As you grew up you might have watched your parents wake up at the same time everyday and go through the same routine to make their way to “work”. People spend so much time at work and yet most are frustrated and unfulfilled. According to the 2013 Gallup Poll, State of The American Workplace, “70% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” and are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.”
Being stressed and miserable from work has consequences on human well-being. For example, the word “karoshi” in Japan translates to mean “death by work”. This usually occurs in the form of stroke or heart attack. Additionally, the term “Karojisatsu” means work suicide. An interesting correlation pointed out in the peer reviewed journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience states; “Currently, Korea has the highest annual suicide rate in the world. It is noteworthy that the increasing suicide rate is directly correlated with the annual increase in Korea’s gross national product.”
Why go on living in such a miserable way which has a devastating impact on health and overall well-being?
The answer you’re probably thinking in your head right now as you read this is “money”, to make a living and pay the bills. People today are required to make money to live on this Earth if they want to meet their basic human needs and have some quality of life. In the current system, economists told us that more economic growth is the path to happiness and everyone believed it. People today have bought into the idea that education is about training to be “successful” and make a “living”; rather than learning to think critically and make a “life”. Most of us are afraid to follow our passion. What if it doesn’t work out and how can you make money to support a family as a painter? We all want security and as much money as possible in the hopes that will provide a good lifestyle which leads to happiness.
A thought-provoking quote is:
“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Better to have short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.” ~ Alan Watts
It has been forgotten but education is meant to nurture a mind to meet its highest aspirations and be creative, not pursue the invention known as a “career”. The current economic system has its faults and can be very contradictory because it encourages growth and consumption at a compounding rate while we live on a finite planet. That’s only the start of the problem since the desire to increase the bottom line can encourage production of goods that are cheap, disposable, breakdown and made from materials that do not naturally return to nature. It’s a huge fundamental flaw that when coupled with booming population growth is a recipe for disaster.
The tides are shifting today and people are waking up. According to the 2013 World Happiness Report, “More recently, the non-economists have begun successfully pushing back. Man never did live by bread alone, and we have learned — painfully— that too focused a pursuit of bread leads not only to obesity but also to a starvation of other human needs, including social connections, psychological balance, and virtue.”
The oldest argument in the book by those who support the money system is that it creates motivation among people. This is simply a false and misguided thought.
This video reviews studies by MIT, Carnegie Mellon & the University of Michigan: “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”
A mental shift in values is occurring as we speak which supports exactly what the above video states.
As priorities are being redefined today people are looking for something more in their lives than a mundane routine job doing something they hate only to make money. They want purpose, fulfillment and to make a difference. This is especially true for the younger generation known as the millennials, aka generation Y. New research shows that the mentalities are shifting and financial security is no longer the top priority for millennials.
As the first generation to grow up in a society of eco-consciousness, millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are less interested in financial gain than their parents, and more concerned with fulfillment. They don’t just want a “job”, they want to explore their passions. The study also shows that they want to feel their work has a strong economic social purpose. World renowned author, Jeremy Rifkin, states it is time for humanity to move from a focus on financial capital to social capital. Social capital is the development and improvement of well-being and quality of life. This is what’s being realize as most important today. We highly recommend giving his new book “Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and the Collapse of Capitalism” a read.
Are the millennials the ones who will save us all and make the world a better place? An article that made the cover of Time Magazine seems to think so.
Billy Parish and Dev Aujla took on the task to find out how to succeed and make a positive difference in the world. We all know the linear path to become a doctor or lawyer but what is that path to being a change-maker and finding fulfillment in life? One of the best books I’ve personally read offers real success stores and great advice on just that.
The book is called Making Good and is worth your time. It will inspire you.[google-translator]