I grew up in a society where people think that, in order to survive and have a good life, we should prioritize earning money than doing the things we love.
Welcome to the rat race:
The hours and hours of working — believing that someday, it will give us freedom, time, and money.
Maybe for others that’s the only way.
But I’m not one of them. I don’t believe that’s the only way to live a good life (whatever good life means to you). Or maybe I’m just too dumb to follow that pattern.
Here’s an interesting question: Do we really need to give up the things we love for the sake of earning lots of money?
There are 2 answers:
- For people who are in a dire situation, maybe yes. They need money to cure their loved one from a fatal disease or build a new shelter after a natural disaster.
- For people who are not in a life-or-death situation, there’s no need to give up the things they love.
I wonder why some people stop pursuing their passions or hobbies to earn more money, even though they’re not in a life-or-death situation.
Because we want convenience and financial security.
As long as we have money, we are okay and we are happy. As long as we have money, we are on the right path, we are prepared.
Society says, “Forget the things you love, they don’t convert profit.” And we believe it’s the right thing.
But the truth is, it’s lying to ourselves. Deep within, we are bitter.
Is it Wrong to Work For Money?
Nothing’s wrong working for money. At some point, it’s inevitable.
The problem is that in most cases, we fail to recognize we’re spending majority of our time chasing money. We don’t have time for the things we really love doing — the things that make us feel more alive.
You might say I’m lucky — I have the time, money, and freedom to do the things I love. Wow. Maybe you’re right. But maybe you’re making excuses. (I’m not rich. I’m just an employee.)
And if lack of freedom, time, and money are the hindrances, why do some unfortunate people succeed in doing the things they love? Why do some busy people can find time for their passions?
If you use Facebook or YouTube, you’ve probably seen many of these videos circulating. Inspiring, right?
I’m not encouraging you to give up your job or business and just follow your passions (that’s up to you).
What I’m saying is that we can cultivate the things we love while living a busy life.
It’s possible. And many people already did that.
Because it’s not the lack of freedom, time, and money.
It’s our mindset that hinders us.
Did you know that it took me more than a year to ship this blog? Besides overthinking, other hindrances were poor time management, lack of focus, and self-discipline.
With a full-time writing job, a music project, movies to watch, books/blogs to read, and loved ones to spend with, how on earth could I find time to write for myself and set up this blog?
Time is not the issue (we always have time). And for the record, money, too, is not another issue. It’s just my mind. My poor time-management. My lack of discipline. And my inability to stay focused.
As author Paul Jun once said, “The quality of our life is correlated to the quality of our mind. Your life will change when you change your mind.”
So here’s my suggestion:
Stop waiting for something to come. Stop chasing money and stability. Stop the nonsense excuses. Because if there is one thing you really love to do, all you have to do is do it.
If you love playing music, then play your instrument every day. If it’s painting, paint anything you want today. If it’s writing, write. If you love singing, sing every damn day with all your heart. And if it’s dancing, dance like there’s no tomorrow.
Don’t have time? Try 15 minutes a day. Do it whatever time you left. It’s the food for your soul.
In the words of Julien Smith [emphasis mine]:
“There isn’t a single thing in this world that’s made better by starting tomorrow. Everything you care about, everything you are about, needs to begin today or it may never happen. If you don’t want to do it now, you clearly don’t want it bad enough.“
And here’s from the great Steve Jobs [emphasis mine]:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”