A friend of mine recently came across a quote online and asked me if I agreed with it. It went “If you work 80 hours a week to make $80,000 per year, are you poorer than someone who works 40 hours a week and makes $50,000 per year?”
I thought long and hard for a few seconds and then came up with my answer. And my answer was YES, you are! Let me explain…
I have always been a proponent of protecting the most useful resource we have in our lives, and that is time. I never thought it smart or had the desire to spend all of my time “working” just to make more money. Money is only as important as what it can do, and that is buy you freedom. Freedom from financial woes, work obligations, stress over food and shelter, and many other things. But if you have to spend 80 hours of your time (freedom) each week on working, then you really aren’t acquiring any freedom at all, you’re losing it!
The money is a burden and you are a slave to it. It owns you, you do not own it.
However, if you can find a job where your work doesn’t seem like work (which is what I believe to be the wisest thing you can do), but rather something that you enjoy doing, than this 80 hours of “work” means nothing. Instead it will feel like you work zero hours a week and get paid for it! This is the ultimate goal. To find something you are passionate about, and something you love doing, so much in fact, that you want to spend as much time on it as possible! (This is where I’m heading now with my professional life, and it is incredible!)
I recommend reading The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss if you haven’t already read it yet. The quote above actually sounds like something from his book, which is maybe where my friend found it. The book talks a lot about the same concept of saving time and energy and in its stead enjoying life and doing things that you love to do, not that you have to do.
I really believe that life is all about doing things that challenge you. If you can come up with something that you are passionate about and still make a living doing it, then you have found the key to happiness. So many people choose a living based solely on its financial benefits and disregard their own desires and goals in life.
When you were a kid and thought of what you wanted to be in life, I’m sure you didn’t say “I want a job that pays well and I don’t really care what it is; I just want to have a lot of money.” No, I’m sure, like most of us, you had a really cool dream of becoming something awesome, something that related to your passions and desires at the time…and this is what you should be doing today! You should have this same spirit filled with dreams of what you love doing!
Find what you love in life, what you’re passionate about, what you really enjoy doing, and make that your occupation. If you do, you will never have to work a day in your life!
The video above is one of my favorites. It went viral a year or so back on the internet because of how powerful its message is. The orator, one Alan Watts, was a great philosopher and speaker who taught various forms of Eastern Philosophy throughout the 50s and 60s. (He’s really a fascinating individual, and if you get a chance look him up.)
The quick speech about if money were no object really hits home with how I feel on this topic. If money really didn’t matter, what would you do in life? Would you do what you are doing now? My guess is probably not. So many people are motivated for the wrong reasons in life, and its speeches and videos like the one above that open our awareness up and get us thinking about the things that really matter in life.
What really matters in your life? Is it money, or something more authentic? How about love…passion…excitement? What makes you look forward to each new day?