It was early on in life that I discovered something. Money.
It wasn’t until later that I discovered it’s power and the theory of Golden Handcuffs.
I was 10 years old when I got my first ever paying gig. I earned $10/week to weed-eat a neighbors yard. $10 bucks a week! That was good money. I could use it in so many ways – baseball cards, candy. You know the really important stuff. As time passed, that one client turned into 34 yards a week and some commercial properties. If I counted, I probably made more profit my sophomore year of high school than I did until the middle of my career.
By that point money had dug it’s heels in. I liked being able to go out to dinner, entertain friends (especially girls), drive a car I liked, etc… However I didn’t realize that once I got a taste of the drug it took more to keep my appetite in check. A bigger job, a bigger title….more money. I hadn’t read Easterlin and didn’t really understand the correlation between money and happiness.
What I was beginning to notice was that my corporate buddies and I were working more for the paycheck than the love of the work we were doing. Much more. We were willingly letting others continue to tighten the grip with each promotion or increased responsibility with Golden Handcuffs. Alan Watts even shows us how students would choose something completely different than what they love doing, just for money.
The longer they (we, you and I) do something just for a paycheck the harder it is to break free of the Golden Handcuffs.
Now, I’m not advocating leaving your day job this instant. However I am asking you to consider your passion, what drives you and what you are great at. Do that, let the money (and Golden Handcuffs) fall into place after that. Chances are, you will find happiness isn’t as tied to your paycheck nearly as much as you thought.
Making a living doing what you are great at is so much more inspiring and impactful.