What would you do if money didn’t matter?
I’ve posted this video, based on a speech by Alan Watts, only my (much neglected) sister blog dedicated to my book Broke is Beautiful as well as here. (I’ve been trying for some time to decide whether to merge the two.)
I am fortunate in that I can honestly say I can’t imagine a thing I would change about my career if money didn’t matter. That is one thing I have generally been able to say because I chose my work much as Alan Watts suggests here. What do you want to do?
Watts makes a promise here, and it is one that shows up in most of our self-help literature, that when you are true to yourself financial success inevitably follows. “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow” was the title of a best-selling book. (So it presumably worked for that author, at least for a while.)
“Somebody is interested in everything,” Watts says, “And anything that you are interested in, you will find others who are.”
In Broke is Beautiful, I made the argument that you should do what you love whether the money follows or not, because it may not. It was Robert Benchley who said, “The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
Of course, “doing what you love” does not necessarily mean making your money by doing what you love. “Make some sacrifice for your art and you will be repaid but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you,” wrote Oscar Wilde.
“You should do what you love because you love it” is a much harder argument to make in our culture, it is far too direct and simple.