“Money is relative. The money money you have the more relative you have.” – Manny Pacquiao
I worry about money a lot. Sometimes I find myself not worrying and sometimes people argue to me that having a lot of money is really really important. This is in the context of trying to get me to spend more time to earn money or work for them so I can make money and they will make money from my effort.
I remember working in sales. They insist that out life goal is to provide for our families.
A house in the expensive part of the city.
A car that gets people envious. Maybe two.
World travel. First class all the way.
Retirement. Party all night without working on anything.
Legacy. Pretend I’m an emperor and leave a kingdom to an heir from the fruit of my loins or a subordinate.
Charity. Funding the end of global warming or world hunger.
That’s about fifty million pesos according to them. Without that amount they imply I will never be happy. So I chased the amount. Failed. Tried again. Made some money. At 25 I look 40 years old. People see me now and say I look young for a 30 year old.
All those days I’ve been asking myself how do I make money.
At some point I realized that I was asking the wrong question.
What makes me happy? Why the fuck do I need one million dollars? What’s the third option? First option being happiness with one million dollars. Second option is unhappiness with no million dollars. What’s the third option? How can I be happy without the million dollars?
Owning enviable things is expensive. Often temporary.
Doing enjoyable things is cheap. The expensive ones are fairly priced. In other words affordable.
Being the person you want to be is free.
I notice that the activities that make me happy are the exact same activities that made me happy back when I was in high school.
Something to eat everyday. I can get fancy now because I know how to cook. Those restaurant dishes that you order all the time is cheaper to make than you think.
Some money to pursue some hobbies. So I can buy, ingredients, ink, paint and some tech.
Working on a problem I find interesting. I do that with my writing.
Getting fit. I do that with crossfit, cheap gyms and some barbell plates at home.
Travel. Taking the barkada is overrated. Take a bus or Uber instead if with a partner. Take the bike if you’re on your own or just visiting friends.
Dates. I like eating out with the person I like. We go to buy sushi at this nice place once a week. I’m happy how things go. More than that would ruin the magic.
Somewhere between my first job and my current job companies are training my mind to jack up the price of happiness in order to convince me to buy from them or work for them. Thus reminds me of a phase early in high school where I want to be the cool kid who’s in by showing off expensive and useless shit. Then I said fuck it became myself and got accepted by everyone.
Happiness cost less than you think. Don’t try to be the cool kid. You already are but only as your self and not as somebody else.
Grab a paper. Identify what makes you happy. Write it down. Be honest. Often it’s less than you think.
The price of happiness is honesty and not money.