One of my pet peeves is hearing good people trying to justify their desire to have a bit more of the good stuff in their lives. The oft-heard (but oh-so-sad to hear) phrase goes along the following lines:
“I’m not greedy. I don’t want much – I just want enough to be comfortable.”
And there you have it. Someone settling for second best, right there.
And, because you are also a good person and have also struggled to make ends meet, you nod sagely and say you understand.
The problem with the “I’m not greedy” is that it sounds like such a fair sentiment. After all, who wants to associate themselves with the money grabbing bottomless race for more that seems to turn otherwise normal human beings into heartless railroaders of all things wholesome and good? But why should we have to settle for ‘comfortable’ while we work our lives away in to make those at the top a whole lot more comfortable than we’ll ever be? Does having more mean we have to sell our souls to the other side?
Can we, in other words, be a whole world better off than “comfortable” while remaining the good person that we essentially are?
Because that’s really what this sentiment is all about. We’re taught, somewhere along the lines, that struggle is noble and worthy, that hard graft with the promise of a rewarding few years – maybe still with our own teeth– at the end is the way to go. Somehow, we’ve learnt to feel really bad about wanting more.
Danielle LaPorte hit the nail on the head when she started talking about Desire. (If you love her stuff and want to help me out without paying any extra, then I’d love it if you use my affiliate link here.) Danielle skips the whole define-what-it-is-you want stuff and goes straight to how we want to feel. Big difference, and totally liberating! But here’s the rub: the whole desire thing goes against the whole ‘work hard until you have enough money’ grain. The first time we start to think about letting ourselves have what we really need, we are guaranteed to come up against a big ol’ mess of resistance that feels more shitty than just knuckling down and getting on with business as usual.
We’re just not used to asking for more.
So here’s me throwing a spanner in the proverbial works: what if NOT going after what you desire is not just a waste of your time, energy and – let’s face it – your whole life, but actually means you’re doing a huge disservice to the world??
See what I did there? Yep, I’m going to try and guilt-trip you into having a better life!
This theme is going to come up more than once around here –it’s what I think it’s all about. YOU (yeah, me too), as a good person, are so busy working to get ‘comfortable’ that you have no time to be happy, no energy to work on the things that matter, no money to give. As you’re struggling along, making ends meet, you shut down and let the people with money make all the decisions. And let’s face it, they’re making some really crappy ones right now, so you feel frustrated and helpless and angry and spend a lot of time down the pub moaning about it to your friends.
Hm, great help.
And having money is power. Being happy is power. So is having the freedom, energy and vision to find a better way to make things happen. Money helps there, too.
- Imagine being struck by the plight of disaster victims and being able to make a hefty donation without worrying about whether you’ll be able to pay the bills
- Imagine skipping the scumbag supermarkets and paying ethical farmers directly with a fair price for their goods
- Imagine working half the hours you currently do in order to spend more quality time with those you love
- Imagine having the time and money to pursue those dreams that you’ve locked away in a box marked ‘later’, making you a shining example to others who secretly want to follow suit.
Having what you need does not have to mean shutting up shop as a human being and relaunching yourself as a dedicated follower of all that you can’t stand in the world (please don’t!) Having money gives you choice and we need more people like you with that kind of power.
The Internet is packed with examples of people finding ways to thrive by actually making a difference to others and I’ll bet they have one thing in common: they will have given themselves permission to succeed. Big time. They will have learnt to celebrate their ability to make a difference and come to love themselves enough to know that their happiness matters, too.
Let’s look at that desire again. Still just want to be ‘comfortable’? Or do you want to be an energized, super-activated, unstoppable force for good?
Sounds ok, when you put it like that.