the Job they do for the living.
I can’t speak for you but myself. Why do I work? I have been working since early the stage of my life. Some side gig in school, then college and then officially in Software industry. Question is why do I work? Why do you work?
Are you doing the job because you don’t know what else are you capable of, because you are afraid of losing the identity which chose you?
I will try to frame this one question in series of simple yet powerful questions. Let’s start.
Do you work for money?
Yes, it is an important factor.
How do you define yourself?
Software Engineer. Though I would like not to restrict myself with this title.
Which other factors than money contributes in your work life ?
A sense of spending quality time. Pride of creating something. Fortunately, my Job allows me to feel this time to time.
How much time you allot to work? Do you see the scope of improvement?
60-70% of the awake time. Yes, I think in ideal world we should spend ~40% of time working and rest learning, maintaining hobbies, social and personal.
What is the amount of money you want in the bank so you can work what you want NOT what you are doing?
I would be in Software itself but I would like to experiment a lot of ideas. The sum would be $500,000
Do you want to change the world?
I do not have such intentions on large scale. I believe if your work changes even one person life, it is a win. Plus you stumble upon such ideas, you don’t plan.
Are you working OR passing time at Job?
It is a mixture of both. We all have good and bad days.
Are you passionate about your work?
Yes I am. Software is one of rare industry which touches many people life in a positive way. Healthtech and Fintech are few examples.
if given a chance, what would you be doing other than your work?
Some business with social aspect embedded in its genes. Maybe software maybe not.
Do you see social problems along with your daily life? What do you do?
I see a lot of issues, poverty is one of them. Nothing much.
If money is not a concern, what would you do?
All adventure sports, a lot of reading, some social work and a really long drive with my partner. The list is not finite.
If tomorrow you wake up with $500,000 in bank, what would you do?
I will leave you thinking!
It is the last day of the year 2018. Now try to ask these questions to yourself. Be honest. Why do you work? What inspires you beyond money? What are you doing to change your life for better? Spend some quality time and be a better version of yourself in 2019.