Time and time again we hear stories about people who are in financial positions in life that we, ourselves, would love to be in, yet they seem quite unhappy. It sometimes seems a wonder. How could a person in a position of financial security, that you’d give just about anything to be in yourself, be so unhappy and unsatisfied with life? It’s because, of course, the old adage is absolutely true: Money can’t buy happiness. It can’t buy true, lasting happiness, anyway.
Money can buy a lot of things that are highly desirable — it can buy a significant amount of security, some measure of peace of mind, material possession, and, it can buy brief, fleeting feelings of happiness. But, it can’t buy a state of true, deep and lasting happiness. Most people, however, don’t seem to realize this.
Instead, they believe that if they can just attain a certain level of wealth, all of their problems will disappear and they’ll finally achieve true, meaningful, deep and lasting contentment and happiness. So, they work and they work at trying to achieve this goal of wealth. They suffer for it. They subject themselves to long periods of denial and self-sacrifice. They push themselves arduously to their limits of stress and breaking. All with a mind that if they torture themselves long enough and hard enough, they’ll eventually arrive at that place of wealth where life-long happiness is guaranteed. And, if they’re successful, and don’t absolutely destroy themselves in the process, they finally arrive at that place they’ve been painfully climbing toward for so long — and, they find that they were entirely wrong in their belief that such attainment would provide them with all-encompassing, everlasting happiness.
They’ve forced themselves to suffer immensely to get there, and now that they’re there, it’s not at all what it promised to be. This can cause some people to go off the deep-end — because, of course, they were sure they had it all figured out, and when they come to find out they were mistaken, they find themselves utterly lost and without hope. They have no idea now what they must do to actually achieve what it is they were striving for for so long and with such pains. This is one of the main reasons why you hear of many such people, in such positions of financial abundance that you’d give your left-arm to be in yourself, dealing with severe depression and other emotional issues.
So, what’s the answer? It’s good to have wealth, yes. It can, if accompanied by wisdom, facilitate the living of a more fulfilled life. But, believing that money is an entirely benevolent and omnipotent savior for the soul is a recipe for absolute disaster. Believe me! Money is not such a savior. It can a be tool, if used only with responsibility and wisdom, to help one in working to bring about a state of greater happiness and contentment, but it can not, on its own, provide those things for you. Merely having the money you desire will not automatically provide those things. If you think it can or will, and you operate as though it can, eventually you will crash and burn — I guarantee it.
So, why torture yourself in order to achieve such a state when you really don’t have to? Here’s a very valuable secret to achieving the wealth you desire: Find something that you enjoy doing, calculate its value to others, and make that your avenue toward building wealth. It can be done. And, it has been done by many. If you’re trying to achieve wealth through virtually killing yourself by doing something you dislike, you’re going to end up with a lot of regrets. That’s just the way it is. That’s the reality of our existence. Even if you achieve your financial goals by doing so, you’re going to end up in that place with a lot of disappointment and disillusion, saying “Now what? Where do I go from here?”
So, find something that you like doing that has value for others. Find something that you find fun to do that you can make money at. It’s really not that difficult. With most things that people enjoy doing there are related areas which can carry significant value to others. You just have to find those areas and figure out how best to exploit them.
Let me give you an example: A good friend of mine loves photography. He absolutely loves it. He enjoys taking photographs immensely and, as a hobby, for many years, he spent most of his spare time taking photographs. He did this while working a 9-5 job that he didn’t particularly enjoy, but it paid his bills. On evenings and weekends, however, he’d constantly be out somewhere snapping photographs. He’d tell me often that if there were a way that he could actually earn the same amount of money with his photography as he did at his regular day job, he’d quit his job in a heartbeat and truly think that he’d died and gone to heaven.
I took it upon myself to spend some time doing research into the logistics, methods and feasibility of turning a photography hobby into a full-time job. And, it didn’t take me all that long at all to discover a number of realistic methods for doing so. I sat my friend down one night and told him what I had learned. And, he listened. He began using the methods I described to him to, at first, simply earn a very, very modest amount of extra cash from the photography he was doing in his spare time — I mean, at first, he was probably earning no more than a dollar an hour. But, hey! A dollar an hour for doing something that you’d be doing anyway even if you weren’t making anything at all is still a bonus!
My friend kept doing what he loved, and he kept building on it. His income kept rising fairly steadily and after about four years he was able to build it to a point where he did quit his job and took up professional photography full-time, earning roughly the equivalent to what he was earning at his old 9 to 5. The day he quit his job was a little more than six years ago now and today my friend is earning almost twice what he was earning at his old job, and his income is still climbing — there’s no telling what he’ll be earning a few years from now. But, the important thing is that he’s doing something that he loves. Every minute of every day that he’s earning money, he’s enjoying the exact thing that’s earning him money, immensely. There’s nothing better than that. He’s not sacrificing. He’s not suffering. He’s happy — truly, and deeply happy.
So, do that for yourself. Try to find out how you can make money by having fun, not by working, and you’ll find happiness. If, like my friend, you love photography, investigate a money making avenue such as this one. But, if it’s something else you enjoy doing, chances are very good that there’s a way to leverage some aspect of it in order to make money with it. Perhaps you like cooking, or gardening, or what have you. Whatever it is you enjoy, set your mind to finding the value in it, and work to discover how you can make money from it.