Why You Shouldn’t Follow the Money

career exciting joy purpose

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.


2 Reasons You May Be Staying In a Miserable Job


1. You’re trying to live up to an image because you care what others think

My work as an attorney left me exhausted, unhappy and not in the flow. You’d think I’d have some great stories of when I reached my limit and yelled at a federal judge in the courtroom, but I don’t. Because I coped and accepted. I did my job to the best I could because I had to live up to the image of good girl I’d strived for since childhood.

How much do you care about what people think? Is it keeping you in a job you hate?

Sometimes we try to live up to expectations that we don’t examine. We think that people care more about what we do and try to please those people. List some people in your life who you think might care if you change careers. List examples of what they have said or done in the past that show their judgement. Is there actual evidence how they judge you? Often there aren’t many. If there are examples, are they enough to keep you miserable?

2. You’re Hiding The Depth of Your Unhappiness, Even From Yourself

When I feel something, I don’t emote and express it outwardly, but I keep it within to mull over. So when I was unhappy, I didn’t act out at work or rage. I simply coped because it was what I had always done.

Until I could cope no longer. I knew I had to find answers. I started gobbling up all of the books I could find on getting quiet and going within. Books that taught me to be in stillness. They taught me to get quiet to figure out what I really wanted. And I wanted out.

I started dreaming of what I did want. I made plans. I pushed past my fears and left the law.

How do you truly feel at work?

Take some time for yourself at an activity where you’re able to go into flow. It may be meditation, a nice hot bath, or something physical like hiking. Connect deep inside yourself and ask for the truth. If you’re brave enough to go within, you will realize the truth about staying in your job.

The first step toward a happy career is realizing and accepting that you’re not happy now and a change must be made.