Happiness or Money?
Whether you are just starting out in your career, you’re considering relocating for work, or perhaps even a complete career change at mid-life, you’re going to face the question “Should I choose Happiness or chase the Money?” In this article we’ll discuss why the choice does NOT have to be one or the other — let me show you how you can have BOTH Happiness AND Money.
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Life Lesson #3: Do what makes you happy and the rest will take care of itself.
Today’s life lesson was inspire by two of my favorite wisdom teachers – Confucius and King Solomon.
First let’s look at what Confucius has to say on this topic…
I think it’s easy to see which way the Chinese Master would answer our “Happiness or Money” question, don’t you?
Now what about King Solomon? He is held by many to be the wisest man who ever lived so we should probably ask him this important question too, right?
What wisdom can we glean from both of these teachers?
That if you choose a job you love doing, not only will you be happy, but you will be earning money doing what you love. The next question then is HOW do we do this?
Happiness or Money – Choose Now.
I’ve talked to countless friends, co-workers, and soon-to-be graduating students who all too often feel trapped in their lives because they are working at a job (or about to start one) that they only took because of the money, not because they are passionate about it. Does that sound like anyone YOU know?
Don’t get me wrong, most of us (myself included) are not so financially free that we can just do whatever we want and not worry about money. But just because we need money, doesn’t mean we have to be ruled by it.
Are You Just Starting Your Career?
If you are young and just starting out in life, and you’re in a position where you have no family/obligations to attend you then you’re in a prime position to choose to do what you love. Don’t waste this opportunity.
It’s possible you even have the luxury of being able to live at home to save on expenses while you pursue your dream job – if so, make the most of your home base and use this to your advantage.
Follow your passion right from the beginning and don’t give away any of your precious life towards something that takes away from your dreams!
Are You Already In a Career? Married With Kids?
If however you already have a family and/or lots of bills to pay such that you need to earn a certain income to make ends meet, then obviously it’s a bit more difficult to pursue your passion – but it’s not impossible.
The sooner you recognize that life could offer you something more, the sooner you can break free of the rat race and pursue what really makes you happy in life.
For those of us already at our mid-life point, it’s even more critical that we don’t give up on our dreams. Time is fast dripping away. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. If you don’t pursue your dreams now, you may never do so.
If you are not happy doing what you do, that’s a recipe for a bitterness, resentment, and an early grave, so instead find a way to make a change. Even a small change that allows you to spend time doing what you love is better than not doing it at all. You’ll be happier for it!
What’s the first step to making a change? Why not start first with a hobby and once you generate some income, pursue it as side hustle income as part of a transition to your dream job/lifestyle? This way you keep income coming from your current job, while you make the move to your new Legacy Life (and you prove to yourself and your family that it IS possible). Many people have followed this proven path and you can to – IF you just take action and get started.
A Great Resource for Any Age
If you’ve never read Tim Ferris’ Book The 4-Hour Workweek you are missing out. It’s a great resource to help you break free of the rat race of corporate life.
Meanwhile, let’s continue our lesson with some REAL WORLD examples of people who chose Happiness over Money and ended up find True Wealth.
Happiness AND Money – Examples
Did you ever hear the story of the boy who dropped out of college and started playing with broken computer parts in his garage? People around town thought he was a loser and even his parents were afraid he wouldn’t amount too much.
His name was Bill Gates and he went on to invent some of the most important software for personal computers (ever hear of Windows?) and of course founded Microsoft – now he’s one of the richest men in the entire world.
Why does he matter to us?
Because Bill Gates didn’t follow the normal path in life. Instead he was a man who followed his dreams — even when the rest of the world didn’t think Bill knew anything at all. But Bill persevered in the pursuit of doing what he loved and in the end, he changed the world.
Or how about a guy who didn’t even finish high school and instead dropped out at age 15 to spend more time learning about what he loved – physics. I know, you and 99% of the rest of the world may not like the subject of physics, but this guy did.
His name was Albert Einstein and I’m guessing you’ve heard of him too. Like Bill Gates, Einstein also pursued his own path in life — one which the rest of the world didn’t think much of — and like Mr. Gates, Einstein also changed the world.
There’s no reason you can’t do it too!
Do What You Love – The Path
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not by any means telling you to not finish high school, or to drop out of college, or to quit your job (today).
For most people, earning a high school/college diploma and/or earning a solid income at work are part of the path to success in life – but not for everybody, and perhaps not for YOU specifically.
Regardless of how long you go through some form of school or put your time in on the job, the key thing I’m trying to teach my sons and what I hope YOU take away here is this – when you find something you are truly interested in (whether it be computers, music, or perhaps sharing wisdom with the world), if you can become a true expert in your field, then not only will you be happier in your life, but the money will eventually find you.
In fact, I would advise you that regardless of how much money you make in life…
If you do what you love, then you will find happiness — even if the rest of the world doesn’t understand you.
After all, let’s not forget, there was no market for computer software before Bill Gates came around.
There was no Theory of Relativity before Einstein.
And the same goes for a list of inventions longer than I can ever list.
What would have happened if Bill Gates didn’t pursue his passion for computers and instead became an accountant?
Or if Einstein had worked at the post office for the rest of his life and given up on his far-fetched dreams of being a physicist?
Would the world be a better place?
I think not.
So let these trailblazers be an inspiration to you.
Do what you love and happiness will follow.
So what will your contribution to the world be?
Who knows, you might just change the world!
Don’t Wait, Use This Wisdom Today
It’s starts with a simple question – what makes you happy?
Once you know the answer, find a way to pursue that passion a little bit today – and then tomorrow — and the next day too. Before you know it, you’ll be climbing the mountain of your dreams.
More Life Lessons
Did You Know?
Today’s lesson came from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad. Read it for free here…
9 thoughts on “Choose Happiness Over Money – It’s the Path to True Wealth”
Helpful Dad – yes, happiness over money does work. Even though we may experience stress over money issues when money is scarce, that does not change the intrinsic happiness and fulfillment that comes from pursuing our own course in life. Some of us choose a difficult path in order to gain the freedom of happiness, and it is a better way. I would rather be enriched than rich. How many people do we meet who have wasted their lives in exchange for security (money)? They tend to become very unhappy later in life. Great article, very inspiring.
Great points, MCThomsett. I love your phrase ‘to be enriched than rich’ – that’s gold!