“People that say they don’t care about money usually don’t have any.”

| Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 | 33 Comments »
No, we are not claiming enlightenment BUT...

No, we are not claiming enlightenment BUT…

“This obviously isn’t about the money.”  Late in the fall of 2012 my father-in-law was digesting the news that Jammie and I had quit our jobs to travel the world and volunteer.

“Nope,” I replied, faking a lot more confidence than I actually felt.

There was no denying it. At least for the next 12 months, this kind of a life decision was not going to be lucrative.  It was going to be a huge drain on our resources.

Here are the thoughts that gave me some peace:

Money doesn’t matter until it does – There are times when money really does matter.  If you can’t take care of the basic needs of you and your dependents, you have a problem.  Food, shelter, healthcare, education, retirement, emergencies – these are all things we should plan for (and as I have explained in prior posts, we had.)  Saying “money doesn’t matter” to someone that does not have a chance of meeting the above needs is entitled, heartless, irresponsible and rude.  BUT, simply running on the hamster wheel of fear-based greed is not a smart alternative.  If you do, you will continually want more and more and you will never think you have enough.  Without realizing it, you will make horrible compromises (working a soul-crushing job, ignoring your family, developing a cold, corporate disregard for basic human decency) that will make you and those around just that little bit more pathetic.

Observing the rich is a great education – My job for years after college was in fundraising.  Much of my work involved spending a lot of time around wealthy people.  It was an interesting life.  Some of my best, most trusted friends were millionaires.  I learned a lot from these very rich people.  Many were very happy.  Money had not skewed their values or their respect for those around them.  They lived carefully, enjoyed their wealth and helped others.  I recruited several of them as mentors and have made a point of keeping in touch.

With other wealthy types, the opposite was true: money emboldened all the worst in human nature.  They seemed to think they could say anything they wanted because of their wealth.  They cut you off in conversation.  They would openly patronize people.  They yelled at anyone that challenged their views.  They took an insecure pleasure in reminding you of their money and power.  When the markets were down they panicked like little children.

I realized, after spending six years working with this slice of American society, that having money was very clearly not the factor that decided if you belonged to the happy first group or the wretched second one.  At first glance, this looks like basic conventional wisdom: money cannot buy happiness or peace.  Something deeper hit me on a personal level though. Even if I agreed that more money couldn’t buy me what I wanted, my life reflected a subconscious belief that it could.  I made all kinds of life compromises to stay on the career and overall life track that I thought would bring the security and prosperity I craved.  Simply put, the realization that I was fooling myself led to our year-long experiment and what has, over a year later, proven to be a far better life.

How much is enough?

Some will say that the reason Jammie and I were as unconcerned with the financial ramifications of our life decision was that (compared to the wealthy), we didn’t have much money in the first place.  Maybe they are right.  Maybe we should have continued living the traditional, default life.  Maybe we will live to regret this.  But after this first year’s experience and after talking to people double my age that made similar life decisions, I doubt it.

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this one.  I’m serious.  Let’s get some debate going.  I don’t expect you to agree with me.

LEAVE A COMMENT

LIKE CULTUREMUTT ON FACEBOOK

33 Comments

  1. David says:

    Actually this has been pretty well studied. It turns out for a family of four you need about $50,000 to be happy in the US on average (It varies a bit from place to place), but after that increased wealth is not strongly correlated with increased happiness. So money matters in the sense that if you aren’t able to maintain a minimum amount for comfort. Fall below that then the stress of trying to make ends meet becomes very deleterious. But above that to be happy you need, for lack of a better term, spiritual wealth. I don’t really mean that in the religious sense, although it can potentially mean that. We’re talking about relationships with friends, family, community, hobbies, charities, physical or intellectual accomplishment and so on. It’s also past this mark when you start to see people being really creative about what they want to accomplish, art, business, retirement, lifestyle you name it. Below that they’re too concerned with survival to take risks, invest, or step outside the box.
    David recently posted…The #GOP and the #SOTUMy Profile

    • Bjorn says:

      Excellent thoughts. I have often heard that study (and others like it), referenced. Do you have a link to a good write-up on these stats? $50,000 for a family of four in the US is not a lot, no matter where you live but I am confident the data is making a valid point…

  2. Caroline says:

    Bjorn, you have taken me to task. Let me start by saying to equit money to happiness is probably a sure way to greedy attainment. Happiness is elusive, we experience it at certain times of our lives…depending on what we divine happiness to be. That’s another topic of discussion.
    I purse goals , career and business to be able to support myself and those that depend on me. Money is important to me because it enables me to purchase utility. It is less stressful when you have money in the bank in time of emergencies….ok it appears I m describing the mundane functions of money.
    Wealth on the other hand places a person in a position of influence. Positive or negative depends upon the individual. I gravitate towards a positive influence. With money I can reach out and help and uplift those with lesser means.
    I will say, with money lots of money comes responsibilities to the community, family and the world at large. What I call the circle of influence. I certainly want the comforts of life, vacations, shopping and all that.
    I realize life is not all about money, when we explore other areas of life such as travel on a budget, we challenge ourselves in areas we would not otherwise have the courage to. I believe if people remain in the confines of their comfort zone, they leave too much life unlived at the end of this journey we call life.
    Money matters, if we truly ask ourselves what role money plays in our lives.
    I enjoy the principles of poor dad rich dad because my goal is not to clock anyone’s time card at the age of 60 like I have seen. I am in a traditional job now but I sure dream of not retiring on that job, certainly not at 65 or 70.
    I hope that enriched your thoughts

    • Bjorn says:

      It certainly did enrich my thinking on the subject, Caroline, thank you. So are you saying that more money is better if used correctly and that we should strive for greater wealth?

  3. David says:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2012/04/24/the-salary-that-will-make-you-happy-hint-its-less-than-75000/

    This is sorta a meta-article. It goes over some of the different studies done on this. Depending on who you ask the number will be somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000. The point being that it’s not super wealth that brings happiness. Wealth as it relates to happiness is all about meeting basic needs and comfort. After that you’re on your own.
    David recently posted…The #GOP and the #SOTUMy Profile

  4. Caroline says:

    My thoughts are building wealth is better. Wealth includes money and a whole lot of giving back….Warren a Buffet, Bill Gates, Kiyosaki and many more who do not take center stage in the news.

  5. So, I think that making more money alone is a terrible reason to do anything. Even when there are accompanying reasons why that thing is a good thing to do, it is necessary to scrutinize those reasons. Money tends to cloud the most rational minds. I think it CAN be used for great good, and I agree with David that a minimum amount to cover expenses and live “comfortably” in the U.S. is necessary when more than a single person is involved.

    Money is an interesting concept to me. A bunch of people get together and decide that this paper is worth a certain amount. They then exchange this paper for things that they can actually use for survival. I am a big fan of learning skills that would allow one to survive without money, because NOT having those skills makes a person really vulnerable to a fragile system. If that system fluctuates significantly or collapses, the accumulated paper will be good for burning… or wiping.

    In community development we talk a lot about resiliency. I am in rural Tanzania right now. 80% of the people here are subsistence farmers. That makes them very “poor” in a paper money sense. But I look around and i see farmers that could survive no matter what happens to the external economy. If the economy collapsed here, their lives would be affected, but most would survive just fine. If there was a major collapse in the “rich” USA, a whole lot of people would starve to death because we have lost our richness in basic skills (farming, hunting, building, knowledge of plants).

    I say all that to say that, yes sadly we depend on money and we should make some in order to be effective people, and in some sense happier people. It should never be something you compromise your integrity (in any sense) over. I also think it’s important to build “wealth” in other areas in order to have actual resilience.
    Jeremy Weaver recently posted…Why I Quit Medical SchoolMy Profile

    • Bjorn says:

      Great thoughts, Jeremy,I think that “survivalist” thinking is taking off in the US too with people deliberately seeking out info on how to live off the ground or survive in the wild, etc. It is super interesting. So are urban evasion and escape classes…

  6. Eric Pilmoor says:

    Money is a non issue for me!! My favourite text in the bible is do not worry about what u will wear or what u will eat pagans run after these things. Look at lilies of the fields and the sparrows and solomon in all his glory didnt compare to them if I cloth them how much more will I cloth u. Gods blessings are like gifts God gives u mind to work travel write but all good thinks come from god money can be a gift but if u don’t have it don’t worry prioritise u strengths and let God do the rest!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Eric, I hear with you and I think I agree with a lot of this. But do you think you are this relaxed about money because you live in Britain and live comfortably? How do you think you would feel if you were barely scraping by?

  7. Rochelle says:

    As others have said–and as is also common sense–money does not buy happiness. However, at least in developed countries, what money does buy is choice. And the ability to make choices is what ultimately leads to happiness.

    One caveat: as was pointed out earlier, there is the inevitable crossover point at which more money (aka, choices) simply leads to more problems. But there are ways around this. For an excellent analysis of how choices affect happiness, I suggest reading “The Paradox of Choice,” by Barry Schwartz.

    Now, for some people, money isn’t a factor in their ability to make choices. They and their community may have so little money as to make it irrelevant (see: developing nations; survivalists) or they may be independently wealthy and have thus had the ability to make choices their entire lives (see: trust fund kids, or people who graduated college with no debt, found a great job right away, and have remained debt-free). In these cases, money doesn’t matter all that much. But for the rest of us, then money is a really, really big deal.

    Think about people who didn’t have scholarships or parents who paid for college or graduate school, and are now working to pay back the large amount of loans they took out to become pastors, teachers, social workers, or to get one of the many jobs that require higher education but don’t offer a high salary in return. Loans don’t just go away. People in this situation–and I know many–can’t just pack their bags and go volunteering, and in their current careers, they’re never going to make enough money to aggressively pay down loans. Their choices basically come down to staying on in low-paying jobs that they love, taking out MORE student loans to change careers, borrowing money to start a business, or marrying someone wealthy. No matter how you look at it, a person in this situation has no choices but uncomfortable ones.

    Think also about people who have chosen to go to medical or law school. We need physicians and attorneys, and most people have to take out loans for the many, many years of schooling required to enter these professions. Once someone’s started down this path, they’re going to have to see the career through at least until they’ve paid back their loans. Assuming, of course, that they can find a job.

    Then, there are people who are on the hamster wheel because their spouse has lost their job, they have children to feed and care for, or they’ve taken on the role of caregiver for a family member who has chronic health issues. If you’ve taken on these types of responsibilities, you can’t let down the people who rely on you simply because you don’t like your job and would rather do something more “meaningful.”

    You and Jammie fall into exactly none of these categories. I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but in your case, I believe that money was the largest contributing factor to your trip and subsequent happiness.

    You were fortunate–especially in this economy–to have found jobs. And not just jobs, but jobs that allowed you to save for your year abroad. Both you and Jammie share the same spirit of adventure and were willing to drop careers you worked hard for in order to spend a year away. To my knowledge, neither of you have complicated health problems that require you to see a physician regularly or that would otherwise preclude you from traveling. You don’t yet have the responsibilities of caring for children or aging parents.

    To put it simply, you had enough money and few enough responsibilities to be able to make the choice to pack up and go away for a year. Can money buy happiness? Not always. But for you, I think it did.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hahaha! Now THAT is why I asked you to comment. I’m impressed. And grateful that you took this on. The Super Bowl just ended. I’ll have a reply tonight.

    • Bjorn says:

      Alright, now for a more quality answer (to both Rochelle’s comment and Jeremy’s reply to it). Thanks both of you for the detailed comments. I will take Rochelle’s comment section by section. Her statements in bold, my answer in italics.

      As others have said–and as is also common sense–money does not buy happiness. However, at least in developed countries, what money does buy is choice. And the ability to make choices is what ultimately leads to happiness.

      Agreed that money does not buy happiness and that yes, it can buy the luxury of choice. I think that the luxury of choice, if put to use in the form of a good attitude and positive life decisions, can result in happiness but I don’t think that choice results in happiness – there are enough miserable “trustafarians” out there that are super miserable yet financially free.

      One caveat: as was pointed out earlier, there is the inevitable crossover point at which more money (aka, choices) simply leads to more problems. But there are ways around this. For an excellent analysis of how choices affect happiness, I suggest reading “The Paradox of Choice,” by Barry Schwartz.

      I am sure there are ways around the dangers of wealth. As mentioned, I have a lot of rich friends that live happy, generous lives. Thanks for the book idea.

      Now, for some people, money isn’t a factor in their ability to make choices. They and their community may have so little money as to make it irrelevant (see: developing nations; survivalists) or they may be independently wealthy and have thus had the ability to make choices their entire lives (see: trust fund kids, or people who graduated college with no debt, found a great job right away, and have remained debt-free). In these cases, money doesn’t matter all that much. But for the rest of us, then money is a really, really big deal.

      You are right, some have less to worry about financially than others. This flexibility is a great advantage and is not to be taken for granted. And agreed, money is a big deal (see my comments in the post about meeting basic needs).

      Think about people who didn’t have scholarships or parents who paid for college or graduate school, and are now working to pay back the large amount of loans they took out to become pastors, teachers, social workers, or to get one of the many jobs that require higher education but don’t offer a high salary in return. Loans don’t just go away. People in this situation–and I know many–can’t just pack their bags and go volunteering, and in their current careers, they’re never going to make enough money to aggressively pay down loans. Their choices basically come down to staying on in low-paying jobs that they love, taking out MORE student loans to change careers, borrowing money to start a business, or marrying someone wealthy. No matter how you look at it, a person in this situation has no choices but uncomfortable ones.

      Yes, the above problems are real and keep many in unhealthy work situations – financial hostages. Through CultureMutt, I try to point out some options that might work to transcend these challenges. As Jeremy noted, living very frugally (as in not jumping on the band wagon with a buying a big house, nice cars and other things on borrowed money) can help a lot. Study loans can sometimes be avoided by studying abroad. An example from traditionally expensive fields like medicine is my friend who grew up in the US but is going to med school for a lot less money in the Caribbean. Another American friend went to grad school for free in Copenhagen. Another option is to do the counter-intuitive and leave the US even WITH debt but move to a place like Korea where you can work for good pay yet save a lot due to lower costs of living (See Julie’s post dated Jan 16, 2014 – she and her husband moved to Seoul and paid of $20,000 of debt in a year and then saved $80,000 over the next three to completely pay for grad school in the UK (which I would argue, is of the same quality as most programs stateside in many fields.) Now, you can obviously point holes in my examples and say why each would not work but the point is, there are responsible alternatives to the hamster wheel if we are willing to be flexible and think internationally, outside the usual, debt-ridden lifestyle to which we so often default.

      Think also about people who have chosen to go to medical or law school. We need physicians and attorneys, and most people have to take out loans for the many, many years of schooling required to enter these professions. Once someone’s started down this path, they’re going to have to see the career through at least until they’ve paid back their loans. Assuming, of course, that they can find a job.

      You are right, these careers are expensive. But again, there are options if you dig deeper. My med school friends assure me that much if not all of med school loans could be paid off in a year or two if new physicians were willing to live at the level they did as students while making their new salaries. Yes, that is sacrifice but not a completely absurd approach. Also, there are aggressive debt forgiveness programs that a lot of law schools offer for people that are willing to work in public sector and international NGO settings. There are always lateral options.

      Then, there are people who are on the hamster wheel because their spouse has lost their job, they have children to feed and care for, or they’ve taken on the role of caregiver for a family member who has chronic health issues. If you’ve taken on these types of responsibilities, you can’t let down the people who rely on you simply because you don’t like your job and would rather do something more “meaningful.”

      I think that we are venturing back into the category of basic needs here. Of course you shouldn’t shun those that need you. One of the most “meaningful” thing we can do is take care of loved ones in need. But there are often different ways to do that without going into a lot of debt and unnecessary financial imprisonment.

      You and Jammie fall into exactly none of these categories. I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but in your case, I believe that money was the largest contributing factor to your trip and subsequent happiness.

      I agree that money was a big factor in our ability to make the decision we made. But, as Jeremy and I have both mentioned, this money didn’t fall out of the sky. We could easily have spent it on keeping up with everyone else. We are not wealthy people. I drove a ’99 Jetta that I ended up selling for $400 (the junk yard price because it wouldn’t pass a smog test). Not a bit fancy. We could have put a down payment down a nice starter home. We didn’t do that either. We chose freedom of location over fitting in.

      You were fortunate–especially in this economy–to have found jobs. And not just jobs, but jobs that allowed you to save for your year abroad. Both you and Jammie share the same spirit of adventure and were willing to drop careers you worked hard for in order to spend a year away. To my knowledge, neither of you have complicated health problems that require you to see a physician regularly or that would otherwise preclude you from traveling. You don’t yet have the responsibilities of caring for children or aging parents.

      Yes, we are grateful that we had good jobs. That is not something anyone can take for granted anymore. However, we were not “dropping” these careers – we are still involved in them, albeit in more international and entrepreneurial ways.

      No, we do not have major health issues and count that as a blessing. Just like Jeremy and his wife, we deliberately held off on having kids early in our marriage and when we do have them, we intend to raise them internationally (this is normal for me as I grew up as a missionary kid in Asia). Aging parents are always going to be a priority and we will absolutely do what is needed to help them when that time comes.

      To put it simply, you had enough money and few enough responsibilities to be able to make the choice to pack up and go away for a year. Can money buy happiness? Not always. But for you, I think it did.

      Yes, as discussed, we planned for and achieved a certain degree of financial flexibility and we were at a life stage that allowed for the travel we did. It was by no means high class travel. Our apartment in Bangkok costs less than $200, we did very little shopping for anything other than food and we tried to be as thrifty as we could.

      Let me finish this little epistle with this on happiness: When I was 16 I took a year out of education to volunteer in the Philippines and Sweden. At one point I spent three months in a fishing village in the northern Philippines. People had very little but they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. Conversely, I have known a lot of very wealthy people that are totally miserable. From this I have decided that happiness is not a product of money or privilege but of mindset and decision. Jammie and I were able to achieve a life dream but that in itself did not bring much lasting contentment. Rather, the decision to be happy did. Sounds cheesy but it’s the only thing I’ve found to work.

  8. Tony Parrish says:

    So money is not bad, as you have stated it is totally necessary. Apparently $250,000 a year is the sweet spot for a family. Enough to not have to worry about anything and also enjoy great experiences and be able to be quite spontaneous. But where that study is I couldn’t say. Money cannot buy you happiness, but it sure makes it easier when those security concerns are taken care of. However, the LOVE of money is a huge problem. Just to accumulate is obscene. That is an issue in the US because we celebrate the ultra-rich and all believe we too can have that dream and do not expect anything much from them. Thus their tax breaks etc. But certainly money does matter.

  9. Deborah jones says:

    Lots of good points… But someone said a family of 4 needs about 50k a year … I almost choked on my food.. Lol was it a joke? That person made it sound like that was a very “good, reasonable” amount lol… Please tell me I misunderstood that…

    • David says:

      I have not read the other posts other than a little hear and there. There are a ton of different studies that try to quantify the best salary. Some say $50k and some say $70k. Everyone is different though. I know a person who is very happy, is a one percenter, but works all the time. Since they love their work, they are happy. If you are working at a job you do not like, then topping out at $50-70k would make more sense.

      Can I also say that this is where liberal people really bother me. When it comes to sex and other various life decisions, you always hear them say, “oh that is their decision, do not judge them, leave them alone, none of your business…” Blablabla. When it comes to money, how it should be spent, how much a person should work, all these judgmental opinions come out of everywhere. A person who works a lot isn’t necessarily greedy. A person that doesn’t use their money the way you would is not necessarily greedy. Give me anyone’s life story and decisions and I could make a good argument that they are making decisions based off of greed. Mother Teresa? She just wanted to go to heaven. She was playing the long game and benefited from the poverty of others. Is that fair of me to say. No. It is none of my damn business.

      Also, that verse in the Bible that tells you not to worry about your food is the worst. Tell that to all the people who die because a lack of food, medicine, water, etc.

      • Bjorn says:

        There’s a lot here but as someone that would identify as liberal I also definitely get annoyed when the left gets on its selective morality high horse… that’s part of the reason I am more centrist now than before. And I think you are right, dictating right and wrong when it comes to money is something you really only can do for yourself…

    • Bjorn says:

      Yeah, it looks like we are all over the map on that number… :)

  10. TO somewhat answer Rochelle’s post.

    My wife and I are in are in a similar position to Bjorn and Jammie. We have been fortunate monetarily in many ways and that has helped us be able to be in the position that we are in. But the way it came across in the last paragraph of your post, (at least to me), it sounds like Bjorn and Jammie won some sort of lottery.

    I would submit that there was a lot of choices/sacrifices involved and less chance (random genetic luck) than most would assume. I’ll speak for me and my wife, but I expect Bjorn and Jammie made similar decisions.

    We chose to live in a tiny attic apartment when we got married instead of getting a mortgage or expensive apartment. We chose to sell most of our expensive belongings to make our masters program possible. We crowdfunded for our trip. We asked for traveling cash instead of gifts at our wedding. We chose to use wedding gift money to pay off high interest debts. We chose to have one car. We have chosen not to have kids for a few years, but we are also going to expose our kids to living abroad when we have them. We chose a masters program that allows us to be abroad for 4 months and will allow us to be in Peru or Laos for 8 months after that. We talked about all this BEFORE we got married. I am not trying to say “look at me and all the awesome choices we made.” We’ve made a lot of mistakes and poor choices, but we are trying to own those as well.

    Sometimes life if just better to some people and harder on others. Many times choices are what have gotten them there and choices are what is going to get them out. Small choices made in the direction of what truly matters to them. Some people prefer to have a nice house, two cars, kids right away, etc. That is great for them. That is their priority. Our priority was to have flexibility to travel/ live abroad.

    We are incredibly thankful for our families and the opportunities/ mindsets that they have afforded and encouraged, but there was a lot of choice involved in the money arena. It all comes down to putting money where one’s mouth is.
    Jeremy Weaver recently posted…Why I Quit Medical SchoolMy Profile

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the ideas Jeremy, I worked in a few of them in some of my comments to Rochelle. And yes, we did a lot of the same things. I didn’t crowdsource the trip but wouldn’t be against that approach for future projects… BTW… A lot of people were super-inspired by your guest post. Thanks again.

  11. Steve says:

    I cringed when you wrote, “BUT, simply running on the hamster wheel of fear-based greed is not a smart alternative.” There is so much to write but basically I believe we look at work differently. First- Work, even corporate work, is does not necessarily mean it must be based on greed/fear/materialism. Second, money is not an end in itself. Money is a “certificate of thanks” and the by-product of a “job-well-done”. A persons income (not inherited wealth) is a measure of value they bring to other people through a product or service. Last thought- Rabbi Daniel Lapin points out that there is no word for “retirement” in Hebrew. When I realized that connection between work and spirituality it radically changed my point of view. The idea that we must do something distasteful for 30 or 40 years before we retire and live “the good life” is a crock! Meaningful work- regardless of the setting- should be the goal, not money. Great post!

    • Bjorn says:

      Steve, these are very valid points. When you write an opinion piece (especially one that is specifically geared toward starting a debate) you run the risk of looking tunnel-visioned. I definitely agree that work and money are both good things. I’m a capitalist (bold thing for a Swede to say:)) I have a lot of friends in the corporate world and am still professionally connected in various ways. My problem is with unthinking adherence to a system that encourages ridiculous debt, overspending and an approach to work that is unbalanced (huge work days in pursuit of more, more, more at the cost of health, relationships, etc). I definitely believe in hard work and being rewarded for it.

  12. Vishnu says:

    I have made money and walked away from it all. One thing I never did was allow money to chain me to a job. I looked at major pay increases, promotions and partnership proposals and simply left to do what I wanted to do.

    I think I now value freedom more than anything else – there is no price in that. I don’t mind being homeless but being free to pursue my heart’s desires is priceless. I feel like with freedom I’m living a millionaires lifestyle even if I’m on a limited income.

    Also, I think my preferred method of making money now is through myself. I think the worst of all worlds is to earn money for another company or for the man. You give them your heart and soul and they make all the gains and you get a paycheck. I think it’s time for me to play a new game.
    Vishnu recently posted…6 Ways of Letting Go of the Past and Embracing the Power of NowMy Profile

  13. Since I’ve always been on the belt of poverty, money has meant one thing to me: It meant being able to provide food, housing, electric and gas for my family. I’ve been a single mom since my children were the ages of 9, 6, and two were 5 months old. It was brutal living on a restricted income. If I could provide the above I had peace in my life. If I could not, I was on the phone and begging for help. Not fun. .. Raising children in poverty never ever will be ‘fun’.
    My children tell me today they are thankful for their upbringing: …. That it made them stronger and more determined to not repeat the cycle. I call this ..’my success’ …
    … Today, I still live on the fringe: I can make my bills but there is very little left over and what there is left over is now being used for charity and going to see my grand yummies.. I am very blessed, very happy at where I am now … Even though I don’t have a dime to my name. I have family and friends that love me and a job where the people I work with embrace me and love me so well … Sarah Sarah!

  14. Doug says:

    Bjorn,

    I was in a car accident thins past year and could have should have died. I re-evaluated life. I asked many people over 40 what they would do if they could do it all over.

    1) Spend more time with family
    2) Not work so much
    3) Not care about the money

    I love my current job(s), but the happiest time in life for me was in Mexico at an orphanage after graduating from college, quitting my job, and seeing what life was going to be about.

    I would take purpose and fulfillment over money any day. Many people find purpose and fulfillment doing things that make lots of money. Some don’t. From my conversations with you, something was missing. Sometimes I hope something is missing to I can travel the world as well. Maybe that day will come someday! Either way, I appreciate the example you give to others that may be in a similar situation!

    • Bjorn says:

      Doug, thanks for sharing. I’ve been in my own near-death experience (a fire) and it definitely forces some deep thinking. I am glad you asked your older friends what they would do differently. I’ve had some of those conversations but need to have more.

      I am inspired by your values and wish you all the best with your work and life decisions. Let me know when you have an orphanage up and running and I’ll come volunteer so we can catch up:)

Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge




If you’d like a picture to show up by your name, get a Gravatar.