The pursuit of short-term material gains means you have less time and energy to devote to things that make you happy in the long run, like hanging out with friends and family, exercising, hobbies or volunteering.
We think that money will facilitate all our other desires: We will be able to afford the beach house where we will have the time and space to play.
But how much time does it take to earn what you need so you have the time to play?
That was the dilemma Diane faced. She had joined an international accounting firm in her 20s and vaulted to partner.
“To do the job really well, you had to live, eat and breathe it, and that was fine with me—I loved it,” she says.
In the mid-90s, Diane began reflecting on a course she had taken at work, in which participants were asked to visualize their lives at age 65.
“Almost every person described a scene where they were secure financially and surrounded by children and grandchildren.
“I thought, if you spend all your time working, what makes you think you’ll have any family who care when you’re ready for them? It takes a lifetime to build those relationships.”
A light bulb went off.
Diane asked to be relocated to her hometown to be closer to her family.
Her aunt moved in to help care for the kids while Diane kept running on the threadmill of long hours and frequent travel.
“When I was home, I was so tired and stressed. My oldest daughter got into pre-school and then kindergarten and I felt I was missing out on too many of the special moments.
“You don’t get second chances with this stuff.”
Diane quit, downsized her expense and began consulting part-time.
Excerpted from Laura Rowley’s book, Money & Happiness, published by John Wiley & Sons