Time + Happiness > Money

Nov 13, 2014 by

“All the money in the world doesn’t replace the passion and drive that so many of us need to get out of bed every morning.”

Lauren Martin


          I love unemployment! It is my usual happy social life, morning workouts, and writing fun; add some online dating (speaking of which, I’m going on my first date since June tomorrow #movingthefuckon); and minus the boring job and the stress of desperately looking for a new one. I’m thanking past me for saving as much as I did while working, because I can now afford to chill for a bit and be selective about my next source of income. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my freak-out moments. I’m a pro over-thinker. I overthought my way to visions of corporate doom within days of returning home from Paris. On Tuesday, I decided the anxiety needed to stop. What’s the point of taking time off work if I’m going to stress myself out more than I did while working?

          What a difference the mere decision to change your perspective makes. Prior to Tuesday, in my mind, my future employment options were limited to one: the ugly corporate world. I created two truths simply by believing them: 1. I’ll have to go back eventually, and 2. I could never be happy there. On Tuesday, I decided to embark on a new approach. Instead of telling myself that I’m bound to return to the corporate world and to hate it, I read inspiring articles about people quitting shitty jobs in pursuit of better ones and researched opportunities to expand my writing. I needed to remind myself that an unfulfilling job isn’t worth the paycheque, and show myself that there is fulfilling work out there. It may take time, effort, and even a few more crappy jobs to reach it, but all that matters is that I’m progressively working toward it.

          Of course, given that I’m a saver, spending my savings by forgoing employment makes me a little nervous; but just like no paycheque is worth your sense of fulfillment, no bank account balance is worth your happiness. I’m aware that I may get to the point that I have to temporarily suck it up and work a job I don’t like to afford my living, but that point isn’t now and I’m not aiming for it. Retirement savings aside, people save and spend (on their savings goals or elsewhere) and save again. That’s life. I saved my money with intent to spend it. Originally, it was intended for a trip to Europe. I went, I decided to come home early when I realized it wasn’t a priority anymore, and now I’m investing my remaining money in my time first and finding work that does not subtract from my everyday happiness second. Time and happiness are more valuable to me than money. I’m not going to threaten them by working just any job to maintain a target bank account balance.

          The Happiness Experiment is about creating a life that reflects your personal definition of happiness. A significant part of that is finding joy in your work. If you do not enjoy your job, ditch it. If you’re not in the financial position to do so today, get yourself there. An unhappy work life is not your only option unless you make it your only option. Invest in your happiness, not a company that takes from it. As per Leanne Quinn, Elite Daily contributor, in her post Silver Lining: 8 Ways to Live Life with a Glass-Half-Full Perspective, “Have faith in yourself to pursue something you believe will bring you happiness.”

Happiness Tip: Do not justify unhappiness with dollars.

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