How much do you earn?

Would you consider yourself successful if you had no job?
Unsplash/@edulauton

For most people the above question is uncomfortable to answer but the point I want to make today is: who cares?

Why on earth is money used as a measurement of success? If you think I am being nonsense, you either live among enlightened people or you are part of those who indeed believes money equals to success. How many times did you have to introduce yourself and you included either your profession or your company in the first sentence? Who are you without a professional title?

Before anything else, quick disclaimer: I am lucky enough to have kept my full-time job during the pandemic, earn an average salary religiously on the 20th every month and I am fully aware of the comfort money can buy.

Although I am not trying to sound like a hypocrite or communist, my focus is to debate on how success is perceived in society, and not so much on capitalism. Why do people use possessions and goods to make them feel they are better than others? Why do some people think they can buy status, respect, love, praise, relationships,etc? It is very common to hear:

I know I’ve made it when I become a billionaire.
I will have reached success when I buy a house.
My goal is to become a CEO.
I will be happy when I receive a bonus.
Success to me is to travel first class.

Why does success always revolve around money? Why CEOs from multinational corporations are praised more than NGOs chief executives? Doesn’t it take the same effort and work for both? Perhaps it is more challenging for an organization without a cash flow to get the same visibility and support than a company that is money-oriented, isn’t it? What is the motivation behind those working for a low or zero income, “only’ to have their voices heard amid a society that praise monetary rewards, beauty and ego? Do you firmly believe only those who have and make money are successful?

Can we just stop for a minute and re elaborate our concept of success? How does it feel when you say out loud:

I’VE MADE IT WHEN…

  • I can make my own choices without fear.
  • I choose “me” before anyone else.
  • I have quality time with my loved ones.
  • I can enjoy the little things.
  • I feel confident in my own skin.
  • I make my parents and children proud of who I am and not of where I work.

When we aim for something that money can buy, it is easy to want more. Also, you are always susceptible to comparisons, maybe by yourself, maybe by other people. It is possible to compare the size of a house, the price of a car, salaries, etc. However, how would you compare the love one can give or receive, attention, respect or praise?

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