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Is there a higher purpose to work than just money?

Money is to be attracted and not to be chased. Sadly, most people don’t get this. Instead, most people try to chase money through selfishness and self-seeking motivation. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

There are those who have found their calling. And they have made that call their career. And they are making money from it – whether little or a lot – and that gives them purpose.

There is also another category of people who are content with what they do because of the monetary rewards that come with it. It may make them happy. Or not. And there are also those to whom money is not a big deal - they just work and feel content.

You may be among those who are just okay getting by. Those unsure if it is the passion they are after or money yet it somehow makes sense to them at the end of the day.

Whatever you might be doing, what is it that drives you? Is it passion or money? As such, should you work for passion or for money? And is money enough reward for your passion anyway?

Edith Siddondo, founder and chief executive of Profit Acumen, a money coaching firm, says there is more to what you do than just money. She says when she started her career, she believed that the way to get rich was to study hard, get a good job, and work your way up the corporate ladder.

“I thought that if I put in enough hours, I could get promoted to a big position that paid six to seven figures and has the life of my dreams,” says Siddondo.

Once she got the corporate job she dreamt of, she realised she was not building wealth as she had always thought.

“My increased income was being used to pay for increased lifestyle expenses like the latest fashion for clothes and shoes, cars, houses name it,” says the certified money coach and author.

In light of what she learned, Siddondo shares three key reasons you should not work for money but for a higher purpose.

Attract money. don’t chase it

Money is to be attracted and not to be chased. Sadly, most people don’t get this. Instead, most people try to chase money through selfishness and self-seeking motivation. They also have a very narrow definition of success: lots of money, fame, and power to rule.

To attract money, the first thing to understand is that money follows value. Find a way to provide a tremendous amount of value in the lives of others and to the world, whether you are employed or in business. 

The idea is to turn your focus outward. Look for ways that you can show up, provide value and service, and positively impact the lives of the people around you.

But to give value, you must be of value. You need to invest in and work on yourself.

“Very early in my entrepreneurship journey, I was very frustrated literally chasing my tail. My coach at that time told me “the biggest limit to your success is you.” This made me so uncomfortable and I must say I felt hurt but I later realised she was right,” she says.

To give more, I needed to be more, adds Siddondo.

“I believe the same applies to every other person. Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of self-growth because success is something you attract by the person you become. That’s just how it works. The more skills you learn, the more successful you are likely to become. More often, success goes to the people who have learnt more than anyone around them and seized opportunities others weren’t qualified for,” she says.

The second aspect of attracting money is “service”.

If you want to be useful, serve without calling unnecessary attention. Service and the significance that you bring to your service is what is relevant. We live in a world where everybody wants to be famous and we admire people for what they have and the fact that they are known. The truth is all of that will fade in no time.

The spirit of service is the desire to contribute to the well-being of other people.

Strive to be excellent at this. The work that you offer must be without blemish and it must be done as carefully as possible, even in its smallest details.

Do the right thing and the right thing will follow you, including money.

Money is a tool and not a goal

“I want more money.”

“I need to save more money.”

“I wish I had more money.”

“I hear these phrases all the time — and I have been guilty of saying them myself, too. While it is natural to think this way about money, doing so only creates more stress and a perpetual feeling of frustration around money,” says Siddondo.

Why? What is wrong with “more money?” Isn’t that what we’re all striving for, anyway?

A lot of the time, yes, people get caught up in the idea of “more money” as a goal and as a solution to the problems they currently face.

Apparently, when you make “more money” your goal, you will never feel satisfied that you have enough irrespective of your bank balance.

Money is a tool. A means to an end and not the end in itself.

If we can understand that money is a tool that we can use to help us achieve what we want, we can set more appropriate value-based goals for ourselves and actually have our money bring more fulfilment and satisfaction to our lives.

Free your mind of the clutter and think beyond instant gratification and the very natural drive to want “more”. Start making room for thoughts and considerations around what you truly value.

Sidondo says we must honour our worthiness in order to receive what we want. But it’s important to understand that there is no correlation between money and self-worth. Your net worth will never come anywhere close to your worthiness. Your intrinsic worth is within you and has no connection to materialism.

In our society today, a number of people are conditioned to believe they are not worthy. Not worthy to be, to do, or say.

Somebody has convinced them that they are not worthy.

Feeling unworthy is like putting a huge obstacle to your God-given gift or passing it on to someone else. Think of a flowing river, when you put an obstacle, it does not stop flowing. It just changes direction.

“There is nothing you need to do or say or be to be worthy. You just are. There is no amount of money or things that you can have to make you worthy. Nor is there any amount of contribution that you need to give to make you worthy,” she says.

The first step toward elevating your financial well-being is to separate your sense of self-worth from money. When you are able to do this, it begins the process of increasing both. Our attachment and our latching both things together are what actually inhibits both our self-worth and our net worth.

To get a sense of direction on this path, ask yourself these essential questions:

Why do I work? What am I trying to achieve in my work? These questions can help all of us raise our hearts and mind to reflect more on why we do the things we do the way we do them.
 
Work forms a big part of our lives and the meaning we give our work has a connection to the meaning we give to our life: “Why am I here?”

Our life clearly has more meaning beyond chasing money for its own sake. And that meaning can only be satisfying and fulfilling if it’s for a higher and noble purpose.

You must have some kind of vision for your life beyond money.