I’ve learned that working primarily for the sake of money is a sure-fire way to feel burnt out and unhappy. Money is a necessary part of life, and it’s a powerful incentive to work, but chasing money is risky.
I’m not suggesting we should work for free or get paid less than we’re worth. I do think it’s important for us to do work that we care about, work that the world needs and work that pays us.
I can tell you that any time, in fact every time, I’ve prioritized a pay check over my happiness, wellbeing and interests, I’ve ended up worn out, miserable and in regret.
To work solely for money is to believe that money will buy us happiness, that our values and interests don’t matter, that we’ve got nothing else to work for. Just because the ‘money is good’, doesn’t cut it.
In his 2017 commencement speech at the University of Glasgow, Apple CEO Tim Cook had this to say to graduates eager to pursue a pay check:
“My advice to all of you is, don’t work for money — you will wear out fast, or you’ll never make enough and you will never be happy, one or the other. You have to find the intersection of doing something you’re passionate about and at the same time something that is in the service of other people. If you don’t find that intersection, you’re not going to be very happy in life.”