Re-Defining Personal Wealth
The simple living movement has done an amazing job of redefining personal wealth. No longer is wealth about money or material possessions, it is about living a nurturing, filling, and happy life. Many people add more layers to the simple lifestyle, so that it is also about becoming debt-free, living an environmentally-sustainable lifestyle, and working toward social justice.
Wealth comes from a richness of relationships, flavors of fresh homemade and homegrown food, being within and a part of nature, contributing more good to the world, and deliberately paying attention to and fulfilling the needs of your self and those around you. It’s a beautiful, selfless, and self-fulfilling life.
So how can we take this to our work place, to our businesses, to our world economy as a whole?
Re-Defining Business Wealth
In the small towns of Mexico, the stores close during mid-day, as shop owners take a few hours to have lunch with their families. They return to work renewed, ready for the second portion of the day. But in the United States, often we each lunch at our desks while working in isolation, and we may send someone out for a quick cup of takeout coffee to get us through the day. In Australia, Turkey, several parts of Europe – many parts of the world – there is an afternoon break for tea.
What do those breaks accomplish? A freeing of the mind and eyes, an informal community-building interaction between neighbors and coworkers, a renewal of strength and agility for the rest of the work day, and a sense that life itself matters. Here we are valued for who we are, we are recognized as human beings with needs, and we work better when we are happier.
How can we re-define the way we do business, so that the people – who are both our customers and our employees – can feel that their happiness, health, and life matter?
Can our workplaces take on the principles of simple living?
And … Where Do We Start?
That’s the real question, isn’t it? Have you been able to take your simple lifestyle to your workplace? How have you done that?
I find there is a disconnect between my home lifestyle – where I’ve made a conscious effort to simplify and live sustainably – and any work environment. Do you feel that way, too? How do we take the first steps to change this? As I begin a business focussed on sustainable solutions, I realize the incredible need to bring these elements into our operating structure.
Wealth of a company relies on the emotional, physical, and economic health of its employees, its relationships, its surrounding communities – both online and offline. As I’m working within a new company, I’m realizing what an incredibly difficult thing it becomes to implement these ideas, however – even with a group of people who do care! With how much each of the 8 of us knows, there is still much unknown and even undiscovered.
(I would love any advice from those of you who may have tried this. Or any books you may have read?)
Re-Defining Worldwide Economic Health
And once we find a solution to re-define wealth in the workplace, how can we take that further, and re-define our entire economy? We know that there are some major problems with how we do business. Is the problem an overall lack of sustainability – economically, socially, environmentally? I think it is. I think it is the same problem each of us is trying to change at home, as we move toward a simple and sustainable lifestyle.
I’m full of questions today! Please, answer any questions you can here. The main question is, I suppose: How can we improve quality of life in work, as well as at home?