These days, most people get that money doesn't equal happiness. At the same time, we all know that money gives you options, and that freedom to choose can be pretty liberating.
Here's the problem: Riches have a real tendency to distract us from richness.
Every moment in your day has the potential to add richness to your life. The more present and intentional you can be in these moments, the more likely you are to experience greater meaning in them. The richest people in the world are the ones who are able to fully appreciate the seemingly insignificant moments that make up 99% of our days.
If you look carefully, you’ll see that these people span the compensation spectrum—high and low—and that money is not the driving force in their happiness.
Money gives you options—and that could include more options to lead a life of greater richness. But for several reasons, it also tends to also be the thing that ultimately pulls many too people away from living in the moment and thereby soaking in the full measure of fulfillment available to them.
Here are a few ideas to prevent riches from robbing you of richness:
Let past financial or career decisions go.
Maybe you made a big decision that has resulted in a big decrease of income or has introduced more risk into your career. Well guess what -- it happened and now it’s inevitable because it’s already the case. Instead of fretting about where you could be now, chalk it up to an expensive educational investment. It’s likely you learned a valuable lesson—and valuable lessons are just that: valuable. They’re not free. Good for you.
Leave the future to the future.
So many people spend so much time trying to predict the future that they can’t possibly enjoy today. Do that enough times, and you will postpone happiness and fulfillment for the rest of your life. You’ve been given the gift of right now… today… and if you gloss past it, you’ve made a poor investment decision. Applying your energy and talents in today—and that means every interaction, relationship, moment—sets you up best for tomorrow.
Recognize that financial performance is different from personal performance.
If you’re caught up in the “more” trap—continually chasing more and more [money, prestige, position/authority, whatever], you may be confusing financial performance with personal performance. Personal performance is bigger than that. It should take into account the full spectrum of who you are: how you show up for others, how well you replenish your own energy and resources, what you’re giving back to the world, and so on. Success in one area (finance) doesn’t justify failure in five others (everything else). Step up and raise your standard of personal performance—all of it—and stay out of the financial performance trap.