In every culture and creed, there are traditions and philosophies about how to experience the best that life has in store for us, whilst overcoming trials and tragedies. From mindfulness to healthy eating, from exercise to stress management – we are often reminded that what we put in is what we get out.
Somewhere, in all of these pragmatic approaches, we can lose sight of the meaning of what we’re putting in, and become focused on the output. This is especially true when it comes to our money.
It’s not often that we attach meaning to money, and when we do, it’s attached to the money we have right now. We like to plan for the money we hope to have, but we are easily detached from the relevance and meaning because it’s a future goal.
This is where the Greek’s concept of Meraki is really helpful!
Meraki refers to the soul, creativity, or love that we put into our work, family, and other activities. It is the essence of yourself that you put into your work. It helps us find meaning in our money before we’ve earned it – not just for a future event.
There is a well-known quote by Kahlil Gibran – he said that “work is love made visible”. Meraki is all about a choice that we can make right now, today; a choice to find meaning in what we’re doing. When we love what we’re doing, or appreciate how it’s helping others (because some tasks will always be boring…), we will experience value and likely become considerably better at what we’re doing.
It doesn’t only help us enrich the day ahead; we can also start to include it in our planning. We can start to look for work and activity that we will truly find meaningful. When we pour our soul (blood, sweat and tears) into a project, we value the journey, not just the outcome. The whole experience becomes more purposeful and significant, allowing us to find fulfilment and be more creative.
Passion is a wonderful stimulant for maintaining positive mental health. Whenever we deal with people who truly love what they’re doing, whether they’re a barista or bookkeeper, an artist or an attorney, a teacher or a turner-and-fitter – people who are passionate are a pleasure to be around.
Remember, when it comes to making and managing your money, it’s not just about the meaning you get out – it’s about the meaning you put in.