Money vs. Happiness

Is it better to make good money or make less money to get up every day and do a job you love? Yes, money buys things. It pays the mortgage, it puts food on the table and clothes on your back. But I suspect that many things that I currently own or think that I need, I don’t really need, and they don’t contribute to my overall happiness.

I strongly dislike my job. Not that I don’t like who I work with, or the company, but I can’t stand what I do. But you know what? I couldn’t stand my last job or the one before that or the one before that for the same exact reason. I have never before woken up in the morning and gone to work at something I truly loved. Today it dawned on me why I keep doing this to myself, why I keep taking jobs I know from the very beginning I won’t like. It’s very simple; I have this notion in my head that how much money I make directly reflects how successful I am. But is that true? Or should my success be measured on how happy I am, and how passionate I am about what I do for a living.

For the last several years, I have been able to purchase everything I have ever wanted, go on trips whenever I wanted and have pretty much done everything I felt like. However, while my shoe collection grew exponentially, I turned into someone I didn’t know, perhaps because I was trying to force happiness, and replace it with a fake sense of fulfillment.

It amazes me, now that I have gotten back into writing, how I can hardly sleep at night and I wake up every day filled with story ideas, excited to get behind a computer for hours on end. On the weekends when I use to spend my time shopping or hanging out with friends, I now stay home and work and I am perfectly happy doing that. I stay up later, skip my lunch break, and pass up shoe sales because I have this burning urge to write. I can’t get my ideas down fast enough, I can’t apply for enough freelance jobs, and I can’t learn more about writing fast enough. And you know what? It doesn’t feel like work at all.

For the first time in my life I have a clear vision of what I want to do with my life and some semblance of an idea of how to do it. I resent my full time job even more now because I know that it is not for me. I have been in the wrong place for a long time and every minute I spend there is taking away from my writing time.

The bottom line is, when I am writing I am happy and that is worth more than a pay check.

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