Now before I get started, listen: Money and Fulfillment are NOT mutually exclusive. You can absolutely generate insane wealth and be completely fulfilled with life. But if you have no true idea of your deepest passions, and only chase the highest paycheck, you will fall short.
This is my personal revelation on the matter.
Something dawned on me recently: Every job, every career path, every interest I have ever taken a liking to, I have only done for one main reason: the potential to make a lot of money.
First, I went to college. I didn’t have any idea of what I was going for or what my plans were, just that “this will probably make me a lot of money.”
After getting my degree that I never use, I entered the hotel industry, starting as a front desk agent, working my way up to a manager. Again, I pursued this because I heard it would “make me good money.”
I left the hotel world and got my license as a realtor, because – you guessed it – it would make me a lot of money.
Here I am now, realizing every single path I’ve taken was not my own, but rather swayed by this pursuit of cash and nothing more.
Satisfaction of the work wasn’t a factor. Stability wasn’t a factor. Passion wasn’t a factor. Freedom wasn’t a factor. Inner fulfillment wasn’t a factor. Cash was the most important feature to chase.
It’s no surprise that living this way has made me feel empty from my endeavors. I’ve convinced myself over and over again that I’m “happy”, when really, I kept wondering, “why am I doing something I hate so much?”
For the first time, I am leaving the pursuit of money to discover what it is that I desire out of life. From here I will not chase money, but rather have money follow me, in whatever amount that may be. I’ve discovered I don’t need to chase a lot; I simply just need enough.
It’s time to jump off the ship and start anew.
Many of us learn from a young age to chase things that make us money, rather than what brings us fulfillment. Dreams and passions are either not “practical”, or they are pursuits that make “pennies.”
But what if those pennies, are the true wealth you’ve always been searching for?
When you take the time to find what lights a fire in your heart, and chase that, that is when genuine wealth builds. You become invested and obsessed with your work, which inputs a higher quality performance, which in turn opens a variety of new doors. When you are truly enveloped with your craft, that is when money and inner happiness follows.
It takes heart, and it takes handling criticism from those around you when they see you leave your 6-figure salary to start a creative writing pursuit, or an hourly wage job taking care of baby bunnies, or to start your business selling your homemade hot sauce.
But if this is your passion, your fire, then please go for it. This step could very well be the path that opens the door to something greater than you could ever imagine and leads you down a road filled with riches of not just wealth, but of soul.
Money being your only pursuit won’t lead you to your passions, it will simply just lead you to positions that generate a lot of cash. Maybe you’ll learn to love your job, that happens too. Or maybe you’ll miss out on a burning dream that you never even knew you had, because you never took the time to consider what it is you want out of life. Only how much you wanted to make.
You can have the highest paying job in the city and still hate your life. You can start the biggest and most profitable business, and come home with tears in your eyes, wishing it would all end.
And on the flip side –
You can be making a mediocre wage and be truly at peace with yourself. You could have a 9-5 and know within your soul that you are making a difference in the world. You could start a business that does just enough to pay the bills, adds a little extra savings and be at peace.
Follow your passions, and money will follow you. Whether its filthy-rich-money or decent-living money, it’ll come when you discover your true desires. Remember that it doesn’t have to be the most; it just needs to be enough. Fulfillment first, money second.
2 responses to “Money vs. Fulfillment: What guides you?”
I like this – for me I found that finding the type of activity I like to do, helped me to just look for jobs where that activity was required.
That’s a good idea, been trying to do the same myself. Have a few ideas in mind, realize I would prefer something where I can be left alone from people if I’m doing very important work- like working from home. I like to socialize but hate mixing work into it. Then it feels forced.