Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Chasing your dreams unlocks things money can’t buy. Eventually, money should be a secondary factor, not a primary one.
If someone told me that I’ll ever earn money from writing a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed them. Making money by typing words into a computer? No way! And yet here I am, living off writing for the past few months. I had never aimed to make money with writing in the first place. I just wanted to help people and give them the inspiration I missed in my own life. So I kept writing.
And through several coincidences, I suddenly found myself in a place where it's actually something I could live off. All I had was a vision. And it gave me a reason to stay up all night and work on my blogs and articles.
Would I’ve ever stayed up every night just for more money? Probably not. So why is it, that dreams make us achieve way more than the sole goal to make money?
💰 Money is a byproduct
By its definition, money is a secondary product: It’s a mean of exchange. We use money to buy stuff and to sell stuff. And it’s that stuff behind it that’s actually important. What do you want to bring to the world in exchange for money? It’s the dream that will give you purpose, energy and motivation – which in return results in better productivity performance and eventually more money.
Whereas thinking “How can I make as much money as possible?” will block out a lot of joy of life. It distracts you from your dream and leads you onto a path that is solely determined by where the most money is.
You could either use the time to “make money” or create something you actually believe in.
For example, working in a managerial position only for the sake of making money will earn you a lot – but it will also mean putting lots of hours into a job that you might not particularly enjoy. And since we’re all humans, we only have about 700.000 hours to live (subtracting childhood, education and other life events, it turns out to be even less, about 450.000 hours), you could either use the time to “make money” or create something you actually believe in.
Working on your own ideas and self will allow you to grow to a whole new level. Which in return leads to more motivation, more productivity, more work done and: more money.
🌈 Dreams are permanent, money is not
Let’s face it: Money is more fragile than it should be. It takes one lawsuit, one accident, one criminal, or just bad spending habits to take away a huge part of someone’s fortune.
No-one can ever rob you of your dreams.
Dreams, on the other hand, are yours. Always. No-one can ever rob you of your dreams. No matter how bad someone wants it. Dreams help you keep your head up during bad times. They give you a reason to get up in the morning and work on stuff – and to keep doing, even when not everything works out as planned. And this inner motivation is worth more than money could ever buy.
⚙️ Dreams (+ money) lead to difference
It almost sounds like a cliché – but when Steve Jobs built Apple, his goal wasn’t to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time. Instead, he aimed to change technology for good and make computers appealing and simple.
Social enterprises are another prime example: They tackle a social problem with entrepreneurialism. Of course, they need money to run their business – and using that money, they create change.
And it’s the same for every other business. Every company tackles one particular problem and money is a tool for the process.
🐣 Dreams evolve
The beauty of humanity is that our personality constantly evolves. And as we become more knowledgeable, we tend to dream bigger. Therefore, we never get bored – which makes us happier. With money, that’s not necessarily the case. Certainly, money does make our lives better – but only to a certain point, as a study from the Weatherhead School of Management in the US points out.
At some point, more money doesn’t add any value anymore.
Money only brings happiness as long as it brings some kind of value – for example being able to afford this one shiny camera you want so bad. But at some point, more money doesn’t add any value anymore. What’s the point in having a ton of money but not knowing what to do with it? Whereas dreams always give you something to improve.
🌍 The best experiences can’t be bought
Happiness can neither be bought nor planned. Nonetheless, many people try to buy themselves into dream holidays or experiences. And without a doubt, it works to some extent. But the majority of joyful moments I – and probably all of us – had in our lives were unexpected and had little to do with money.
To give you one crazy example, I once strolled around Brussels and through an unexpected series of events I found myself spending the whole night with a random group of Russians traveling the country. It cost me 6€ for a bottle of cheap wine – but heck, the experience will stay inside my head forever.
Eventually, money is only a small part of life. It should be. Because even the biggest amount can’t ever buy motivation, happiness or joy. Chasing a bigger dream, on the other hand, has the potential to bring out the best of our personalities – and money as a side product.
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