Today's thought

Infinite money

I stumbled upon one of those engagement-farming tweets yesterday that went something like: "You have infinite money. Do you keep working?" — I was completely shocked to find the comments full of hustle-obsessed bros who were like "NO of course not, it’s not about the money for me... I love my job".

*huge eye roll*

First of all… I dunno about you, but working IS all about the money for me. I absolutely would not work if I had millions of dollars. That’s more than enough money to live a wonderful life in peace and entertain every hobby, interest, or dream you could desire. Rest assured: You could draw rectangles, pick colors, and contemplate the difference between "art" and "design" in your free time.

And yet, hustle culture (or maybe just capitalism) has completely brainwashed swaths of well-meaning people into thinking that work = purpose. They feel compelled to "make it mean something" because when you do the same thing for 8 hours a day, you might as well try and get fulfillment from it… right?

In the absence of infinite money, work is required — but I’d submit that it’s a poor vessel for purpose in life. Optimizing your life around finding meaning in work diminishes your ability (and time) to find meaning in the non-work. You can still create things, help people, and build a better world! But doing it without the label of “work” allows for a less biased, more truly fulfilling outcome. The idea that you need the plight of a workweek to entertain your graphic design passion is lunacy.

Make peace with the demand of work—find a way to tolerate it however necessary—but don’t fool yourself into thinking the work itself is what fulfills you, when the life created by the work is what you’re really after.

I stumbled upon one of those engagement-farming tweets yesterday that went something like: "You have infinite money. Do you keep working?" — I was completely shocked to find the comments full of hustle-obsessed bros who were like "NO of course not, it’s not about the money for me... I love my job".

*huge eye roll*

First of all… I dunno about you, but working IS all about the money for me. I absolutely would not work if I had millions of dollars. That’s more than enough money to live a wonderful life in peace and entertain every hobby, interest, or dream you could desire. Rest assured: You could draw rectangles, pick colors, and contemplate the difference between "art" and "design" in your free time.

And yet, hustle culture (or maybe just capitalism) has completely brainwashed swaths of well-meaning people into thinking that work = purpose. They feel compelled to "make it mean something" because when you do the same thing for 8 hours a day, you might as well try and get fulfillment from it… right?

In the absence of infinite money, work is required — but I’d submit that it’s a poor vessel for purpose in life. Optimizing your life around finding meaning in work diminishes your ability (and time) to find meaning in the non-work. You can still create things, help people, and build a better world! But doing it without the label of “work” allows for a less biased, more truly fulfilling outcome. The idea that you need the plight of a workweek to entertain your graphic design passion is lunacy.

Make peace with the demand of work—find a way to tolerate it however necessary—but don’t fool yourself into thinking the work itself is what fulfills you, when the life created by the work is what you’re really after.

Hundred Daily™ is a 100-day writing challenge by Aaron Rolston. The goal is to publish 100(ish) words daily & send them out via email. Consider subscribing if you'd like to receive daily broadcasts from me.

Aaron Rolston © 2099

Aaron Rolston © 2099