Author Topic: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life  (Read 4242 times)

ender

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Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« on: April 20, 2014, 07:38:37 AM »
I've been reading YMOYL recently, which I actually find to be very helpful as it supplements MMM perfectly. One of the things I am not clear on is a theme in Chapter 7, which is For Love And Money - Valuing Your Life Energy - Work And Income.

Here is a quote from the book which summarizes the perspective I'm having a bit of a hard time understanding.

Quote
Redefining Work
The real problem with work, then, is not that our expectations are too high. It's that we have confused work with paid employment. Redefining "work" as simply any productive or purposeful activity, with paid employment being just one activity among many, frees us from the false assumption that what we do to put food on the table and a roof over our heads should also provide us with our sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. Breaking the link between work and money allows us to reclaim balance and sanity.

....

But you want to recognize that the purpose of your paid employment is getting paid and that your real "work" may be far bigger than this one job. By separating work and wages you can see more clearly whether you are valuing - both on and off the job  that precious commodity called life energy.

Maybe it is just because I've already bought into MMM desires to retire early and live an anti-consumeristic lifestyle but I just do not see this as so profound as the author makes it seem.

Can someone else explain why this is profound?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »
I think it's meant to be a counter argument to the common complaint that people would struggle to find meaning if they didn't work.

You can find meaning in a lot of ways, and many would argue MORE meaning if you were free to volunteer, etc.

Earning money != meaning

samburger

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 08:08:03 AM »
This idea may seem natural to you, but it's pretty earth shattering to some people.

Let's look at it from a different angle: Think about the folks who argue that Walmart checkers have easy/unimportant jobs because they don't get paid much. They also assume that people who get paid a lot must work harder or do more valuable work.

They believe that because they don't understand the difference between work and paid employment. They see money and value as totally inextricable: Where there is value, there must be money and vice versa.

This YMOYL line of thinking would have them see that those pay differences exist for other social reasons, not because one form of work is naturally and inherently "more serious" than another.


socaso

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 09:16:29 AM »
Have you ever heard that old joke that the biggest cause of death is retirement? Some people really struggle with what to do with themselves if they aren't working. Perhaps if you try to think of a few examples of people you know who might fit this description then you might have an easier time understanding how this new definition of work would change their lives if they understood it as you do.

Emg03063

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 09:29:25 AM »
It was profound when it was written because they said it first ;)

Dee

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 03:37:15 PM »
What resonated with me from that portion of YMOYL is the concept that " the purpose of your paid employment is getting paid." This means to me that I go to my job to get paid. If portions of it are unfulfilling or uninspiring or whatever else, so be it. I can do "work" outside my job (or I can call it living, instead of "work") and find fulfillment and value in all sorts of activities for all sorts of reasons. But the one purpose that my job serves that nothing else serves entirely until FI is getting paid.

norabird

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 11:01:23 AM »
I have to say I found this part unhelpful because I chose my paid work to be work I care about outside of the paid employment too. And they almost seem hostile sometimes to feeling your paid work is also part of your values/life work. So the advice to do something 'just to get paid' did not sit well with me; I'd be much less happy earning more and doing something that wasn't already my area of interest.

As with most things, take what you can use and leave the rest.

Thomas54

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 09:29:45 PM »
I haven't read YMOYL, yet.  I'm currently reading "Ten Books That Screwed Up The World and five others that didn't help." YMOYL is next.

I retired a little more than 2 years ago from a job in Technology that I loved.  Let me clarify that.  The job I loved, the BS that went with it is what pushed me to retirement at the age of 57.   I was paid well and I was debt free with all four kids out of college with good degrees and good paying jobs (3 CS degrees & 1 CPA) and now a half dozen grandkids.

What I've found in retirement is that I'm not mentally challenged at all and that is a big negative for me.  I can travel, fish, ski, babysit grand kids, etc., all the things that I was looking forward to doing when I retired, but that doesn't challenge me like my job in technology did. 

So, what will reading YMOYL do for me, now that I'm retired?

Thanks,
Thomas

   

norabird

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 07:30:29 AM »
Thomas--I actually think one or two chapters of YMOYL might be helpful for your situation. You can still work while retired--you just have to decide where you want your efforts to go. Volunteering with the local conservation groups on fishing issues? Writing open-source code, depending on what your tech experience is? Starting a consulting business? Tutoring students from your grandkid's school? It's up to you.

ender

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Re: Help me understand part of Your Money or Your Life
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 07:13:56 PM »
What resonated with me from that portion of YMOYL is the concept that " the purpose of your paid employment is getting paid." This means to me that I go to my job to get paid. If portions of it are unfulfilling or uninspiring or whatever else, so be it. I can do "work" outside my job (or I can call it living, instead of "work") and find fulfillment and value in all sorts of activities for all sorts of reasons. But the one purpose that my job serves that nothing else serves entirely until FI is getting paid.

yeah. I've started to realize this is the case for me, too.

Thanks for the perspective everyone.