As a working class immigrant from Peru, growing up in the privileged community of Beverly Hills, I saw a lot of things that others had and I dreamed of having them one day.  Knowing that I would need vast sums of money to get these, I resolved to make a lot of it.

Several after school jobs later, university, and an unstoppable determination to succeed, I got what I wanted. I landed a career as a commodities trader with the trading giant, Phibro, Inc.

I loved what I was doing. I was proud of my achievements and the fact that I was the youngest trader in a male-dominated industry. My position came with all kinds of benefits that included:

  • An awesome salary
  • First class travel
  • Staff to meet my every need
  • Unlimited expense accounts
  • Access to executive dining rooms
  • Memberships to clubs
  • Gold pens
  • Limousines
  • Bonuses

MONEY BUT NO FULFILLMENT

By the time I was 25, I could afford to buy anything and live wherever I wanted to.  But, if you could measure them on a graph, my ability to make money outperformed my personal gratification. I had money but no fulfillment. I remember coming home most nights to a luxury apartment wishing I had someone to share it with. How could I? I had no time to meet anyone. Some days I’d work 18 hours and most mornings I’d be in the office by 6am.

Down time was in the form of taking clients to the trendiest restaurants and staying up late(r) at clubs like Studio 54.  As much as these activities were a break from the office routine, they weren’t me time and I wasn’t growing personally. I felt a hole in my heart and missed pursuing my passions. I’d left behind my interests in foreign languages, writing, philosophy, wine, art, music, dancing and psychology.

MONEY DOES NOT BUY EVERYTHING

Money does not fill the soul. It can make things fun for a while, but eventually they diminish in importance.  The memory of a beautiful experience can last a lifetime versus an item you buy.

Depending on your motivation, chasing money can be healthy.  However, after a certain plateau of financial success, other things like spending time with loved ones or doing things you love become more important.

THE JOURNEY IS MORE FUN WITH OTHERS

Having money is no fun if you have no one to share it with.  What’s the purpose of being rich if no one wants to spend time with you?

Luxury is waking up impassioned about life and being excited about my work.  I love making a difference in someone’s life. When you can provide for yourself, those who count on you and have fun, fulfillment is inevitable.

LIFE IS A CHOICE

Not everyone is living their passion.  My guess is that a lot of people don’t realize they have choices. The key to fulfillment is to live in balance.  That requires making choices and changes.  Altering behavior may be difficult for some, especially if you’re used to accumulation, impulsive or indiscriminate buying. What’s more important to you?  Things or experiences?  Only you know the answer.

Today, unlike when I was trading commodities and thanks to the Internet, we have many more choices of careers that favor equilibrium. With an online business that you can operate as you wish, it’s much easier to have a balanced life.

Everyone’s life is a story board of choices.  Every generation gives us a clue as to what their priorities are.  For example, we know that millennials prefer to work for purpose instead of a paycheck.  This is a powerful generation.  Living life on your terms sends out a strong message.  It means you’ve taken control and you’re in charge.

If you’re questioning your work’s purpose or looking for ways to balance money and fulfillment, take a look here at the possibilities that digital entrepreneurship provides.

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Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

 

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