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Life Is What You Make It – Even During the Recession

September 18, 2010

Life Is What You Make It – Even During the Recession:

I recently read Life is What You Make It, by Peter Buffett and I recommend it. The book is chock full of interesting insights. One that really popped out at me was his observation that more and more people today have moved from having a “work ethic” to a “wealth ethic.” He sees that people are working more for the financial rewards than for the rewards that come from the work itself. This means our focus has shifted from the process to the results, however fleeting they may be. He writes that slaving away primarily for money is not necessarily virtuous and not what the traditional work ethic is all about. He makes this great point:

“The essence of a good work ethic starts with meeting a challenge of self discovery, finding something you love to do, so that work— even, or especially, when it is very difficult or arduous—becomes joyful, maybe even sacred.”

This insight resonated with me, especially when I think of the millions of people who have lost so much wealth and financial security during the current recession. Many people likely thought their retirements were set, only to find that they must now continue working many more years than they planned, or perhaps have had to go back to work. People lost more than money, a job, or their house. Those with a “wealth ethic” may have also lost their dignity and much of their former self-identity.

This is a great time to reassess and rediscover the values that are most important to us. I believe when those values are a part of our core identity, we can weather the storms of life more calmly and successfully. They keep us grounded and in touch with what is really fulfilling.

Should you find yourself feeling at sea in this economy, consider this suggestion: As you look at your own situation, identify what you truly value – what really brings you personal satisfaction in good times and bad – and make those the driving forces of your life. Begin a new journey of self-discovery.

Steve Weitzenkorn

Steve Weitzenkorn, Ph.D., is a learning innovator, organizational advisor, experienced facilitator, and lead author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Copyright © 2010 F3 Forum, LLC. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. friesengroup permalink
    September 18, 2010 6:07 am

    Yes, we all get to choose. Is the glass half empty or half full? Is the recession good or bad? …it all depends…

    Thanks for your reflections!
    Kathleen

  2. Kevin permalink
    September 18, 2010 6:48 am

    This post fit perfectly with how I was thinking. This post and my thoughts were like peanut butter and jelly. I 100% agree that person should look within and find out what they truly find fulfillment in.
    I’ve seen first hand a “wealth ethic” can cause person to forget what the enjoy doing. I also agree that if you sandwich “work ethic” with what you love to do, the work is no longer work.

    Thank you for this post Steve. I’ll be back frequently.

    • September 18, 2010 8:03 am

      Thanks Kevin. And I’ll be back to yours as well.
      Steve

  3. September 18, 2010 8:56 am

    Very insightful reading ringing true on so many levels. For a while now I have seen the developed sectors of the world adopt this new money crazed work ethic, one that negates entirely the love or passion that should influence any carrear or job. Truth is our regard and value for money has consecrated itself as the new tone for work and success, resulting in a new age form of serfdom, breeding a swamp of misery and silent desperation in its wake.

    • September 18, 2010 9:36 am

      Thanks for your insights and feedback. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I hope to hear from you again in the future. Visit us often.

      Steve

  4. Mike Goldman permalink
    September 18, 2010 11:31 am

    Steve,
    Thanks for your comments on my blog http://www.brkthru.wordpress.com. We are defintely of like mind. I beleive if you passionately give, abundance will flow. Not the other way around.

  5. Ciara permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:55 pm

    This idea is very compelling to me and resonates with me quite a bit. I began my undergraduate work a Pre-Med major, confident that it would provide me with much more security (both emotional and financial) than my life-long passions/gifts of art and writing. I quickly found myself sapped of all passion whatsoever, and made the leap to change my major to journalism/art. Now I am a senior about to graduate and the idea of doing what I truly love and not just what will get me the most money/security, is exciting and fulfilling.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog! I will be sure to subscribe here! 🙂
    It never ceases to amaze me that seasoned, professional people such as yourself respond so positively to the musings of a 21-year-old. So thanks again for your words.

    -Ciara

    • September 18, 2010 1:00 pm

      Ciara, you seem very wise for a 21 year old woman. Life is a lot about choices and I applaud your courage in making the choice you have about your career. I wish you only the best and look forward to hearing from you again.

      Steve

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