“Money makes the world go round,” they say.
After all, when choosing a career path or selecting a specific job offer to accept, money is often believed to be the most important factor when making a decision.
Family, friends, colleagues, and mentors will give advice on how to negotiate the best offer and get the most money for your time.
But should you be motivated solely on making money?
Reasons Why You Need To Stop Obsessing Over Money
1. The older people get, the more they see the truth.
Think the majority of people truly believe making money is the most important factor?
Think again. In fact, this is generally a belief most find to be false as they get older.
Related: Top 7 Regrets People Have In Life
Baby boomers, when asked if their focus was on leaving their children money, overwhelmingly said that leaving behind a legacy, not a fortune, was their top priority. This includes instilling the right values in their children and grandchildren.
Indeed, 75 percent of boomers said passing down family values and life lessons was more important than the actual monetary amount they’re leaving in the inheritance, according to a recent survey by Allianz Insurance.
2. The two biggest factors of global happiness have nothing to do with money.
This actually ties in well with other research studying happiness. Money does not determine happiness globally. Instead, the two key factors are having strong social connections and access to nature.
Think about it this way: most who are unhappy at work are working largely for the money. That’s probably not a coincidence.
3. It can make you lose your job.
If you’re considering a job that doesn’t excite you because it offers a higher paycheck, consider how it will affect your outlook, motivation, and perhaps your performance. If your performance in that job is below expectations, you might get an unwelcome surprise — a lost job.
Money is one way to measure success, but it’s not the best way. Before making money your scorecard, think about what really defines your performance.
Can’t you find similar motivation from meeting goals in the work itself? From accomplishing something hard and worthwhile, moving up, or meeting a higher purpose? If you focus your attention there, your energy will center on what really matters. Let money be the byproduct of that success.
4. You won’t see the value of money.
How ironic is it that those who are so obsessed with making money don’t really understand the true value of it?
Think about money as a way to meet three kinds of needs: supporting your target standard of living, helping to gain freedom to do what you’d most like to do, and enabling you to support a cause you believe in.
This will allow you to think not just about money itself, but also how money helps meet other goals outside of your financial obligations.
5. It hurts your ability to plan financially.
Another bit of irony: often, those who have crowned money king often put value in the materialistic. This will lead to spending aggressively on an extreme lifestyle to “keep up with the Joneses”, which will in turn put that money flexibility at risk that was craved in the first place.
Create that reserve and build career flexibility by spending below your income on a regular basis. Crunch numbers and set a savings goal. This safety net will alleviate that pressure and give you the freedom to fund causes you believe in or take on side projects.
So does making money matter? Of course it does. You and your family need to eat, you want nice things, and money can be a measure of success. But it’s important to realize that there’s a lot more to consider when choosing a career, or a job, because at the end of the day, it’s your happiness that really matters.
Dan Cassidy is CEO and Founder of Inspiyr.com, a personal growth site helping people be healthy, happy, and successful. A confirmed self-improvement junkie, Dan is a former collegiate athlete, personal trainer, and advertising executive.
Photo by Tax Credits
Originally published April 2012 and updated August 2014.