What would you do with your life if money wasn’t an issue?
I first came across this question two years ago while listening to a speech by Alan Watts, a British philosopher. At that time, I was working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor helping people diagnosed with serious mental illness. A huge part of my job responsibilities was helping my clients find employment. It is a therapeutic approach in which clients can reintegrate into society despite their diagnosis. After the Alan Watts question was brought to my attention, I began asking my clients the same question. I not only asked my clients the question, I asked my colleagues, family, friends, and even myself.
What would anyone be doing with their lives if money wasn’t an issue??
Answers I received left me perplexed as almost EVERYONE I asked would be doing something different with their lives than what they were currently doing.
One of my colleagues at the time stated she would quit her job and open up her own dog sanctuary. This colleague worked as a Psychologist which means she spent most of her adult life in school simply to perform a job she didn’t want to do. Not to mention, all the money she spent on her education could have went into her dog sanctuary business.
Recently, still perplexed with this question, I took to Quora to get a broader range of answers: If money was not an issue, what would you be doing with your life? This question received more answers than any other question I have asked on Quora. People were eager to answer this seemingly far-fetched, fantasy world of a question.
The vast majority of respondents stated they would quit their job. What they would do afterwards varied, but common themes arose over and over again. These themes include:
- Traveling the world
- Moving to another country or town
- Humanitarian work
- Spending more time doing stuff they love such as writing or painting
- Starting their own business
- Going back to school
The more I ask, the more I wonder, why aren’t people doing this stuff NOW? Why do these answers only exist in a hypothetical scenario and not in reality?
I began asking friends and family and, again, took to Quora: What is keeping you from quitting your job and living the life you want?
What I found interesting was that NOT ONE PERSON stated they are currently living the life they want. The answers I received were all variations of the same, fear of not having enough money to live on.
I get it. We have all become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. A home, a car, good clothes, cable, nights out on the town, etc., etc. In order to maintain our lifestyles, we need a steady and consistent income. To have a steady and consistent income, we need a steady and consistent job. In most cases, we work 40+ hours a week, literally exchanging our lives time for money.
We are literally exchanging our lives’ time due to fear of not being able to maintain a certain lifestyle that we really don’t want.
We really shouldn’t live our lives on the basis of fear; fear should not dictate how we spend our time here on Earth. Fear and faith are both imagination in action where fear is often disguised as practicality or logic. Instead of fearing failure, why not have faith in success?
We do not need lavish amounts of money to live the life we want, we just have to be creative. Also, working a 9-5 is not the only way to establish an income, it is only one way.
What it comes down to are priorities. We all have a choice. We can choose to trade our life’s time to feed our fears or our dreams. What do you choose?