I used to think that I’ll find happiness when one day in the future I’ll own a luxury car, own a house in my name, or when someday I’ll eventually have literally 1 Crore PKR in my bank account. Sounds like a great dream to have right? Imagine all the possibilities. All the stuff you can do with 1 Crore Rupees, all the places you can go in that luxury car, or all the safety or sense of achievement you’ll feel by owning a house in your name.
But the reality is quite different and very rarely spoken out loud. See, the more success I got, the less time I spent worrying about the money. That meant I had more time now to reflect on the bigger questions. And the more I reflect on the bigger questions, the more I realize how small role money and possessions play in one’s Life. The focus here is on the bigger picture. The focus here is on the kind of life you live. In which money definitely plays a vital role. But it’s not the Only thing we should be worried about.
It’s definitely difficult to realize this before you’ve made it in terms of how success usually is defined. The amount of money and possessions you have. When people look at you and think wow this guy has gone a long way. He started from a single room and now he owns All This Stuff!
Allow me to share my experience with having money, owning a house, and owning amazing gadgets that I could only dream of before I started on this journey of success. This week’s post is not like others posts where I share strategies or ideas to help you succeed in your career. This week’s post is about exploring the bigger topic of which career and money are a part of. Notice the change in the category to which this post belongs. This post is hopefully the first of many to come under the “Mental Health” category which is something I believe is desperately missing from our understanding.
🌎 This week we leave Planet Earth
This week we leave Planet Earth and look at it from a distance to put our lives in perspective in the grand scheme of events. To look at our past, present & future from such a distance from where our day-to-day worries and problems become nothing but a dot. Nothing but a dot among the vast universe that encompasses planets, stars, galaxies and is limitless!
I’ve learned from Therapy and Life in general, that our problems aren’t as big as they seem to us in the now. To quote a way of looking at it, that I was taught when I was stressed out during the time I was getting this house built and was facing new problems every day. I was overwhelmed and it felt like life will always be like this. Because that’s all I could see from where I was standing. I was looking at life through the lens of my current problems.
👀 Let’s take a look at how Human Vision Works
When we bring an object closer to our eyes, it becomes bigger and bigger. Until the point where we can’t see clearly what the object is. Not only do we just see a blurry mess of colors, but we lost sight of the whole world. In that moment, we feel like we’re focusing on the object in our hand. And it feels like the closer an object is to our eye, the more intricate details we can observe and see things we missed earlier. But that’s not how our eyes work. We can stress out and push harder all day long to try to look at the finer details of that object. But nothing good will come out of that. We’ll just end up with a headache at best.
It’s the same case in life with our Problems & Troubles. We think when we focus on a particular problem really hard, we will be able to solve it quickly or start seeing solutions that we missed earlier. But bring a problem too close to yourself, not only does that blurs your visions, it can very easily take you away from other things in your life that require your attention. And you’re left with a tunnel vision on a single problem that’s no closer to being solved than it was before.
The ideal solution in such cases is to study the problem from such a distance from where it doesn’t hide everything else from you. From a distance where you can still clearly see the problem in context to other important things in your life. Then and only then you can make sense of what the problem exactly is and how that problem fits into your daily life and what solutions are there.
🚀 Let’s Go Back to Space Now
Now that we understand the reasoning behind zooming out on our problems and life in general. Let’s go back to our peaceful spot in Space. The spot from where everything, no matter how big our problems feel right now, becomes a tiny dot in comparison to the vastness of the universe.
When I had a limited vision, Money and Possessions seemed like all that mattered. But when I zoomed out on my life, I learned that Money is just a thing that most of us struggle with on day to day basis. But life’s much more than the amount of money we make. Here’s another space example: we can learn to travel at the speed of light but does that speed even matter if we don’t know our destination? The same is the case with Money and Life. The more money you make, the faster your life is. But unless you have a destination, a vision for how to burn that fuel to get to the place you want to get. It matters very little how much you make.
I learned it the hard way. I accomplished all of my money goals running at a super-fast speed. And from the outside it looks like I spend all day rolling around in my money. But that’s not the case. The actual name of this post was “Yes, I’m successful but still not happy”. That’s the part I wanted to share with you so that you may learn from my mistakes and define your goal, destination and vision of Life first before you start calculating the numbers. Before you start buying the fastest car (career) and feeding it with fuel (hard work), I’d like to give you a moment to think about your destination (what you want your life to look like).
Of course, the very first thought would be a big mansion with 10 super cars parked in the garage. That’s where the real work starts. Take a moment to think past that. Take a moment to think about your life in terms of where you want to spend your energry. Take a moment to think about where you want to be when you’re 30, 60 and even 80 to get a perspective of how much time it would take you to get where you want to go. And is it even worth it to suffer all your life and constantly save money and skip on things that make you happy. All of this for what? To own 10 super cars at the age of 80 when you won’t even have the energy to really enjoy them?
🎁 Let’s Wrap it Up
I can go on and on about all of it but that would be like trying to capture the sea in tiny glass bottle (that’s what each blog post is). The lesson or rather the thought I want you to leave this post with is, how can you zoom out on your life, leave the earth and look at your life, dreams and goals from space. From a position of peace and out of all the stress of daily life. How would you organize your life then? How much would you worry about the problems you’re facing right now?
One thing I can tell you for sure is money won’t solve everything for you. Even though you can buy anything with money. I was much more happier when I had just enough money for a Mehran and was still living in the single room I started my life with. The trick is not to collect as much as you can. But to have the clarity that you once had in your life. When you dared to dream and thought anything was possible. Look at your accomplishments that you had thrown away because they did not bring you any money. For example, for me that was playing the guitar and performing on multiple events – I didn’t earn a single rupee from all of that. But that’s something that made me really happy!
📣 And finally a Request
I want to write more about Mental Health and the struggles of life and what I’ve learned in the 3 years I’ve been seeing a therapist. And how we’ve been trying together to figure out the biggest questions of life. But for me to be able to write about something so personal, Something that takes a lot more time effort and courage than a “How To” blog post. I have just one request from you.
If you’ve read this post this far, and if it has helped you even in a tiny way, please take out 5 minutes from your life and share what you learned or just say a quick hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on my Instagram or on Facebook.
And what that’ll do is give me an idea of how many of you are interested in such stuff that no one really talks about. And as a bonus if you share how this post has helped you, that would motivate me to focus on this topic more in future posts. And if you even just say a quick hello, I’d love to hear from you 🙂