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Are You Wealthy?

In my adult business life I have never had to make a choice of trading between professional and personal. I tap-dance to work, and when I get there it’s tremendous fun.- Warren Buffett

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire has been a phenomenally successful show. After all, who doesn’t want cool million bucks? Most people think of having a cool million as a pipe dream. They think that cure-all for their happiness lies in the pile of cash hoard.

A stereotypical view of wealth is to have abundance of materialistic possessions. I get that. But, like anything else in life, your stuff has a tipping point. It reminds me of a famous bell curve that we’ve all learned in our school days. Your happiness increases with stuff you acquire — but once you hit the top of the bell curve — something happens to your happiness. It starts dwindling.

A dear friend of mine called me last week. What ensued in that conversation made me think about an ideal life. How do you want to live — regardless of where you are financially — if you have to design your ideal life?

Friend: I’ve been trapped in somewhat ambivalent thoughts for a long time. I make six figure income, but I am not happy at all. I go to work just for the money.

Me:  What’s holding you to quit that job? I know that you are financially sound.

Friend: What will people say if I quit job and manage my portfolio?

Me: Do they care if you are happy or not? Who are they? They are some made-up personalities that are governing your life. Your happiness knows no bars. You need to squash that bug to live happily.

Friend: I have passion for personal finance. I love investing in securities that can generate income to live happily without working. In fact, I would like to teach people how to do it.

As he was speaking, I felt that sheer joy and abundance of happiness flowing through his conversation. I knew that he has deprived his soul for his true calling to satisfy societal perception of what he should be doing. He wanted to spend time to focus on what he loves to do, but he has been imprisoned by his self imposed limitations. The change was inevitable for his happiness.

Needless to say, he decided to quit his job. He thanked me for the advice, but I knew deep in my heart that he didn’t need anyone’s advice. He needed to hear his inner voice.

Have you been trapped in 9-5 grind that you hate? Contrary to conventional wisdom, power to pursue your true calling lies between your two ears. Think about it.

An idea life

Will you trade-off your happiness or health for wealth?  

The ideal life is one that let you do what you dream of doing in your retirement. Think about it. Your ultimate goal is to become happy, so if you are doing work that gives you abundance of happiness then you are waking up everyday to have fun.

On the contrary, if you are doing work for just making money then it’s an oxymoronic act because you are trying to make money with the hope to do things you love to do so that you can become happy.

Have you ever written top three things you want to do in your life or who you want to become? If not, now is the time. The change has to occur in your own subconscious to demand nothing less than your ideal life.

It’s alright if you can’t quit your job tomorrow assuming that you are treading time for money. But, it’s not alright if you do nothing about quitting your job someday to trade money for your finite time on this earth. Start making small changes. The biggest obstacle normally is your financial constraints. Start removing excess from your life so that you can shift your focus from financial survival to living your dream life.

You can slowly build dividend portfolio to replace your income $100 at a time or  invest in a business that you enjoy doing.

Make a habit of making incremental change so that you are shifting your goal to create more discretionary time than making more money.

Wealth is a relative term. You are not wealthy if you are miserable with pile of money. You are wealthy if you get to do what you love without allowing money worries to creep in your happy mind. Are you wealthy?

If you’re doing something you love, you’re more likely to put your all into it, and that generally equates to making money. – Warren Buffett

 Readers: Are you living an ideal life? If not, do you know what transformations your life will need to live an ideal life? 

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Comments (24)

I am not living my ideal life yet, but I have lots of time. But I want to start now. I am working hard at getting dividends up and costs down to move closer to a life where I can go out in the forest and clear nice paths, or go fur runs at 11 pm to see the moon.

I do not even really need to make changes. I realized the ideal life before I got too far down a non-ideal life. All I need now is time to take over and start moving my efforts faster to get that ideal life sooner than I could dream.

You are a wise man. I am impressed that you’ve learned what’s more important for your freedom and happiness at a young age.

I know what I want to do and I am making small incremental changes. I am glad that I am motivated to work towards what I want at a young age. Even if it takes me ten years to build up enough savings or other income to be free of the day jobs, it will be well worth it.

I love these motivational posts that keep me inspired to work toward what I want. Thank you Shilpan.

Katie, it’s amazing how small incremental changes can snowball over the time. It’s a simple game of persistence.

I’ve absolutely been stuck in the grind before! It’s always been to get by, though. When you’re faced with pay your bills or don’t pay the bills, you’ll do jobs that you hate. Once you’ve earned a little financial freedom, though, it’s nice to be able to change things up.

I hope all does/has gone well for your friend in their endeavors!

My friend is a pharmacist. And, he is a smart investor. I know that his dividend income itself can provide nice living. But, I get your point about those who work just to get by. Nonetheless, I believe that you can control your financial destiny once you understand what’s most important for your inner happiness.

That’s such a great story, Shilpan! Your friend went through the same agonizing experience that millions go through at one time or another. However, the difference in his case is that he was brave enough to hit the send button on his life and finally quit his job.

The lesson of your post is such an important one. We are here to be happy; not to simply enslave ourselves with the happiness of others. The greatest joy in life is spending countless hours following our blissful mission. This is why it’s so important to follow one’s passion, and shut out all of those annoying “supposed to, have to, need to” voices.

Anthony, I love your insightful comments as you and I have passion for the personal growth. Indeed, your happiness knows no bars. Let it shine in your heart no matter how world expects you to live your life.

Sometimes I feel I have reached that tipping point. When I was a kid, I wanted nice guitars, amps, drums, etc. Now that I’m an adult, I have all that stuff, but no time to devote to any of it. In a way, I think “time” is more of a currency for happiness than actual money.

Good advice on making small changes. I don’t think most of us are as bold as your friend to just quit. But saving little by little (or a lot) so that we can retire sooner than later is an alright backup solution.

Absolutely. Everyone’s financial circumstance is different. Nonetheless, there is no excuse for lack of action to get started. It takes persistence to build a nice nest egg.

Do something you love and you’ll never work a day! I’m doing what I love. We are taking a big cut in our income and are making big sacrifices financially by me staying home with the kids, but we both feel that it is so important. I get to be my children’s teacher and nurturer. I love being a mom, so this was important to us. I didn’t make 6 figures like your friend, though, so it was a little easier for me to quit! :)

Michelle, I applaud you and Jefferson for your sacrifices. My wife and I also made that decision long time ago. We feel that it was one of the best decisions we’ve made.

I agree on the the triangle.

What is keeping you from doing some else Shilpan?

I am going to make the plunge in few years once my daughters finish their undergraduate studies. In fact, I’ve already started working on my passion now so that I can make decision swiftly when the right time comes.

These are some great thoughts, Shilpan!

I quite my job 3 years ago to pursue something I love to do and I’ve never really looked back.

I’m a HUGE believer that all people should do what they love and I feel our country would be a far-better place if people actually did.

Kudos to your friend!

I was thinking about you while I was talking to my friend. I know that you are quite happy with your decision. I am sure that my friend is also making the right move.

Lots of wisdom in this article Shilpan. Called to mind for me a quote from I think John Lennon: Life’s what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. I think a lot of people stick with jobs and careers they hate, strictly for the money, thinking the’ll get to the point where they have enough and then can have a life they enjoy. Seldom works out that way, I think.

So true Kurt. If you think that your life somehow will transform on its own, you’re in for a major surprise.

I don’t really need to be wealthy. I just need to be healthy and I will be happy. Nothing is more important for me than my and my loved ones’ health. It is our most important treasure and if it wealth could be measured by health then I suppose I am plenty wealthy already!

And happy people are healthy. So you and I are on the same page, John. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Shilpan: I work a 9-5 job and I do not make that much. The amount I make varies, but I would say that I make between 13-15 dollars an hour. That is not a lot of money when ever life’s problems hit, but it is enough for me to buy the things I need/want (with some saving). It does not take very much to satisfy me and lately, I have been feeling pretty happy with my 9-5 job. It is not my passion, but I do not hate it. Sometimes, I do not like it, but that can be said anything right?
I never have to make a penny from my blog. I just like to write because it makes me happy and happiness is really all that I need. I do like the love and respect, though. ( :

Do you have a 9-5 job as well?

Best wishes,
William Veasley

Thank you for stopping by. It’s not important if you make $50/hr or $15/hr. If you are miserable by making $50/hr then your are on the reverse cycle. On the contrary, even if you are making $15/hr for the work that excites you, you are destined to make $50/hr sooner or later.

I truly think we are living our dream life, but at the same time, our ideal life is one of simplicity with a focus on dong things… not buying things.

Well said Julie. An ideal life is to have more experiences and less stuff.

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