From Open Culture, this is an excellent reminder that making money is not the same as being happy. Watts encourages us to examine our lives and ask ourselves, Are we putting money ahead of happiness and meaning?
I faced this decision a few years ago and changed my life to fit with my purpose. I stopped working in the production sector (marketing for a giftware company) and shifted my life to the service sector (personal trainer). The world will not be a better place if more people buy coasters, but I can help one person at a time get healthy and, maybe, be happier.
And now I am creating even more alignment as I develop my career as a psychotherapist.
I had to give up income for a while and live more frugally as I realigned my life. But I have never been happier with the way I earn my living - to the point that if I did not need the money, I would still be doing what I am doing right now.
Alan Watts came to San Francisco during the early 1950s, wrote his bestseller Way of Zen, and became one of the foremost popularizers of Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and various forms of Eastern philosophy. His TV show, Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life (1960), introduced Americans to the seemingly exotic concept of meditation (watch here). And his radio show and lectures forced listeners to pause and look at their lives from a fresh perspective. Again and again, Watts challenged the Western emphasis on money-making to the exclusion of all else. We’ve heard Watts rail against this soul-crushing value in a lecture animated by the creators of South Park. (I’m not kidding you.) And, in the newly-produced video above, he continues along the same trajectory. So, as you drink your morning coffee and ponder your day, ask yourself: Are you putting money-making before happiness itself? Or are you pursuing the passions that bring happiness, achieving excellence, and then letting the money follow? With that, I’ll let you continue with your day.