Why Money Can Make You Miserable

JillLifestyle10 Comments

Before we left Toronto I met up with a girlfriend I knew back in my bartending days, G.

G was always one of my favourite girls to chill with, and even though we didn't see a lot of each other, I always knew when we did meet up we would spend most of our time laughing, girl talking and just being assholes together.

Needless to say I was pretty freakin' excited to see her once more before moving away.

After the excitement of seeing each other again calmed down and we got real, I could tell there was something different.

G worked a 9-5, she owned her own place, she had great friends, she made six figures…and she was miserable.

Within five minutes of her explaining her new promotion she had tears in her eyes. She hated her boss. Most of her coworkers were dickheads. She dreaded every day she had to be there. And she wanted better.

She yearned for more.

She craved freedom and damn well deserved happiness.

She didn't care about the money because the money was what was locking her in that misery.

So she quit and she did it without a backup plan. She took a stance. She set a standard for herself. And she put her happiness before her bank account.

Because that's the thing about money: it doesn't fucking matter how much you make if what you are doing isn't making you happy, giving you purpose or feeding your soul.

It's just money. There is an infinite amount out there just begging to be earned.

And you know what's even better? Once you align yourself with what it is that makes you happy, gives you freedom and fills you with purpose, you will make more of it than you ever could stuck behind that desk surrounded by 3 grey cubicle walls working for someone else.

Don't settle. Take action.

Give yourself some ‘me' time and think about what would make you truly happy work-wise.

Do you have a hobby you love or know a lot on a certain topic? Turn that into an affiliate site.

Do you have an idea for a digital product? Create it.

Do you want to make a physical product? Construct it.

Do you have a service to offer? Offer it.

Do you have a book in you? Write it.

Whatever you want to do, need to do or wish to do, just fucking do it.

Make the decision. Accept the risk. Take the first step.

Once you set that intention you will find a way to make it happen.

And remember (in the words of my fave femme, Marie Forleo) everything is figureoutable.

Screw the nine to five. Live the life you have imagined.

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  • joanna

    While I appreciate the fact that a well paying job can be a source of your misery, the opposite can be said as well. Too little money can be stressful, depressing and if you’re in a relationship a major friction factor.

    As someone who stopped out and took their “passion” and turned it into their career. I can tell you it is easy to take something you love and turn it into something you hate. What you enjoy recreationally loses that joy when you are forced to do it non-stop.

    My preference is something that sticks with me from when I was working for a UK based company. A visiting colleague from the UK said to me “You Americans, you live to work, not work to live.”

    I agree. Sometimes it is better to compartmentalize your life and “shut up and cash your paycheck” work is a means to an end, not a be-all and end-all to your life. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

    Of course, sometimes I need to remind myself of that lesson.

    To me, my feeling is do all those things you want to do – regardless of what you are doing for pay now. Make time for yourself and your interests and balance work with the real reason you work – to have a good life. You may be a huge success, you may be a huge failure – but you won’t look back and say I should have, I could have, I would have.

    I agree you should not take being miserable and unhappy as required. But I also believe there is a need to temper what you do with the reality of your own situation. Will your obligations and lifestyle be able to survive on a downsized paycheck?

    Work to live, not the other way around.

    • Jill

      That’s a great perspective Joanna, thank you for sharing that!

      And on the ‘work to live not live to work’ – I once had a surfing instructor in Costa Rica say that to me about 5 years ago. It stuck with me and I remember it like it was yesterday. It altered my perspective more than I can describe. His name was Caesar and I remember everything about that one hour with him. He opened my eyes 🙂

      I truly believe you don’t have to live to work but it definitely helps when you love your work…at least, I find it helps. Also, with that being said, currently Josh and I love working…we’ll take any chance we can get to work on this site, our affiliate sites or the book we are writing.

      I guess it’s just about discovering your sweet spot and finding what works for you.

      However, on the other side of things, I have absolutely been in a situation where I haaaaaated my job. It stole my soul but I made ridiculous cash so I stayed for 5 years. Looking back, I wish I knew then what I know now…but that’s always the way 🙂

      Ultimately, it brought me to the point I’m at now where I love what I do and hopefully Josh and I can at least ignite a little fire in some people to follow that nagging feeling in the pit of their stomachs that there is something else better out there for them.

      After all, life is way too short to spend it doing something you hate.

      But that’s just our opinon 🙂

      Thanks again for the great comment!

  • Hey Joanna,

    First off I want to say how much I appreciate someone chiming in and offering their opinion. I respect that and I hope to see it more often on our site.

    Re. your point of doing what you’re passionate about and not leading to the happiness you so hoped for, I’m afraid I have a different opinion. Instead of doing what we love and hopefully it leading to our own self happiness, I prefer to see it in a more selfless manner.

    By doing what we love, we’re choosing a path that is most likely to have a greater impact on others. Perhaps the goal isn’t to make us as individuals happy, but instead to make a difference for others. With that comes a greater sense of connection as well, which I believe to be the one true contributing factor to happiness.

    • Hey Josh, I think you really nailed it with your comment. Once you find your “gift” to others it’s likely something you love and what others are yearning for.

      For me, I decided to leave a fortune 500 career behind for a career as a coach and personal trainer. It’s terrifying to disconnect from my career “status” that has made me feel secure.

      But when I am on a coaching call it’s such a sacred experience that I know it’s what I’m meant to do. And people can 100% tell when you’re passionate, and it makes them transform, too.

      • Thanks Brynn! Congratulations on escaping and finding what you love and I totally agree with you in regards to there being something sacred about sharing what you know with others. That’s what we’re trying to do here so hopefully we can offer you some good ideas to help take your business and life to another level.

        P.S. Just checked out your site, have you heard of mindbodygreen.com? If not, they take guest posts and I really think you would get a lot out of contributing to their site if you’re not already – http://www.mindbodygreen.com/writeformbg.action

  • Sarah

    My scuba diving instructor in Koh Lipe told me he left his well paying accounting job in England to become a diving instructor in Thailand. He showed me a picture of himself when he was living and working in England. He looked bloated, old, and sad (in a very expensive suit). He told me that being a diving instructor pays shit but he gets to live his life everyday in paradise doing something he is incredibly passionate about.

    After 1 week of diving lessons I gave him a thank you card and 1000 baht tip (about $30 Canadian back then). Not that much money compared to what he used to make. He became teary and told me how thankful he was.

    He was working, doing something he loved, not for the money but for happiness. Of course we all need to make some amount of money to survive but does more money make us happier? A mere $30 tip and a thank you for being a great teacher was enough for this guy.

    • Jill

      See? That’s what it’s all about! Finding love and purpose in what you do. Who said you have to make millions just to love what you do?

      That’s such a great story Sarah and I have to agree with you…most of the happiest people on Koh Tao are the dive instructors who make hardly anything but get to do what they love each and every day 🙂

  • Margot

    I bumped into this site as I pondered which direction to take with regards to $$ career vs. happy career.

    I have a nice but difficult executive job with a global corporation. Pay is great but recently, I started looking for Admin Assistant positions in smaller local companies closer to home. I began as an AA 20+ years ago and now in my mid-40s, I yearn going back to when I was happier and not worrying about reaching multi million-dollar revenue goals.

    Yes, money will be much less but to be able to breath easier and come home happier is worth the financial loss. No worries; in the end, God will provide.

    • Jill

      I always believe happiness should outweigh money. After all, some of the wealthiest people I’ve met don’t seem very happy. They seem busy, stressed, and overwhelmed.

      I think you have to do what feels best to you and your ultimate goals 🙂

  • Innaunnakki

    Money isn’t my main goal in life, but money is sometimes the key to certain doors for those goals to be unlocked, which makes life difficult. I’m not a greedy person, nor will I do anything for money. But I just want to do so much in life like; travel, buy clothes, bless others financially, eat the right foods, not live paycheck to paycheck, go to concerts, do fun things!!! Money is evil, and if you don’t have it, you’ll miss out on a lot like I did in my childhood and now! I need a big break! >0</