Have you ever felt pressure to do something just for money, but weren’t sure about it? I was helping an artist who had lots of swirling thoughts around what kind of art to make. She spoke with deep longing and excitement around making beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that she would sell for a high price. But she was hearing business advice that the way to make money was to create one piece and then replicate it many times and sell them at a cheap price.
I could hear emotion in her voice when she talked about the one-of-a-kind pieces and pointed it out to her. This was an indication of the direction that would make her soul happy. Her energy and excitement behind it would go into her creations and connect to people who saw her work. And people would be more likely to buy.
Do you ever try to chase the money?
When you are thinking of doing something just to make money, check in and see how it makes you feel. See how it feels in your body. Often, it does not feel good.
After my junior year of college, I was looking for a summer job in Boston. The job of perfume seller caught my eye in the paper. I like perfume and it seemed like a good business to be in. I answered the ad and was hired. It turns out that we had to go door-to-door to sell perfume. When I went to the first training meeting, I had a dark feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t hear anything about the benefits of the perfume, only tactics on how to push people to buy and make more money. I didn’t like the people who were training me and when we went around to the houses, I felt shame and disgust. I tried to gut through it for a couple of days, but I knew just doing something for the money that felt so wrong to me wasn’t worth it.
We all get wrapped up in our ego and get caught up in chasing dollars because we live in a society that often values money above all else. However, I think what we all want is happiness and peace. Often doing something just for the money, that feels bad when we examine it, is going to make us unhappy and not bring us closer to peace.
What makes you excited and happy?
Usually, there is another direction, that isn’t just for money, to take in our lives that makes us feel energized and makes us feel joy. It may be something we have not fully realized yet, something we think of as a dream. It may make us giddy to think about, but isn’t an obvious money maker.
The good feelings around something are an indication that our soul is trying to speak to us. To get in touch with what will make our soul happy, we have to follow those things that make us energized. We may not quit our job tomorrow to follow this feeling, but we can start dreaming. We can gradually take steps to arrange our lives and find work that brings us joy.