If there’s one thing I should have known when I was a kid, it should be the truth that chasing money is not the ultimate goal.
I used to think if I have more money, everything would be perfect, everything would be okay, and everyone — my family and friends — would be happy.
But I guess, it’s not only me — most people believe money is everything. That it can solve our problems, buy what we want, and give us power, happiness, and fulfillment.
Does Money Make Everything Okay?
Money can solve some problems, and when used wisely, make our lives more convenient. So yes, it does make our lives okay. But I’m afraid, it doesn’t solve everything.
There are rich people who are unhappy and unfulfilled. Some have anxiety and depression. And some don’t have time for themselves, for their loved ones.
Some are full of regrets and hatred. Some are dissatisfied with their lives. And some struggle to find a partner who will love them unconditionally.
Yes, despite their overflowing money.
Put simply: More money isn’t the only way to a happy, healthy, and meaningful life.
Entrepreneur and best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk said, “When you chase money, you’re going to lose. You’re just going to. Even if you get the money, you’re not going to be happy.”
I can relate to people who work for money — I do this a lot of times. And nothing’s evil with that. What seems misleading is the belief that money is the only way to happiness and success.
In the words of Voltaire,
“Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”
But this, of course, doesn’t mean we should stop earning money and just do what we love all day (albeit, that could be possible).
We. Need. Money.
Point is, we should rewire our perspective on money.
Do we really need that huge amount? Do we really need to earn more? Why do we want that mansion? Why do we want three cars?
We don’t need all of them. We just want more.
Think about what Annie Dillard once said:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
If every day, we chase money, then that’s the summary of our lives. We may not realize it today, but years from now, we might regret how we wasted our whole life chasing a piece of paper.
Remember, money is not the goal. It’s just a tool to achieve our goals, or a byproduct of success.
Maybe sometimes there are no other choices. Maybe life is just too hard. But most of the time we have.
So if you still have a choice — and yes you have, please avoid this:
Chase money → earn money → spend money → repeat the cycle.
We only have one chance to live. Don’t spend it all doing things you don’t love for the sake of money.
Instead, aim to live a meaningful life.
I don’t have the formula to living a meaningful life (I’m not some kind of guru here). I’m still exploring.
There is, however, one thing I’m quite sure that everyone needs to do to live a life that is meaningful to some extent.
And that is, doing what we love and become really good at it.
As Maya Angelou said [emphasis mine]:
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
Here’s the catch: If you’re really good at something and people realize the value of what you do, people will pay for it. Now you don’t have to chase money.
The money follows you.
Isn’t that cool?
PS: What works for me may not work for everyone. So chase money your whole life if you want.
But whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve written here, everyone knows that there are more important things we need to embrace and nurture — not only money.
What about love, peace, and happiness?