Money makes you happy only when you’re happy with how you make your money. Yup, read that line again and let it sink in. I recently wrote an article with how I made over $10,000 knocking on strangers doors. That particular article got a lot of traffic and shares because of the number $10,000. For some odd reasons as humans we’re naturally attracted to anything that has to do with money. I learned the hard way as I actually blew through all of that money and then some–$12,000 to be exact (I ended up earning more). This is why I believe how you make your money is more important than how much money you make.
More Money Brought More Misery
$12,000 and some change to be exact is what I saw deposit into my bank account this July 2017. It was the most money I’d ever earned in a single month. I’d always dreamed of reaching the $10,000 marker like it was some end all be all. As if the feeling I’d get from seeing that amount of money in my bank account would fulfill me. I’m here to tell you that it didn’t. In fact, I was more miserable than I’d ever been in my entire life.
Here I was, 27-years young, in great health and living on my own in one of the most expensive areas in the entire United States (Bay Area of California). Why the hell was I so miserable? You ever hear that song by P. Diddy called “Mo Money Mo Problems?” Well I can finally resonate with that. It seems as if as soon as the money came in, more problems came up.
I was counting on my roommate and I to move to Fresno, California to continue our solar expedition and out of left field he decided he was going to move back East. While I was shocked I also wasn’t. I’d sort of had an intuition and a feeling if you will that he was going to head home. The timing just seemed right for him. But where would that leave me?
Uncertainty is Life’s Indicator That You’re Still Alive
Have you ever seen a heart monitor and the peaks and valley’s that it makes? Well that’s a lot like life. If you have peaks and valley’s in your life, it means you’re a live and breathing. If you’re not breathing, the heart monitor flat-lines and that means you’re dead. I’m very glad that I’m not dead and you should be to.
As I sit here at Whole Foods writing this article for you, know that everything is going to be okay. Whatever peak you’re at right now, appreciate the view. And if you’re in a valley right now, appreciate the struggle and the climb. Being uncertain of what you’re going to do is life’s way of happening for you.
I’ve always been told, “Chris, you’re soo optimistic. You can look at any shitty situation and you’ll make the best of it.” What you don’t see is that I to have internal conflicts that I deal with on a daily basis. After all, I’m human and unless I’ve been living among aliens then I’m pretty sure every other human on this planet is also going through the same peaks and valleys as me.
Some peaks may be higher for others and some valleys a bit lower but we’re all on this journey together. That brings me peace, it brings be a sense of purpose and joy. There’s something about knowing you’re not alone that simply makes things better. I enjoy that and so should you.
Unhappiest I’d Ever Been (How You Make Your Money)
If you aren’t happy with what you’re doing then why are you doing it? If you’re like most sane humans, you do it because you need the money in order to survive. Maybe you have a mortgage, car note, insurance, kids to feed, your own mouth to feed or maybe you just need a little bit of gas in the tank. You want to live comfortably and I totally get it. I’m in a similar canoe myself.
Lately I’ve been asking myself, “what fulfills you Chris?” I come up with certain answers of things that bring me great joy. Family, soccer, videography, photography, my dogs, trying new foods, traveling and creating new relationships. And then I’ll self-sabotage, “but how do you make money doing those things?” I’ll stump myself and will go back to what I know which is whatever is actually making me money.
The routine would kick back in and that’s where goal setting begins to happen within whatever endeavor I’m doing at the time. “When I reach this amount of money, THEN I’LL BE HAPPY!” Well I set a goal and I achieved that goal of $10,000 in a single month. In fact, I surpassed it and I’m here to tell you that It is not what it seems.
Ultimate Fulfillment Is Ultimate Happiness
Find whatever it is that brings you ultimate happiness and do that. You’re going to have ultimate fulfillment, I promise you. I know this because when I visualize and get centered, I go back to a time in my life when I was the happiest. I imagine being in peak physical condition, playing soccer and the game is tied. I’m running on the field and notice every other player is tired, so I tap my heart twice (tap, tap) and give myself a second wind. I go into complete tunnel vision in my mind and turn it up a notch. The ball comes to me, I play a through ball to my forward and he scores the winning goal. Ultimate elation rushes through my body and raises the hairs on my arms. We celebrate the victory.
Envisioning moments of ultimate joy I’ve experienced bring me back to a place of joy and happiness. And the beautiful part is that we still have every opportunity to create moments like that which raise the hairs on our arms. It’s been said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. I don’t believe that. I believe you’re going to go through tough times, even when you’re doing what you love. Soccer was my first love and as much as I loved playing, I dreaded the sprints we had to do for conditioning. It was certainly not my favorite part.
We’re all going to have to work hard at whatever it is we’re doing if we want to reach the next level of our lives. If we’re going to experience miserable times regardless, why not be miserable doing what we love?
Be The Superhero of Your Life
I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast the other day and he talked about being the superhero of your own life. Usually the superhero is in a really shitty place when the movie begins and they’re going through a very rough patch in their lives. Someone passed away, they lost their job, spouse left them, they’re entirely unhappy and are at what appears to be rock bottom.
Then they decide to do something about it. They have that long stare down scene in the movie where they talk to themselves in the mirror. They’ve had enough and it’s time for a change. They don’t know how they’re going to do “it” or how “it’s” going to happen but they’re going to make it happen.
Now I wouldn’t say that I’m at rock bottom or that you are either. If you’re able to read this article right now and I’m able to type it, then I’d say we both have fairly fortunate lives. Our basic human needs are met and we’re living quite comfortably. But if you’re like me (lacking fulfillment in our work/personal life) then isn’t it time we re-write the script?
No longer will I devote my entire life to just making money regardless of how I make it. If it isn’t fulfilling me, it isn’t for me. The decision is scary yet very necessary. What will you decide?