Saturday, 3 August 2013

Let's talk about money

Photo by Ian Britton - via Creative Commons reuse policy
Money is different things to different people. But, to me, it has a bit of a mysterious element. And perhaps this is partly because us human beings don't talk about money. It is one of these subjects that you are not supposed to talk about. God forbid that you know what your work colleagues are earning in case you find out that someone doing the same job is earning more than you, or someone who doesn't work as hard as you is on the same wage.

Honestly, it is quite ludicrous how we keep money so secretive, and I have little doubt that society would be a better place if we were a bit more open and honest about money. But why is it that we keep the subject of money so under wraps? After all, money, in physical form is a coin or piece of paper, or now, often just a number input onto a banking system. And yet, the entire world system is largely based on this coin, paper and numerical system. Think about it for a little while and surely you cannot come to any other conclusion than this being somewhat insane.

I don't know much about the history of the monetary system, nor do I particularly wish to at present, but it's how this world is currently kept under control. We need money to buy food (which is crazy in itself, but let's not go there for now), to live in a house, to run a car, to travel, to get education, the list goes on. It is possible for exceptional people to live without money for a bit, such as Mark Boyle, and maybe, just maybe, there will be more people who are willing to explore beyond the monetary system, but, generally speaking, it's pretty hard to live properly without money.

The way I see it, there are two main sides of the money system, and the majority of people are trapped in the first one, which is the largely governmentally controlled work structure. Most of us are brought up by parents who work in 9 to 5 jobs, and who tell us that getting a job is the way to go. Unless you are fortunate enough to know what you want to do at an early age, you will end up in a job that is not your passion, just so that you can pay the bills. Most people seem to go through life without properly questioning this system, even though they may not be happy or fulfilled in their work. Moan about it, yes, but not do much else.

Most people would not do the jobs they do if money was not an issue, and yet they remain in these jobs in order to have their basic needs fulfilled. It is a totally unnatural system, governed by people who want to keep us under control. There is no way we were created to do 9 to 5 jobs. The frequent wishing that we weren't at work, is in part, I believe, a cry from our soul that knows that the whole thing of working 9 to 5 is not right.

The other side is the people who have found a way to earn money doing what they love. The JK Rowlings of this world, the Alan Sugars (I don't agree with some of the ways he operates but you can't deny he is a pretty shrewd man), the business owners, TV and radio presenters, therapists, artists etc. Of course, there are some people who are working for others and doing a job they love, but I would guess they are few and far between. The work and money structure largely does not encourage people to follow their passions. Greed rules rather than creativity, although hopefully there are some steps being taken towards change.

Okay, so back to my original question - why is it that we keep the subject of money under wraps? Well, I think it's because most of us feel that we don't have enough money. There's that wanting for more. Even footballers, on ludicrous salaries, still want more. This may seem ridiculous to most of us who are on a regular wage, but people compare themselves to others when it comes to money, very much so, and might be very put out if someone who is doing a similar job in a different company, is earning a fair bit more. We want what they have. Footballers want at least as much as another footballer who is on the same level as them. But really, it also comes down to how WE feel about the amount of money we have. It is perfectly possible to be happy on little money, and unhappy on lots of money.

What it all boils down to is this: if we are genuinely happy with how much money we get, it will not bother us if someone else is getting more than us. And if we are not, then it will. That is not to say that we have to be happy if an employer is paying less than the market rate. However, even then, we need to do the best we can to manage and be content, whilst possibly looking to improve and move on at the same time.

What do you feel you are worth in monetary terms? Question to ponder ..

A lot of our identity and self-worth is determined by money, and perhaps this is because many of us spend so much time in the workplace, making it a big part of our lives. The way the system is set up, makes it difficult for people to earn that much money, and the people who do end up fairly well off from the workplace, often do so at the expense of stress, their marriage, etc. The basic function of the 9 to 5 world, as I can see it, is to give people enough money to live without being able to truly live the life they want, to make wage slaves reliant on the system and to keep a fake economy going. Also, it is designed to take energy and time out of people so that it is harder to spend time working towards changing their lives. And if you don't believe me, maybe have a think about it. The government are not that stupid, they have had us hoodwinked for a very long time. David Cameron knows that people are starting to wake up and therefore is trying to police 'esoteric' sites, amongst other things.


If we can earn a living doing what we love, money will not matter so much. But the transition from wage slave to self employed does not happen overnight - if it did, then, of course, far more people would be self employed. It takes courage to make that leap. The legal and work structure is set up so that wage slaves at least have a secure pay structure, and I guess we should be grateful for that. People who dare to live the life of their dreams give up the world of a secure paycheck. The system is not set up to make it easy for people to live their ideal life.

Many people, particularly if they have families, are not going to feel they are able to give up a secure wage, unless they are forced into it by circumstances. Generally speaking, it is easier to stay comfortable. Money is paid to people who obey the system, who are under the control of the government. I have heard people say 'money is energy'. I don't necessarily agree with this. The monetary system of today makes it too much for me to believe that. It is not a fair system, and does not necessarily reward the people who deserve to be rewarded.

I think it takes a special person to be able to earn money from doing what they love. It takes dedication, effort and hard work. In most instances I've heard about, people have started doing what they love whilst they are still working in a job. I don't like phrases such as 'do what you love, and the money will follow'. That makes it sound all so easy, the reality is different for most people. I hope I can be one of those special people, and I hope you can too. I will be carrying on with the 'Diary of a Career Changer' posts that I have been doing, and hopefully will be able to offer more pearls of wisdom.

To your success in life

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