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Trading Time for Money
I feel that a common perception is that work is trading time for money. People try to maximize this framework by trading less time for more money. Or making the time be something they enjoy doing. But this understanding is inherently transactional. Because of this, I think it engages our competitive spirit. We want to maximize the equation. We want to have less work and more money. This leads to downhill effects that are negative. For example, even when you're enjoying something, you will have the instinct to turn it into something you don't like.
This is accentuated by zero-sum relationships but also exists in non-zero-sum relationships.
How do we create value and receive value without having this mindset?
A personal example:
When I was at my job, I was perfectly willing to be bored because I was paid. It was actually a positive, it meant I was winning the imaginary struggle of work-to-compensation ratio.
Work was a zero-sum game, transactional. My priority was money and entertaining myself was secondary. If I finished my work quickly I could do anything I wanted.
Now I realize that pursuing interesting things can lead to making money. And money isn't the end-all-be-all. If your pursuit of interesting things makes you enough money to survive and flourish, then your priority should be interestingness, then money.