Mindful Wealth

Mindful Wealth

When it comes to breath taking moments, not much beats the sight of the great Italian cathedrals. What makes these building so fascinating is the fact that they are in themselves true works of art. All over the world there are bigger, taller and stronger buildings, but these monuments of art were built by means of wooden scaffolding, chisels, wagons, sweat and guts. It took years to create these masterpieces. In Florance the Duomo di Firenze took nearly 600 years to build. It was finished in 1887. In Milan the Duomo di Milano was built between 1386 and 1805. After 419 years of building it was completed by Napoleon Bonaparte. Today it often takes only a couple of months, or even days put up modern structures. Modern technology reduced that which used to be an art to a mere building project; a job and another contract to be completed before Christmas. Back then the seasons was the guide which determined whether something needed to be done and when it needed to be left alone. Today we have projects with deadlines and target dates. What use to be life time projects changed into another small project up the ladder of wealth. What changed is a life of dedication, time and precision, which went into work is now replaced with making a “quick buck”. It is the “quick buck” syndrome which has become our view of wealth and our way of doing things. What this does to modern man, is to make us feel unfulfilled and often worthless because we never seem to make it and never seem to have enough. We never reach the point where we can declare ourselves finally able and worthy of living. Most people reach retirement age with not enough saved and resentful of not having worked harder or not saving more. Then wannabe retirees slog on till death comes to harvest them from the field of the living. So, their lives end not ever having lived or having the feeling that they have lived. Today we have been fooled to think that we are not enough unless we have reached a certain goal. What the cathedral builders teaches us is that life is about the process of getting there and not about hitting the finish line. Back then there was no other opportunity to make your mark. This project was it. This was your one-time opportunity to show the perfection of your work. You had to be mindful and at tentative now. Life had to be lived in the moment. You had to be in the moment with the task at hand. Today you must finish a task as quickly as possible because the next one is waiting. This inherently implies that the task at hand is never good enough because there is always another, better objective to accomplish. How would the quality of our work, advise, service and products not change if we would have a cathedral approach to whatever we do? How would our clients not appreciate it if we do business with them as if our dealings with them is our one last and only cathedral we are working on – artfully, with care and skill? Then of course, how would we not think of ourselves, if we are not working towards wealth but already feeling privileged and wealthy for doing the work that we are doing. Maybe then our work will not merely be a job but a life calling.

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