Life doesn’t have to be all about being 100% productive

Dorin Stefan
4 min readFeb 22, 2019

I think most people want to become millionaires at some point in their life. They are sitting in their room or apartment and they think “Man, I wish I had millions of dollars”.

It’s just who we are. We always want more. We want “the good life”, we want to live with no worries and to do whatever we want without having to worry about money at all.

The “problem” with that I think is that wanting money is not necessarily the same thing as wanting happiness.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that having money doesn’t mean you’re happy. I’m sure I’d be a lot happier with a bunch of money in my bank account.

The thing is that money is the “tool” you use to get everything you may want to become happy. But it doesn’t seem like a lot of people think about that. They just think about having money. And after they work 16 hours a day for 20 years, and they finally get all the money they want, they realize they’re not happy.

One reason I think that happens is because they are not chasing happiness, but money, and when they do get money, they don’t know how to use it to become happy.

Here’s an example — let’s say we know a guy named Jim, and Jim wants a lot of money. He works for 16 hours a day for 20 years, saves a lot of money, invests it, and he becomes a millionaire. Now that he’s around 40 years old he buys a huge house with amazing cars and expensive clothes. But Jim doesn’t necessarily like those things. He bought all that because he thought it would make him happy, because that’s what most people say, but what he wants in reality is a cozy home with a loving family.

I’m not saying that the money won’t make Jim and his family happy. I’m sure he’s gonna live a happy life once he finally gets to have the family he so much desires. But he spent 20 years of his life working for something that was supposed to make him happy and with it he bought a bunch of things he doesn’t even care about. He spent 20 years of his life focused on getting something that isn’t even what he ultimately wants.

Money is part of our life, there’s no doubt about that. I would love to have a lot of money too. However, in order to do that I may have to optimize my life and become as productive as I possibly can. That means I may have to give up on playing games, or watching YouTube or watching movies, for a very long time. I would have to make sure my life is all about being 100% productive.

And that would be awesome if what I would really want is to become a millionaire. But I don’t want that. Quite the opposite — I don’t want to work for so long to make tons and tons of money, because it wouldn’t make me happy.

I don’t really have “desires” that are extremely expensive. I like small and tidy houses, so I wouldn’t buy a huge and expensive one, I don’t really like driving, so I wouldn’t buy expensive cars, and while I like technology, I don’t see the need to buy 10 computers and use only one or two.

So then, if having a small house, no car, or a cheap one that I would use only if I really needed to get somewhere, and having a really good computer/phone/laptop is what I truly want, then why should I even spend 10 or 20 years of my life trying to make as much money as possible?

The only reason I see would be to save enough to retire early and live without worrying about a thing. That sounds reasonable, and I may even try to do that. But money itself won’t necessarily make me the happiest person in the world.

I often look at the videos Gary Vee is making, and while I love his attitude and his way of seeing life and work, I also realize that his advice that involves working for 16 hours a day for a long time until you have all the money you want isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who want a lot of money. Those who know that they want something different in life don’t have to follow his advice and waste half of their life working.

We don’t have a higher purpose. Life is not about being the best and the greatest, about accomplishing everything there is and having the most expensive things. It’s about being happy, and having what you want. If you don’t think you need millions of dollars to be happy, then don’t waste your time working towards that goal. It may only bring you sadness. However, if making money is what you want, then focus on that and ignore the “Money doesn’t make you happy” mentality.

Chase what you think will make you happy, be it a family, a huge house, an expensive car, millions of dollars or adopting 100 dogs. What matters is for you to be happy. How you achieve that, is none of my or anyone’s business.

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Dorin Stefan

I write, mostly to explore and to learn, hoping to become a better person.