Following my first post about popular culture, money and its blinding effect on the search for happiness. I have quit my 9-to-5 desk job, sold most of my possessions, and started growing a nomadic digital marketing team from the beaches of Portugal.
I am an online entrepreneur. I have set out to travel the world while enjoying the freedom of a perpetual working-holiday. I am free from the pressures of the rat race and the empty promise of “good career progression and development opportunities”.
I’m choosing to chase happiness, instead of money.
From the figure on our bank balance, to the amount of followers we have on social media. It has become the norm to base our happiness around our egos, monetary gain or the attainment of titles and things.
Money can present us with opportunities to be happy but sometimes our priorities are led astray by appropriated desires and distractions from our hyper-advertised-reality.
Forget about wanting more because by wanting more, you get less. Working longer hours to attain stuff you don’t necessarily need and you won’t have the time to enjoy.
Why not have less stuff and do more? Happiness doesn’t come in a shopping bag, it comes from the memories you create and experience.
Our generation of 20-somethings is squandering our happiness in the name of consumerism, we need to expand beyond our materialistic comforts and seek new adventures. We need to stop wasting our hard earned cash and invest it into bettering our lives.
We are encouraged not to take risks, but instead to strive for the safest option available to us. With the cautionary tales of homelessness and despair, we are guided towards a reliable and ‘secure’ future, outlined by the elders of society who have wrapped us in a reassuring shelter from the risks and perils of stepping outside the overbearing arms of Western civilisation.
But to find true happiness, you have to travel outside your comfort zone.
Quit your job, move abroad, take risks, make mistakes. You will never be as young as you are now. I urge you not to take the safe route in the hope that in 20 years time you will have built a future for yourself and a future for your prospective families. The truth is, no matter how safe you live your life, the universe can turn it upside-down in an instant.
In the words of Jim Carrey in his commencement address to Maharishi University whilst explaining the life choices of his late father;
We need to listen less to the authoritative figures in our lives who warn us into safety. Or to the mass media which tells us what to aspire to, what to be afraid of and what to desire, because all they are doing is inadvertently telling us to give up our true identities. They are turning us into statistics, amongst the millions of other humans who have given up their humanity for a life of 9–5 desk jobs, expensive nothings and weekend thrills.
Instead, we need to seek happiness above all else. Understand what we truly desire and prioritise our actions to turn our dreams into our reality.
The problem with Western culture is people are forever trying to fill their lives with things in order to be happy, but the fact is, it’s the moments we experience that truly make us smile.