Updated: Aug 13, 2020
I have come to realise recently that through my daily interactions, observations and life experiences... a lot of people define success by how much money they have.
Now, i'm not saying that having money is bad. On the contrary, it can be used to do many great things and i would much rather have it than not. The problem here is that with my observations i've realised that from a young age, we are brought up believing that if you are rich, you are deemed to be successful.
Many people associate happiness and success with having a lot of money however, it is not always a belief that is true to them. We are brought up being shown images of people with all the money in the world being happy as can be but not really knowing that they may be feeling empty inside. As this image is constantly advertised to us everywhere we go, we begin to believe that this is what we need to be happy in life. As these thoughts begin to develop in our mind, not many people realise that they are being told what to do instead of doing what they truly want to in order to be happy. We are fed these ideas throughout our lives and it becomes almost hardwired in our minds to the point where if someone is not chasing wealth and riches, they are the ones who are not successful. If money was truly the deciding factor of what success is, then why is it that we see on the news and in the world very rich people committing suicide and abusing drugs? But hang on, they have money? They are successful? Why aren't they happy?? It is because many humans are chasing goals that are not their own in order to show others that they are successful instead of doing what they love and aiming to achieve that type of success. It is no fault of their own as in my opinion, this is what they are brought up to believe. As they are brought up to believe such a thing, it becomes a comparison battle in life. People start to compare each others wealth/status and if someone is losing that battle, they may turn to negative actions and behaviours to get ahead. This in turn leads to them falling further away from who they truly are. Now you may ask, why is it that i say these things? How do i know? I know this because for many years i was that person who was only aiming to make more money. I was eager to be wealthy as i never had an abundance of wealth growing up. I thought that if i made more money it would take away problems, my family would be proud of me and i would be happy. I associated something materialistic with something spiritual and natural....an unwise decision. I was always looking for more money in jobs. I did not care what the job was as long as it would pay more. I convinced myself that as long as it was paying me more i would be happier. With this mentality, i would apply for jobs, get the job and for 1 or 2 months i would be satisfied. Once 2 months had gone by i would lose motivation quickly, my work would begin to suffer and i justified that by blaming the company culture, the people who worked with me and that i was worth more money elsewhere. Through many years of repeating this cycle, I began to become increasingly dissatisfied with my life. My pay kept increasing but my satisfaction levels with life continued decreasing. One day i was sitting by myself in my room for hours and reflecting on life. I could tell something was wrong because i was always a positive person inside but that inside positivity begun to diminish and the positivity i displayed to the world was only on the surface. One thing that i had found through many different jobs is that the one thing that i loved to do was to help people. Whether it be financially or through daily struggles, it brought me satisfaction as it was genuine. I begun to reflect on all the times that i simply helped people and how that was the highlight of my day. This thought was something that stayed with permanently. Days went by and as i was scrolling through my Instagram one day, i came across a philosophical quote by Marcus Aurelius: * "Never value anything as profitable that compels you to break your promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains." These words stuck with me and never left my head as i had truly felt that i did not have my self-respect to diminsh as i realised i was doing NOTHING in my life that brought value to my soul and represented me. I was chasing money as i thought it would being me happiness. It is what i was subconsciously built to believe since a child. Not mainly from my parents as their focus was mainly on survival but from the world around me! From that day onwards i began to focus on what spoke true to my soul regardless of what people thought and regardless of the money it brought. 7 years of chasing more and more money brought me no joy whatsoever. It always felt like a chore and i was never inspired to go to work. The only joy that was real came from my beautiful girlfriend (now engaged and future wife to be), my family and my true friends. These turn of events left me realising that i was unhealthy and that i needed to change physically and mentally. I started going to Kickboxing classes and that then led to BJJ classes. When my health started to get right, my days were filled with more energy, motivation and my self-confidence grew. Throughout this time, i started to also find jobs that i might actually enjoy as i liked to help people. It led me to pursuing a career in Financial Planning. I enjoyed helping people and not having an abundance of wealth growing up, i could relate to many people. That was my reasoning to go down that path. I thought it was the answer. When Covid-19 first hit in Australia and i spent more time working from home, i realised that although Financial Planning was alot more bearable, it wasn't hitting the spot. I knew i loved to help people and through picking up reading, i knew i had a big interest in Philosophy and Life. This was when the idea of The Philosophers Army started. A community in which i inspire others to liver better lives through my life experiences and philosophical content. So the point of all this is that i only started to feel successful and wealthy once i actually started to pursue what spoke true to me. It came through many failures in life. Trying to make others think i am successful, trying to make more money and constantly blaming outside forces for things going wrong. All these actions were mentally draining but i never realised it at the time. Money never made me feel rich. I never had an abundance of it. The more i continued to make, the worse i began to feel. I was going about life the wrong way. The jobs got better but my self-respect kept dropping. Now again, to some people making money is what speaks true to them and brings them happiness. If that is the case then that is fantastic! more power to you my friends! I do also like to make money of course but it is not what brings me the most happiness and success. What determines success in my life now is doing what i truly love, spending time with my loved ones and actually being present when with them. All these learnings through failures have led to me become healthier, happier and more motivated to do what i love. I hope you make it through reading this and take away something that will in turn improve your life. I want people to be happy. I want people to stop doing things that takes them away from themselves. It is in my control to share these experiences in the hopes that one person will be inspired to be better.
I wish you all nothing but the best in your journeys! Good luck.