I saw this image on Facebook a few years back and instantly loved it. It’s a simple message, yet one that resonated with me.

So many people I know get caught in the race of life that they end up working, for the sake of working. They push themselves with extreme hours in order to get a promotion that offers more money, which they ultimately can’t enjoy.

When I was young, someone taught that everyone lives to their means. Most people, regardless of their income, essentially lived paycheck to paycheck. Sure they made more money, but they also spent more money. They’d get a big promotion which should have meant they’ve had more spare cash than they did before. Except when they got the promotion, they simply started spending more money. Because of this, it’s easy to get caught in the cycle. Now you need to maintain your current work status just so that you can afford all of your expenses.

Work to make more money, get more money, spend more money, work more to make more money.

While making more money is nice, I’ve never really had a dream of having some crazy-high salary. I had set a goal for myself, of what I thought was a very comfortable level of compensation and I worked towards reaching that. So if I wasn’t chasing money, what was I chasing?  What I really wanted was a peaceful lifestyle. I wanted to be able to relax and unwind and enjoy any money that I did make, but more importantly – enjoy life! I wanted to be bold and have adventures. I wanted to experience what the world has to offer. I know your first thought may be “Well that sounds great, but it’s easier to do all of those things when you have money!“. While that’s true, it’s only partly true. You don’t need money to experience life. You need time!

Most people, regardless of income, can afford to go camping somewhere nearby on a weekend. Playing board games with friends is relatively cost-free. Volunteering to help those in your community is free. Try growing a tree all the way from a seed. Have you ever stayed up all night, just so that you could watch the sun rise?

It is easy for people to get caught up on getting a fancy car or a big house, thinking that will make them happy. It might, for a while. But at some point, you are going to realize that you’d be happier with less money and a smaller house if you had more time to enjoy the moments in life happening all around you!

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