If that is the case then the rich people of the world are *[the] the most productive. Not true. They may have a quality life but they are not necessarily productive. By that definition, a philosopher or a writer may not be rich but certainly, they are more productive in producing an impact towards shaping the mind of the society.
* Hey, there you are, Sarah. Now I know you are in favor of time over money. I miss you, baby...
Take the example of Socrates. He was not rich in money but certainly, he was one of the most productive people who ever walked the earth.
Socrates was very fond of the marketplace. He would go from stall to stall at the Athenian marketplace, stopping every now and then, admiring the goods on display. But despite the frequent visits, he never bought anything. A friend asked him why.
This was what he had to say about spending, "I'm always amazed to see just how many things there are that I don't need."
Mind you, this happened in the year 400 B.C. If there were already tons of things that people don't need then, you can bet your bottom dollar that there are gazillions of things being sold today that no one needs.
So rather than focusing on extrinsic values of productivity, why not focus on the intrinsic values? We need to follow the wisdom of the sages to detach from material dependency and start to look at what we can offer from within us.
Basically, we need to look at what are we good at, what we enjoy doing, and what we can offer. Of course, if we want to we can equate that to what the world needs. Otherwise, just be happy with what you are passionate about. This is the concept of Ikigai.
If you tie your productivity to money then you are risking your happiness in lieu of chasing superiority. Which means you can only feel good if you can only afford to buy more things. Without those things, you will feel inadequate.
That is a great tragedy. The sum total of your worth is merely reduced to the things that you own. Without fancy clothes and fancy cars, you are nothing. That is pretty shallow, don't you think? Considering that the things that we hold dear are things that cannot be bought with money. Things like the air we breathe, our mind, our family and our friends are priceless.
Are our children not the product of our productivity? Does it cost us anything to produce a baby? Surely imaginations, dreams, and hopes don't cost a thing. Do also consider that it doesn't cost a thing to have a loving heart.
What I am saying is, we need to be productive but we need not bend backward to chase after money. Just be happy with your life and what you have achieved. All I am saying is live in gratitude. Instead of asking for more, why not be a generous giver?
That is the name of the game to be happy. It is living below your means and living in gratitude.