Spiritual Income: Why You Should Never Settle For Just A Paycheck

by Chris Riotta

If you’re anything at all like me, the fear of one day having a mundane office job that doesn’t fuel your creative spirit or unique capabilities worries you to a point of no end.

Rightfully so, you feel the need to receive a paycheck. The bills won't pay themselves, after all. But, when did you become that person who doesn’t love her job? When did you become the one on the train who silently looks down at her shoes in frustration about a recent occurrence at work that pissed you off?

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has been polling more than 1,000 adults every day since January 2008, shows that Americans feel worse about their jobs than ever before.

The index reports that people of all ages and incomes are unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations and detached from what they do.

We’ve all been there before: so close to walking out of your office’s front doors one day and letting it be the last time you ever step foot in the place again.

After college, we seem to create a new idea of the American Dream. It still appears as if a lot is possible, but the most desirable lifestyle for you, as well as the job you dream of having, is often the most difficult to achieve. This idea is subjective, too, as it involves your perception of success, your ideas of happiness and your long-term life goals.

Then, you decide to try and you give it everything you have. You take on a foot-in-the-door job at a huge corporation making (maybe) minimum wage.

Your manager doesn’t remember your name after three months of working 60-hour workweeks, and you come to realize the job you thought you wanted was nothing but a misguided idea.

Now, you want something different; something that makes you feel alive. You want something that gives you a purpose; provides you with a feeling of being, accomplishment and happiness.

Unfortunately, people often get stuck and remain stagnated for the rest of their careers and, sometimes, even their entire lives.

Another fear that commonly sets in that takes a hold of your mind after the thought of not being able to find a decent job is gratitude that you found something. Although the job is nowhere near decent, it’s better than nothing… right?

I understand the need to pay for utilities, rent, a car, groceries and every other bill that seems to sneak up in the mailbox conveniently right after payday each month. However, I always seek to remember the importance of another type of income, as well.

Spiritual income, or the level of gratification, fulfillment and achievement derived from the work you do on a daily basis, is another vital entity to be weighed when considering a new or current job position. Without a high-level of spiritual income, your job can pose threats to your mental and physical health, as well as your overall state of wellbeing.

The lack of purposefulness in life has been linked to Alzheimer’s diagnoses, and discontentment in jobs could spill into other aspects of life, such as your relationships and involvement in hobbies or extracurricular activities.

You begin to feel drained, and on a daily basis, you lose the urge to go out with friends, experience life and enjoy yourself. If you realize you are no longer happy in your job, it is your responsibility to do something about it.

At a certain point, you must realize the implications a job is having on your state of health. Everyone deserves to reach his or her full potential and live life positively, but we become too quickly bogged down by jobs that don't further our happiness or progress our skills and attributes. There are ways to tackle these obstacles, but again, it will require a lot of hard work.

The first necessity to attaining a high spiritual income is to map out a plan of action. Do you see the potential for your current job to enlighten you and make you feel a sense of accomplishment you seem to have lost? Is the management doing little to increase employee happiness and sense of belonging in the workplace?

Do you enjoy going to work for the most part and seeing a purpose in what you do? If the answers to these questions are no, it’s time to start pursuing other areas of work. Don’t become paralyzed by your current employment.

Hunt down positions at places that excite you. Don’t be nervous about having little to no experience, or having your paycheck cut back somewhat to start a new career.

If there is any time to take a cut in pay in order to reform your entire life, now is the time to do it.

Overcoming the thought of losing monetary income is something that will prevent most people from leaving their current work, no matter how daunting it is to show up every day and not even crack a smile.

Just remember that it is always possible to move up in a career and make more money eventually, especially if you love what you do.

In fact, studies show happiness in the workplace is one of the number-one factors in determining position advancement and increase in income.

Put your mind and energy into discovering new hobbies that interest you. Join community projects and events based on those interests and meet new people. Your spiritual income will only ever be as large as your network.

By engaging with new people and learning about their lines of work and careers, you will begin to see new perspectives on life and how to achieve what it is you truly want.

eMake connections with these people and they will ultimately provide you with advice and help you find new work.

Remember that, like anything else, increasing your spiritual income must start with you. Only you are capable of controlling and improving your overall state of happiness and contentment. Be bold; tackle new obstacles and don’t ever think you are incapable of anything.

If you are able to imagine something, you are able to accomplish it. Know that and you have already won the battle. Do everything and anything in this world you can possibly think to do and you will soon realize that increasing your spiritual income in life is simple: All you need to do is create it.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It