There is a difference between doing something out of want and out of need. When you want to do something, you are fueled by an inner force to fulfill your dream. When you need to do something, there is an external force that is motivating you to move.
Now, what happens when that external force is gone? Dreams do not cost you a cent. But preceding them will cost you more than just money. It is one thing to dream, and another “to do.”
Here are ten reasons to chase your dream, not the money:
1. Dreams are Priceless
He wakes up early; even before the rooster crows. Groggy, he makes his way out of bed, put on a pair of running shoes and starts the day with a punishing 20-kilometer run.
He is preparing for a marathon, the most grueling race in the world. And he is not being paid to run it. He is like countless others around the world who dream of running a marathon.
Why does he do it? Because he wants to; finishing a marathon puts him in rarified air. Only 550,637 out of 320 Million people finish a marathon. He wants to be part of the 0.17%! He is chasing his dream, not for money but for glory.
Not everything is motivated by money; nor should it. Money is just currency. It allows you to purchase things and pay for your needs. But it doesn’t make things happen for you.
Having money may give you the means to buy running shoes and hire a coach, but it will not guarantee a finish. That comes from your will and determination; 2 qualities which money cannot buy!
2. Money Will Not Make You Happy
A friend of mine shared this poignant story. For purposes of story-telling let’s call my friend “Larry” and his childhood friend, “Bob.”
Larry and Bob had not seen each in decades. The last time Larry heard was Bob became a successful Investment Banker in New York.
He had a beautiful house in Manhattan, a wife, and three children who should be in high school or college. Larry had seen pictures of Bob’s luxuries: a fleet of expensive cars, sail boats, muscle bikes and houses in Europe.
They finally saw each other at their high school reunion. Larry wanted to hear all about Bob’s success and say in jest, “how’s life treating you?”
Bob’s eyes could not belie his sadness. He told Larry that his kids don’t respect him. He doesn’t have any relationship with them. The daughter calls him “Bob” not “Dad.” The wife is divorcing him, taking the kids and will hit him for a ridiculous amount of money.
Bob says he loved his wife and children but had hoped the money would compensate for the time he did not spend with them.
“If I could take it all back, I would.” Larry believed him.
Money allows you to buy things and pay the bills. The happiness you feel with money is just temporary because it will not buy you love. In the end, it is still only currency.
3. Money Follows Dream Not the Other Way Around!
“Iron Man,” “Captain America,” “Thor” and “Spider-Man.” These are among the most beloved literary figures in the world. We grew up reading their comic books that today have been made to the big budget Hollywood movies.
We owe our thanks to one man, the iconic Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, who followed his dream of bringing his comic book creations to life. Not many people know that the origin of comic books was rooted in depression and times of turbulence.
“Captain America” was born out of World War 2. “Spider-Man” was meant to be an inspiration for kids who were regularly bullied in school.
And in the real world, the hero does not always win. In 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy and the world was at risk of losing its beloved heroes.
But Stan Lee, like the superheroes he created, refused to give up on his dreams and clawed Marvel back into the top of the comic book world like Wolverine.
Today, Stan Lee has a net worth of US$50 Million. But he had no dreams of becoming rich. All he wanted was to chase his dream and give people the feelings of joy, hope, and inspiration.
4. Money Does Not Last Forever
Have you heard about the “Lottery Curse”? There are many stories about people who won the lottery but lost everything and more.
Is winning the Lottery a curse? No. The problem is not the lottery. The problem lies with the person who wins the lottery. They let the money define who they are. People change overnight after winning the lottery.
It’s the same thing with people who suddenly make a lot of money. You’ve heard stories of athletes and celebrities who made millions in their career but now don’t have a penny to their name.
If you let money define you, it will consume you. Everything that you do becomes tied up with money. The “new friends” you made and chose over your childhood friends are nothing but enablers.
“Long lost relatives” who never bothered to get in touch with you when you had nothing are now coming out of the woodwork. They don’t want you, just your money.
So you find yourself in this cycle of finding validation and love through money. When it runs out, you have no one and less than what you had before all the money started coming in.
NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant learned the hard way how money changes everything in his “Letter to My 17 year Old Self”.
In his brilliant essay, Bryant relates how he wished he had not used his money to make everyone happy. According to Kobe, money had destroyed his relationship with his parents. If he could do it all over again, instead of giving out, money Kobe said he would create more opportunities for others to earn money.
Today, the retired Kobe Bryant heads Bryant Stibel, a US$100 Million venture capital company that seeks to help entrepreneurs in media, technology, and data find funding for their dreams.
5. You Cannot Buy Experiences
What is the cost of a Louis Moinet Meteoris Watch? US$4.6 Million. What is the cost of climbing Mount Everest? US$60,000 for travel, the guides, supplies, lodging, and equipment. But the experience? Priceless!
If both people enter a room, many will gravitate to the Louis Moinet at the start. But soon as word gets out that there is a survivor of Mount Everest in their presence, the Louis Moinet will only be an after-thought.
In the context of social media, people would take a picture of the Louis Moinet but have a picture with the Mount Everest climber. People will only care about the watch, not the person.
Besides the Louis Moinet may cost more but it can be stolen, become lost or get damaged. But the climb to Mt. Everest will last forever! No one can ever take that away.
The same goes for our friend the marathon runner! A watch only tells time, but the marathon builds character!