If it weren’t for the money…

I am beginning to wonder if I am a boring person. It’s the kind of stuff that no one will tell to your face.

I do not have a “passion” to pursue, like most others seem to have. I am afraid that may put me in some sort of boring, passionless minority.

I read posts about people giving up lucrative jobs to pursue their passion. People seem to quit jobs to pursue trekking, photography, dancing, travel, yoga, baking – the kind of stuff that I wouldn’t give up my day job for. The article I read was a little light on how these people made ends meet.

Perhaps, they were independently wealthy. Had to be.

I wracked my brain to come up with things that I am passionate about. I could only come up with things like hanging out with friends; listening to music; playing some tennis and squash; enjoying good food; and writing the occasional blog post.

The trouble is that I can do all that without quitting my job.

Nevertheless, that article triggered some introspection.

Was I shortchanging myself?

Sure, I like my job. But, if money were no object, would I still do it? Or, do something else?

Most of us don’t have “enough” money to chuck up and leave our jobs; so the concept of exploring satisfying alternatives that pay less, or don’t pay at all remains just that – a concept.

So, we stay.

The prospect of taking a lower paying job in pursuit of happiness has a nice ring to it. But, in most of our cases it is clearly not practical. Also, there is no guarantee that grass will be greener on the other side. But, if you don’t take a chance, how will you ever know?

To some extent, you can argue that peace of mind and happiness trump money.

But, you can’t pay your bills with happiness.

I have always envied people whose jobs allowed them to take long sabbaticals or career breaks to pursue other things of their choice. What better way to figure out what else you can do with your life – both in terms of fulfilment and financial security – other than a paid experiment like a sabbatical?

But that is wishful and unlikely to happen for most of us.

As negative as it sounds, what is more likely to happen, as we have seen time and time again, is that such breaks come unplanned through workplace shifts, corporate downsizing, or some such event.

If it were to happen to you, and you have a financial cushion, would you consider exploring satisfying alternatives? Would you pursue your passion, at least to rule it out as not practical?

I realize that this is a rhetorical question, and the answer would differ based on your stage in life. But, based on what people seem to be doing, certainly it is food for thought.

Most people I know will go right back into job hunting mode. Perhaps that is old school and boring.

I have thought about this for a while.

At many stages in my career, I have been to the point where I wanted to throw it all up and walk away.

If it weren’t for the money, I would have.

My version of the golden handcuffs!

And yet, money has only been one of my motivators. Strangely, I have never felt the need to be super rich. On the other hand, I have always felt grateful that I was not poor. I consider myself fortunate in some ways when compared to others that I know who seem to have bigger problems than I do.

So, status quo works for me.

But, status quo is bad in a fast-paced business world with artificial emergencies and deadlines. It’s all about moving the corporate needle forward as the stragglers fall by the wayside.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like what I do for a living. But, every once in a while, I feel like asking,

“What’s the hurry?”

Perhaps it’s time…

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Dax Nair

Dax is a marketer of cloud and security solutions with varied interests in technology, travel, food, racquet sports, and blogging.

2 thoughts on “If it weren’t for the money…

  • September 16, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Another well written and inspiring post Dax !

    I recommend reading the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss for something that could help stir a debate and sharpen the focus on finding the answers. To maximize benefit one has to be patient and read through until one of the final chapters “Adding life after subtracting work”.

    There are a million books out there on what to do in order to reach financial freedom, most a re-hash of basics known for decades and mediocre attempts at turning a profit. I’m afraid that when it comes to what to do after that, we’re mostly on our own. For the outsider, this might seem like a scary moment but it can and should actually be a very rewarding time in life.

    Dare to live !

    • September 16, 2017 at 10:58 PM

      Thanks Philip. I agree.

      I believe for most folks the question is: how much is enough?

      We should connect.


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