As a child, adults always told me to focus on school. The implication behind this advice is that a college degree will get you a job that pays you a “respectable” income. In other words, “do what makes money”.
This advice fell flat on its face because all personal advice is flawed. People take their single existence among 8 billion other humans and apply it to your situation. So when I dropped out of college due to financial issues, those people couldn’t even comprehend that situation.
This anecdote doesn’t mean that “doing what makes money” is terrible advice. Had I finished college, I might have secured a six-figure job and a life without any issues. Though, anecdotes, statistics, and the protesters urging for student loan debt forgiveness say otherwise.
The problem with “doing what makes money” is that “what makes money” differs for everyone. Each person has a different amount of implied success (coming soon) and luck for a given career. So ignoring this personal information to pursue what everyone else does is stupid.
The Pursuit Of Money
The reason that you need money is because it’s an abstract resource used to acquire physical resources. When you don’t want to spend time hunting, preparing, and cooking an animal for food, you use money to buy food (within minutes). When you have a problem you can’t solve, you use money to buy the solution (from a service).
Rich people who say that “money doesn’t buy happiness” speak from a perspective where you already have all the resources you need. It’s similar to a person saying that “sex isn’t that important to a person’s livelihood” while already having as much as they want. These statements come from people who have resources in a capacity that others lack.
Money isn’t a physical object that humans desire directly. So when you have enough money to fulfill your human desires, it becomes less important. That’s why “money doesn’t buy happiness” in the most literal sense.
But in most cases, you can use money to buy things that fulfill your desires.
The pursuit of money stems from a lack of resources. Once you have those resources, pursuing money becomes a wasted effort. At that point, doing what you love is more fulfilling, but doing what makes money and doing what you love isn’t mutually exclusive.
In other words, you can do what you love and still make money.
The problem with the pursuit of money is that it can consume your life. That’s great if you are doing what you love, but most people aren’t doing what they love to make money. Instead, they choose to “wait until the time is right.”
So you wait until “the time is right” and learn that you should’ve started earlier because you need more time to achieve your goals. Or something along those lines…
In the worst case, your body is no longer suitable to “do what you love”, which means all that time you spent pursuing money was wasted effort: You can’t use the money you earned to buy the resources you wanted.
You wasted your life.
So that’s why I advocate for balance.