You don’t need money to be rich

Someone recently asked me what this new found passion I’m pursuing was. Here’s the thing I can tell you and it won’t make one ounce of difference to your life.

The issue is not what I’m doing with my life; it’s what you’re doing with yours.

In my post The Pursuit of Wow I wrote about pursuing passion. One of the things I said in that post was how pursuing mine had so enriched my life.

For some reason I feel compelled to write a little more on this topic in this post.

I recommend pursuing your passion with everything you’ve got simply because it will fulfill your life.

I can tell you that at times deciding to live out your purpose on this earth can be daunting and terrifying and sometimes the process (especially if it affects your finances – which it just might) can be hard.

I once read a book on Watchman Nee called Against the Tide. It’s been said that no one really knows how Watchman Nee died. He was arrested for being a Christian in Communist China, imprisoned for about twenty years and it’s not known whether he was released or whether he died in detention. However in the last know known letter Watchman wrote to his sister he tells her to pursue joy (which he believed only God could give) because that no one could take from her.

It’s believed he wrote the letter while in prison.  As I read this I was overwhelmed by what Watchman was proposing. Here was a man who had spent so much of his life in terrible conditions in prison for his faith and yet he was pretty much saying that nothing in his life had given him such immense joy. He may have been a prisoner with nothing to his name but he had found the joy so many people search for (and fail to find) in the luxuries of their comfort.

What I’m I trying to say? I think for the most part most people are lucky in that they may not have to travel the road Watchman Nee traveled to find his joy.

For some your purpose may be in creating wonderful delights in your kitchen and perhaps becoming a world renowned chef. For others it may be that you have a tremendous gifting in one particular area that you would love to write about. For others you may have tremendous business or philanthropic ideas that may just revolutionize something in this world – and all you have to do is: do it!

I have heard so many stories about BIG Hollywood stars dying from some drug overdose or other. The music world is saturated with such stories too. I pick this group of people because they are perhaps the most coveted in the world. Who doesn’t want to be rich and famous?

All my life I wanted to be a TV star. I remember, as a child, speaking into a “pretend” mike and then bowing, blowing kisses and mouthing “I love you toos” to hoards of “pretend” adoring fans. Many people (if their honest) will tell you they too dreamed of such fame and fortune – at least once on their lives.

So how come the very (VERY) few people who do get to live the dreams of most of us also happen to be among the most self-destructive suicidal bunch?

It’s quite simple. Money really can’t buy you happiness. In fact money and fame STILL can’t buy you happiness.

When I became a mom my earnings dwindled to the lowest levels they had plummeted to in years. And never ever had I been happier.

It was in this broke (and deliriously happy) state that I finally gave up every notion I had of being rich and famous and chose instead to simply be happy.

It was also in this stage that I was compelled to find a way to redefine myself and finally pursue what the core of my heartbeat was.

Not having money gave me the freedom to not have to do things (I didn’t necessarily want to) just to earn it.

When I finally experienced that living on little was not so bad I begun to realize how precious my time was. I began to fully grasp how valuable time was and what a gift each minute of each day was.

As though to further nudge me into action to fully utilize the gift of time (and ultimately the life I’d been given) the material I needed to do what I needed to just begun to flood into my life. This material came mostly to change my mind. I’ll blog about this in a separate post because it’s too involved (and juicy) to just briefly mention here.

As my mind begun to change and I begun to get equipped for what I was supposed to be doing with my life- the people who needed what I had just begun to come – and I mean they just crawled out of the woodwork. And the cycle snowballed. And it continues to.

Whether you’re baking cookies that you sell through your local food store or even just to friends, family and neighbors, or whether you love fixing cars and start doing it from a friend’s backyard (cos yours is too small – for now), or you’re just blogging about pursuing your passion (hehehehhehehe) do what you love.

And for crying out loud don’t’ wait to “find” a market. If you’re passionate about it – I can guarantee you that if God gave you the passion it’s because He knows there’s a market for it. Your job is to start doing. The clients will come.

Spending one more moment, one more day, one more year doing what you don’t love is one more moment, one more day, one more year wasted. It’s one more etch in time lost to do what you were created to do. You don’t have forever.

Be your own champion. Be a star in your own eyes.

I can tell you – with absolute certainty- that when you do what you love and love what you do – that Hollywood star who trumps so many others and walks up the stairs of the coveted Academy Awards to receive an Oscar may just trade places with you in a heartbeat if they could just (for one day) have your joy.

I’m sure there are many many stars who have fabulous lives because they are living out their passion and purpose on this earth. I use this group only to illustrate a point: When you’re living a joyful life you are rich beyond what money could ever buy.


Hannah Viviers is a financial journalist and founder of HV Public Speaking.

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