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Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
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RichieP Offline
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Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
Kinda off topic, but some people might relate:-

So recently I've been hustling pretty hard to get some online work going. I feel Im not kinda going full steam at it though, and I think it's because in the back of my mind I feel like I should be doing something contributive, not just working for myself.

I know you can argue that freelancing or internet business is adding value for people, but I guess part of me needs something bigger than that - it feels like unless I'm really making a difference in people's lives, really making an impact in an area I see as important (e.g. sustainability, poverty, physical / mental health, etc), then I'm being selfish.

The trouble is, I also feel like I've just gotta hustle hard to get my finances sorted, and it's more than enough on my plate just getting a freelance gig or internet biz going that will pay the bills.

Part of the guilt comes from living in SE Asia and having my eyes opened. Seeing some people really struggle with very little opportunity or way out. And the flip side, seeing people get by on a fraction of the average western wage, and in many cases seeming just as happy or happier. It really seems to highlight how ludicrous our income "needs" are, and makes me feel guilty for just focussing on my own welfare so much, when so many people have so much less opportunity.

Anyone else get this? Kinda of a conflict between looking our for yourself, and contributing to others. Ironically, I feel like the conflict actually hinders me from do either one effectively.

What do you reckon? Do you agree, do you think it's self-indulgent BS? Like to hear your take..
Rich
10-09-2012 03:07 AM
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tiggaling Offline
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RE: Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
Well, you've got to perceive or understand what is it you want to contribute or share to the world and then go from there. For some, money may make the able to make art and share in and contribute in that way. For some, a business may be that contributing factor. Some may run the business and then be philanthropic.

This is what the "4 hour work week" model forgets, that actually, we do not just live for ourselves and garner meaning and purpose from money alone. We get meaning and purpose from actually doing meaningful and purposeful things, and not just for ourselves.
10-09-2012 04:44 AM
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storm Offline
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RE: Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
People make extremely poor decisions when they choose based on what they think will make them the happiest. There is a famous study on this.

Instead of working towards happiness, find things which you know will make you happy - stability, skills, success, etc. - and work towards those.

If you feel incomplete without meaningfully contributing, work towards that too. Be careful that you're not falling into the mentality of increasing needs for happiness.
10-09-2012 07:41 AM
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Eddie Winslow Offline
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RE: Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
I know the feeling that you are saying. However, I think the guilt you feel could be a little deeper; at least it was for me. Basically, it's a big concern with being a "bad" person.

I'm not contributing to the growth of humanity, I should be ashamed.

I just want to have sex with a girl who really likes me and would love for me to stick around, I should be ashamed.

I want to travel the world or live in a new city, even though I know my mom/friends/family will miss me terribly and constantly worry about me, I should be ashamed.

I want to do something different than what the group wants to do, but they are counting on me, I should be ashamed.

I'm in a boring relationship with this chick who doesn't deserve me, but I owe her my commitment because she's a nice person. I should be ashamed.

Guilt is a fucking killer man. Don't even play that game. Just based on your thoughtful post you don't seem like the type who has a reason to feel guilty. Make your money however you need to, and when you have enough of it, donate to a charity or start a foundation that REALLY makes a difference if that's what truly makes you happy.

Some of the biggest, most ruthless drug dealers are the ones who do the most for the children in their community.
10-10-2012 09:36 AM
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Tigre Offline
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RE: Feel like I should be Contributing, not just Getting Paid?
Seems like there are a few concepts mixed in together.

You might have some limiting beliefs about material success.

You might be discovering that developing an internet business is not your passion. Maybe in your day to day activities you prefer something with more tangible people contact. Virtual contact doesn't quite do it for you. There are trade offs on this one - would you prefer to be location independent and do work you sometimes don't enjoy? / or spend large parts of the year stuck at home, doing a job that makes the time go faster?

If your doubts are about having more than other people, this is wrong thinking. Once you generate a surplus, you can direct it to help people in any way you please.

You discover other people have less opportunities. That doesn't mean that your best response is to squander your own. A couple of good links on wealth and surplus.
10-10-2012 11:54 AM
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