That’s a comment I just left on a friend’s blog post – “I’d scoop up poop if it made me happy.”
It was in response to her going back to a 9-5 again after trying her hand at entrepreneurship (congrats, Lauren!), and reminded me of how far I’ve come in my own thinking over the years…
Back when I
quit got laid off of my job 7 years ago, I told the world I’d never go back to a 9-5 myself and thought I was pretty hot $hit for saying so.
“9-5? Those are for suckers! Blogging’s where it’s at, bitches!” – Said the guy who worked a 9-5 just days earlier…
But the truth is, I was a big fat idiot. And so are others who say they’ll “never” do something again.
You may feel that way at the time, and maybe you never do end up going back to something again later, but I’ve since learned that the more limits you put on yourself the less opportunities you end up having later on in life.
Why say “never” when “never” could actually make you happier one day?
I saw this quote literally just 3 minutes before I read Lauren’s post, and I thought it was pretty fitting:
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Notice how it doesn’t tell you the actual *path* to happiness, but rather when you can tell when you’ve reached it (as if we needed to know when we were happy :))
If quitting your job or taking a job that paid less, or even partnering up with your ex-girlfriend’s brother’s former lover made you happy in the end, would you do it? (And it didn’t hurt anybody?)
If scooping up poop gave you the biggest smile you’ve ever had in your life, would you do it?
I think about this stuff all the time… Why we put these limits on ourselves. Especially as I drift from full-time blogger/entrepreneur to part-time daddy/blogger/entrepreneur these days, and maybe one day later to even full-time daddy/no blogger/’preneur.
How far are you willing to go for happiness? Even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else?
I think about how money affects my happiness now as well. In the beginning when I had nothing it affected it a lot. Then when I started earning more of it, it started affecting it less. And now when I’ve had more than I’ve ever had before it barely affects it at all.
How is that possible? How am I just as happy now with $600k+ in the bank than I was with only $60,000 in the bank? Or back a decade before that when I had, *gasp*, -$600 in the bank partying it up in college?
That shouldn’t make sense, yet happiness-wise they’re pretty on par.
(Though no way I’d go back in time and revert all my savings, haha… that would be DETRIMENTAL to my happiness. Which is another thing that’s kind of interesting? That you can be perfectly happy with less money at one point, but if you later earn more and then lose it all and go back to that exact same spot again, not only do you not revert back to the same levels of happiness again, but you’re then considerably LESS happy! Even though the amount of money is exactly the same in both cases?!)
Basically, achieving happiness requires a fine-tuned concoction of a number of key ingredients.
I’d be remiss to not point out the time last year where I almost sold all my sites in exchange for a large heap of money too. Why wouldn’t I have snatched it up if it got me substantially closer to the one thing we’re all striving to hit so badly in our financial worlds? Financial freedom? That sounds pretty idiotic?
Freedom > money > stuff, right?
Yet here we are, still blogging away with hundreds of thousands of dollars less to my name :)
Point is, saying “never” to something that one day could very well make you happier in the end is doing a huge disservice to your future self. Why even close off all doors anyways? We’re not the same people today as we were yesterday – we’re constantly changing and becoming better versions of ourselves (hopefully)! Who’s to say what we’ll want the next day, or even the next month/year/decade?
Nothing’s ever permanent.
So would I clean up $hit for a living or blow my money on coffee or go back to a 9-5 or any other crazy options that people would probably point and laugh at me for doing? Hell yeah I would! So long as it truly made me happy.
Almost everything we do in this life is in the pursuit of happiness. If an opportunity to make it gobs better is sitting there right in front of you, TAKE IT AND BE THANKFUL! Screw what the world thinks!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!