Looking back to when I was a kid, my Dad used to say to me over and over…
“If you’re always striving to earn more money so that you can live lavishly and beyond your means, then you’ll always be stressed and tired for your whole life. It will never be enough. But if you learn to live sufficiently and be satisfied with less, then you won’t have to work so hard for the rest of your life and be happy and satisfied.”
I did not really get it. How could I be tired? How could it not become the main motivation in life? How could I be happy without achieving such and such with my financial goals? How could I be satisfied with having less? - that’s what I thought.
But since money has never been the main motivation in what I do, I started to take on more projects that are not necessarily paying me well in terms of money. However, they pay me well in terms of happiness and satisfaction that I get from the knowledge I gain, the wisdom I acquire, and the friendship I make.
In order to stick to what I believe is my life’s purpose, I have to make it work. And I still stand by today that I will not take on a job that pays me well just for the sake of money. I will not trade in frustration and unhappiness just so I can pay my bills.
You can probably feel me now if you’re a 20 something living in one of the most expensive cities in the world trying to be successful in both career and life.
The striving of balance between the two never ends.
Rather, it’s the striving for a smooth integration.
So at the end of my college life I won a marketing competition nationally and was flown over to Paris for the international final. Besides having been living by myself in another city which has become ‘home’ for me now for the past 5 years, that was a very refreshing experience.
There, I realised that I could actually live out of a suitcase and I was in fact happy with it.
That I could live without all these hair products and equipments.
That I could live without having too many pairs of shoes to pick from.
That I could live without a TV.
That I would probably never ever need to buy a car or a house.
There, I realised that I wanted to be free.
So fast forward that to today (1.5 years later)…
As I was re-designing my website and observing my work friends relaunching their businesses, I realised that more and more now people don’t really want to possess a lot of things.
So as a businesswoman, what do I do? What should I sell? What do people want and need? What value should I provide to people?
There is a growing trend of shared economy.
There is a growing trend of crowd funding and crowd sourcing.
There is a growing trend of social innovation and social enterprise.
There is a growing trend of having less and being satisfied with that.
There is a growing trend of being in touch with your inner self and your soul.
There is a growing trend of taking a good care of your body as early in life as you can.
There is a growing trend of realisation that after all, all we search for in our lifetime is actually happiness.
And at the end of the day, we become happy because we decide to be happy.
We are happy when what we think, do, and want are in sync.
We are happy because we are stress-free.
We are happy because we realise it’s the little things in life that count.
So in order to be happy, we reduce the difference between what we wish we had and what we currently have or are capable of doing.
Actually, the science of happiness and life satisfaction is pretty simple!