“Would you still work if you won tattslotto?” For some of us the answer is, “Are you kidding? Of course not, I’m outa here!” For others the response is less certain and a few are brave enough to offer a definitive ‘yes’.
I think it is the wrong question.
When we participate in the economy by offering our skills for remuneration, we create a unquestioned link between work and money. However real vocational freedom comes when we can break that link, at least in our heads.
We enjoy our work when we do stuff that we are good at with people who appreciate our contribution. Financial reward and incentive is frequently shown to have little impact on our day to day job satisfaction. So two fundamental needs get intertwined.
Firstly our need as people to make a contribution, to do worthwhile things, to use our skills to make things, help people, organise stuff, or cultivate beauty. Secondly, unless we choose to drop out and not participate in what our communities and society offers, we need cash.
So why do people like Rupert Murdoch keep working – it’s not as if he’s scraping to make ends meet? Or, at the other end of the scale, why do pensioners like the one I saw on the news last night help out at Meals on Wheels, when they are struggling to pay their own bills? Because we all need to make a meaningful contribution.
So, if we won Tatts, we might choose to go on an endless world tour but the novelty will wear off probably sooner rather than later. Because our satisfaction is dependant on us making things, organising people or whatever we do that pushes our buttons.
I have a suspicion that we need to break the link in our heads between work and money this side of the winning ticket. Yes, we have got to get our hands on enough cash to maintain the lifestyle we have chosen. But the activity we do Monday to Friday has got to meet other needs that are equally important.
So, if I won Tatts (means I’d need to buy a ticket!), would I keep doing what I’m currently doing as a job? Probably would do bits of it, because it engages my best skills and I reckon I’ll need to keep doing it for as long as I can muster the physical and mental strength. But for me its actually no different …. Every pay cheque, or for me, every remitted invoice I think of as a little tattslotto win …. Yes, it only comes as a result of vocational effort, but if the effort doesn’t have its own rewards, then I’ll be finding other stuff to do. Life is too short to work for money, we need to be working for satisfaction and counting the cash as a bonus, little lottery wins if you like.