Let’s Be More and Chase Less

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.

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3 thoughts on “Let’s Be More and Chase Less

  1. Ian Scarborough

    Great article! Couldn’t agree more. Life should be about filling yourself with experiences both good and bad, because even through bad experiences you can find happiness by overcoming the difficulties, and feel proud of yourself for doing so.

    For me happiness comes in moments, be that your neice is born, you get that job offer, you find an extra bar of chocolate in the fridge you thought you didn’t have. It’s a material of perspective.

    A kid from Nepal could be over the moon with a bag of rice, give that same bag to a kid in England and you’d probably get a look that requires you to back away cautiously. In the developed world with so many ‘things’ around you, and so many influences telling you that you need these ‘things’, what we think makes us happy isn’t actually the case. We are unfortunately subject to huge mental manipulation to make us belive that having these ‘things’ will make us happy. But these moments are short lived and only go skin deep.

    I don’t think you can ever achieve a constant state of bliss, but you can achieve a state of quite positive contentment in your life, and I think this is what people should aim for.

    Feeling like you have a meaningful purpose also plays a huge role in your perception of what can make you happy. Again it’s all a matter of perception, what’s meaningful to one person, may not be for another.

    So to achieve a life of positive contentment with moments of joy. I think you need to find your purpose. What is going to make YOU feel like you have a reason for being. What will make you feel like you have a positive effect on the people around you, even the wider world. And don’t put too much expectation on yourself to achieve this, the world is a hard place and we all need to survive, but if you manage to find a way to make the steps towards what you what to achieve and build on it little by little, then just like a small stream with more and more water you’ll carve your way through, becoming a river of joy, happiness, love and a quite positive contentment that comes from living out your purpose in life.

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