During my 20s I was incredibly dedicated about making money, so much so that I really didn’t spend much time with my friends or have much of a social life. I was doing well given my age and I was able to by my very first house and I had a nice car, all paid for by the age of 29. The truth is however that whilst I was enjoying the money, I hated what I was doing to make that money and so that was something which was always at the back of my mind.
I went to a business conference a couple of years ago and watched the brilliant Will Sherlund talking. Will was discussing burnout and how so many are chasing the money so hard that they never even enjoy it, or life itself. This was something which really resonated with me and after that conference I made an exit plan. Five years on I have a small business which I am passionate about, I made some smart investments and I have less money, but a far richer life.
Most people who are the way that I was will be focused on the money and it is never enough. Closing a big deal is great when the deal closes and the money comes into your account, yet shortly after the hunt is back on again. What you actually realize when you step away from this is that it is all about the chase and nothing more. When it becomes abut the chase and not the prize, there will never be a moment to stop.
Money Buys Joy
It is true that money can’t buy happiness but it can certainly buy a lot of joy and that is what keeps us all on the hook. I vacation to some exotic island gives us joy for a couple of weeks but when we get back it has worn off. What makes us happy is love, security, stability and kindness, money is great, but it will not capture all of those things for you.
Stop and Think
The comment which Will made which really resonated was about the ability to stop and enjoy life. At that moment I personally realized that I had not done it, at no point had I just stopped and looked around at what I had, what I was asking or what I was doing. This is what happens when you just chase the money and very quickly everything becomes vacuous and wasteful, everything that is not making money.
And finally if you are constantly going after your career and the men then you absolutely 100% lose the chance to meet people, forge strong and loving relationships and there will be so many opportunities for pure happiness which will eventually slip you by.
Money is great and we should work hard to make enough of it to give us a good life, it is not however, the be all and end all.