Wealth and Work

Wealth and Work

Vocation: A Calling

Our work, our vocation (from the Latin vocare – “to call”), is meant to be a source of wealth for us.  While financial compensation is one way for our vocation to be a source of wealth, it is not the sole source, and our pursuit of financial gain over and above every other aspect of our work may make us rich, but seldom wealthy.

The pursuit of financial gain at the expense of one’s calling may make one rich, but never wealthy.  [Tweet]


Finding meaning in our work and ways to positively impact the lives of others through our work is the true measure of wealth in our work.

When we continue in a job we hate, regardless of the money it pays, there is little wealth in or produced by that job or ourselves. We go through the motions, miserable and creating misery in everyone around us. This is the opposite of wealth – it is poverty.

When we do not give our all to the work set before us we are stealing from those we are meant to be helping, and robbing ourselves of the wealth gained by a job well done.

There are several reasons why we might find ourselves in such a state of vocational poverty:

The good news is we can counteract each of these with discipline and some help from friends, counselors, or coaches.

We’ll examine each of these in greater detail in upcoming posts, exposing the poverty in each, and in doing so discover the way to wealth.






My One Word for 2017 Is…

SeveraMy One Word for 2017l years ago I started a practice introduced to me through the book One Word That Will Change Your Life (Britton/Page/Gordon).  At the end of each year I do some reflection and pick a word that will be the main focus for that year.

My One Word for 2017 came to me with some difficulty, partly because I was resisting it.


Yuck, right? But as I was reading a similar book called The One Thing (Keller/Papasan), the authors described discipline in a way I had never considered it before. Discipline for me was always a long term continual process that was necessarily painful in some cases, but nearly impossible to maintain and ultimately resulted in crashing and burning and starting over.

This new way of looking at discipline was as a temporary intense effort, reduced to as simple an action or practice as possible, that would eventually become habit, done automatically, no longer requiring the same discipline energy to do it.

For example, two of the big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs) I set for myself in 2017 are:

  1. Read 36 books (3 per month) and
  2. Drop my weight to 220 lbs by 2/20/2017 (I started the year at around 255 lbs – more than slightly overweight for me).

The discipline I instituted was going to the gym on a consistent basis 4-5 times per week every week. To keep it simple, I decided to focus on just getting to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 50 minutes or so while reading e-books on my iPad’s Kindle app.

After about 2 weeks I started to enjoy this time at the gym. It was no longer a dreaded thing that required the same amount of discipline, but a habit I looked forward to and actually miss when other responsibilities take precedent. I converted what I thought was time consuming to something enjoyable and productive for my health and brain.

Of course I missed my 220 by 2/20 goal and am now on my 220 by 5/20 goal, but I have made progress, tracking my weight daily (“what gets measured gets managed“), and as of the past few weeks I am weighing in around 240 lbs – that’s 15 lbs since the beginning of the year.

More important than the weight loss, I feel better about my health and about myself, and hope this successful use of discipline will continue to help me with my other BHAGs for 2017, which I’ll save for a later post.

Oh yeah, what about the books?  So far I have finished 16 books and almost finished with 2 more (4 Fiction/14 Non-Fiction). that’s a pace of at least 4 books a month, so I am well ahead of my goal.  (If you want to know what I’ve been reading let me know with a comment and I’ll include in a future post).

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬