I’m 27. Some of you will say I’m so very young, and others will understand I’m basically feeling 30 (which is still young, but quite a milestone for a 20-something year-old).
This is the age where you start questioning whether you’re actually going to ‘make it’. And by ‘making it’ I mean – meeting your parents/peers/society’s expectations – and even your own – that you’re going to be very successful and financially secure by the time you’re 30. (which traditionally also involves happily married, a mother of two and a perfect figure)
But I can’t help asking: And then what?
What happens if by miracle, luck or other spells you get to have it all by 30? Is that it? Are you just going to spend the rest of your life within this single dimension, being the same person, doing the same things? I’d rather start again every 30 years 🙂
I don’t think that’s how it works anymore. And the more I look at my own personal journey, the more I realise how much I’ve changed, how different I am than what I thought I would be by this age, and more importantly…how different my idea of having it all is.
‘Money isn’t everything’. Or ‘money can’t buy happiness’. We hear that constantly, yet the most frequent questions I get from even my closest friends are: So, what do you do? Does it pay well?
While these questions don’t bother me, and while I have a good job and a decent income, I’ve never ever based any of my decisions on a strong desire to make lots of money.
I hate chasing money. It is so unnatural for me. And I think I finally have an explanation.
It’s not that I am not ambitious; those who know me will most certainly describe me as very ambitious. It’s not that I don’t like working hard, because I always pull my weight and more when I need to get things done. It’s not even the fact that I haven’t found something I like doing.
The truth is money is not a measurement unit in my life. Never has, never will be.
I measure everything I do by how much happiness I get out of it. Is this new job going to excite me, inspire me, teach me, develop me? Is this business idea going to make me want to get up every morning and work hard? Is this meaningful? Can I meet new people? Can I fall in love ?
By the time I’m 30, and probably at each milestone in my life, the only thing I really want is to love and be loved. I don’t think anything else quite compares to having this. And I haven’t heard anybody older, or on their death bed, saying they regret not having chased money more or gotten richer.
That isn’t to say we shouldn’t have successful careers or businesses or whatever we choose to do with our lives. But let’s not put so much pressure on ourselves to measure our success and happiness by how much money we make or how much status we’ve achieved; let’s work a bit smarter and make time for the things that truly matter in life.
Let’s be more, and chase less.