Like it or not, we live in a society where material possessions are a showcase of success. Moreover, in this grad sense, we are led to believe that money can not only dictate our social status, but define us in terms of how interesting our lives are, how interesting of a person we turn out to be.
Antagonism, then, towards this line of thinking is not that hard to understand. For it is precisely through this money-rhetoric that some of us chose to lead a half-interesting life, becoming less interesting of a person.
So the question that has been all but ignored goes like this – is it possible to lead an interesting life and become as attractive of a person as any millionaire, even before having the bank records backing you up?
How do most people experience happiness?
If you observe how most people structure their argument for happiness, you will see a pattern forming. Majority, and I’m willing to bet a boatload here, are convinced that true happiness, true fulfillment is possible only after they reach a certain financial freedom.
The idea of retirement, of buying X and becoming more financially free, buying Y and not having to worry about a thing…
Nurturing this set of beliefs, by analogy, we have similar thought processing when it comes to how we feel about Friday, how we desperately wait an entire year for a ten days’ vacation.
But as the pace of life itself changes, waiting for 30 more years in order to sit on the porch with your legs up suddenly becomes less and less acceptable.
And when we are confronted with the fact that a fulfilled and interesting life is possible even without the previously pictured sum of money, there goes our ability – or inability – to cope. For once we embrace this line of thinking, we quickly go out of excuses on why we are still not happy, fulfilled, or leading an interesting lifestyle.
Some things don’t require much money
If we try and single out how many of the things we are waiting for, or have scheduled for “better times” do not require much money, it really is alarming.
All of the sudden, the theory that you need money as in order to do the things that will make you happy becomes flawed at a number of levels.
Experiences always outweigh material possessions, and most of them can be realized by having only couple of dollars extra. Not millions, mind you.
And this, simply put, only reinforces the idea that you don’t need money in order to be a more interesting person either. There are things that are free with capital letters, which can make you a very impressive person to hand around. And here is where the idea of personal development fits in.
Using some inchoate reverse engineering, it is still pretty much apparent that most millionaires have had their lifestyle all set up, and their personal traits very well acquired, even before making it to being financially free.
In the same vain, you don’t need money in order to learn languages, yet it is beyond impressive to know three or four; You don’t need money in order to be able to perform physical feats such is running 5K in less than 20 minutes or doing a handstand, yet these things tend to impress majority of people; You don’t need money in order to have an appealing physique, yet it impresses nonetheless; You don’t need money in order to learn how to cook or play the violin, yet making a Tarte Tatin or playing Bach’s second partita will set you apart from most people by a huge margin.
And same can apply to multitude of other skills, knowledge, changes in your personality, appearance, abilities…
You don’t need money in order to be more eloquent, interesting or attractive. You can always read more, investigate interesting topics, hang around with interesting people, create more things and try to lead a fulfilled life. And it all comes free.
All you need is time
Sure, some might point out to the fact that these things take time, and in a world where time is spent on working at a job just in order to be able to support yourself, these pursuits are near impossible.
But coming up with such an argument makes one revert to loser rhetoric whenever convenient.
By and large, it feels as though time sacrifice always pays off if we think on the long run. Setting aside half an hour daily as to learn Spanish on Duolingo seems about right, and without much in the way of ruining your schedule. Over the course of a year, it can easily be labeled as the right trade decision on time versus benefit.
By contrast, having not invested yourself in neither learning nor effort to be happy, the same time frame will pass anyway.
By changing on the long run, as a person – what you know, what you experience, what you can do – your reality inevitably changes. In turn, it can make you fulfilled without necessarily granting financial freedom, or who knows – maybe earning you a million.