It’s not all about the Money
Being this my first article on Medium I wanted to start with something that happened to me recently… The Director of HR Department of a big investment firm asked me if I wanted to join their company for a quarter of a million per year, plus bonuses and benefits. The work consisted in managing a bank branch with more than a thousand people, assisted by a small team of managers.
My first reaction was of surprise and excitement, which was immediately followed by a feeling of malaise. They were offering me money in exchange of my life, with a job that would eventually suffocate me not having time to travel nor to see my family. But the interesting part of the story how the people close to me reacted. All of them hearing the story told me to accept immediately, retracing their steps a few minutes later.
Fortunately I followed my gut feeling and refused the offer, even when they called me back raising the offer. But this offer made me reconsider all my objectives in life, as one of them was to become rich! Do I really want to become rich? Hell no! For me being wealthy was a way to be even more happy, but what I understood is that Rich people are less sad, but they aren’t happier.
So I started reading and evaluating things better to be than Rich:
Selfless. Choosing to live selfless lives that seek the benefit of others brings meaning, purpose, and lasting impact to our short lives. While living selfish, self-centered lives is neither attractive or fulfilling.
Honest. No compromises, no regrets. Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and harmful desires. Given the choice, we should choose honesty, integrity, and character any day. It makes laying our head on the pillow each night that much sweeter.
Passionate. It is far greater to have a career and life we love waking up to in the morning than a high-paying job that brings no satisfaction, provides no positive contribution, and provokes no passion in our day.
Dependent. There is greater security to be found in lasting, trusting relationships than wealth. Dependence on others teaches us this truth. But even more importantly, it also allows us to experience the goodness of other people.
Compassionate. The statistics continue to hold true. The more wealth we obtain, the less compassion and empathy we feel towards those without. And as a result, the less we contribute.
Humble. Wealth often brings with it a certain level of pride — or at least, a more-necessary intentionality to remove prideful tendencies. Sometimes this pride comes from within and sometimes it is encouraged by others. Meanwhile, humility quietly calls us to embrace its hidden power and freedom. It would be a shame to miss it at the expense of riches.
Resourceful. Learning how to live with less is an important pursuit. It teaches us the value of the things right in front of us and forces us to appreciate them even more.
Connected. Riches do not result in deeper relationships. In fact, often times, they have the opposite effect. But intimate, connected relationships continue to provide the joy in our lives money can never produce.
Perseverant. Perseverance is a powerful characteristic that can only be discovered through trial. And while riches cannot remove every trial in life, they can often remove just enough to keep perseverance from ever taking root in our heart.
Happy. As I mentioned, once our basic needs have been met, money contributes very little to our overall happiness and well-being. Gratitude, generosity, and contribution produce far more. And that is the real goal: to live lives of joy and fulfillment and help others to do the same.
There are indeed, far better things to be than rich. So find a passion, transform it in your job and keep enjoying with your friends and family, which are the most important nourishment for happiness!