When you first began working as an adult, how much money did you think would be “enough”? How about after you were five years in?
Even I recall performance reviews from years past where I thought, “If I only made 10% more, it would be enough.”
Enough for what? What do you work for? Do you work to maintain a certain standard of living? Do you work because you absolutely love what you do?
Did you know that only a little over half of all workers are satisfied with their jobs?
Often times we think about how much money we make in the context of what we want our lives to be like. A problem quickly arises here: the more money we have, the more money we tend to spend, and the more we’ll need to spend in the future to fully satisfy the “needs” of our lives. Psychologists call it the hedonic treadmill: that our expenses will rise to meet our income, no matter how much or how little we make.
This is how someone making $300,000 a year and someone making $30,000 a year can both experience the exact same level of frustration about how much money they make. One needs a little more to pay for a family vacation to Europe; one needs a little more to buy a new television. Neither will look back and recall how they used the last increase in income.
The problem with working as hard as we can to make more money to live the life we want is that we miss out on experiencing all that our lives are offering us today. We justify the trip to Europe because “we’re making great memories with our kids,” only to be confronted with the fact that all the work that went into making a little more cost us valuable time to engage our children at home on a daily basis.
While trying to make “enough” money we’re wasting time, the ultimate non-renewable resource. And we’re probably wasting money, too.