Do Not Chase After Riches, Be More Intentional Instead

Do Not Chase After Riches, Be More Intentional Instead

We’ve all been there. before.

At some points in our lives, we look back to our past choices and question if we’ve made the right ones. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, we have experienced pitchfork moments as such.

“Could I have spent more time with my newborn son?” 

“Why didn’t I enroll in that MBA programme?”

“I wished I knew my mom (or dad) better before they passed on. I was too busy working.”

“I should forgo that career path to pursue my passion in culinary.” (Or writing or fashion, you know the drill, fill in the blanks here).

Money Matters

Before you go further into retrospective mode and bash yourself into the bottomless abyss of what-ifs and should-haves – this article is not meant to diminish the importance or value of money (as the title may suggest). It would be hypocritical to do so.

Rather, we’d like to implore you to rethink the value proposition of dollars and cents when making life-altering decisions such as your career trajectory. Kathy Carprino, career and leadership coach, wrote in a Forbes article that one of the top 5 regrets of mid-career professionals centered around money.

Many felt trapped around their fears of money, hence did not choose to live the life they long for. Either they felt the need to keep making the same amount of money as they are today or won’t change directions to leave toxic jobs.

Truth be told, our relationship with money goes deeper than we think. It stems directly from our wealth programming and what we learned about it from childhood. If we don’t get to the bottom of our own money story and heal it, we’ll remain trapped in unhappy situations (but fearing change) for the rest of our lives.

Choose Intentionally

Instead of regretting the decisions that you’ve made by far or loathing certain paths that you have followed, practice self-compassion instead. You only know what you knew then.

Strive to make more intentional choices that closely align with your values moving forward. That way, you don’t meander far from what you stand for. This is not to say that change is easy but make sure that it’s worth it! 

5 tips to live More Intentionally: 

1. Know yourself

How would you know which career path to follow if you don’t even know yourself? Do not fall for the rhetoric that “you’re supposed to have it figured out”, just out of university into your first job.

Only a handful of lucky (or self-aware) ones do. If you’re not one of them, consider interning or volunteering in jobs and NGOs that interest you during your study. Or if you’re a mid-careerist seeking a change, consider upskilling or making lateral moves within your organisation that catch your fancy.

Sophia Amoruso of #Girlboss fame was once a sandwich artist and worked at the dry cleaner, a record store, and a few bookstores before she started selling vintage clothing on eBay and found Nasty Gal. At its peak, Nasty Gal had 200 employees and over USD100 million in annual sales.

Moral of the story? Never underestimate the intangible life lessons and professional skillsets that you can get from interning and working in odd jobs.

2. Clarify your goals and plan how you’re going to get there

Take the time to know what you like or don’t, what makes you tick, your motivations, the values that matter to you, and the kind of lifestyle that you want to have.

It’s okay to envision more than what your family and friends want for you – ambition is not a dirty word. Just as long as you do not compromise your values, health, and relationships with your loved ones.

Peg, your goals to your future aspirations and plan how to reach them. Start with realistic micro-steps to jumpstart the process, scale up when you’ve gained momentum or confidence to do so, and don’t stop once you do! The operative words here are “plan” and “take action”. 

3. Eat well, sleep well and think well

At Bridge, we cannot stress enough how important your eating, sleeping, and thinking habits are that we’ve written an article about it. What you eat and the hours of sleep that you get every night affects your cognitive ability more than you think.  

When we don’t eat and rest well, we can’t think well to make informed or rational choices. When we are more intentional in our food choices, we eliminate the tendency to eat unhealthily or overeat. We are more intentional in keeping our minds and bodies in good form, we’ll choose rest over burnout.

4. Go for knowledge and experience

At first glance, knowledge and experience look very similar to one another. Knowledge is founded upon the accumulation of information through either experience or education.

Experience comes with time, exposure, and practices based on practical application. While there is a differing school of thought on whether knowledge or experience is more valued by employers, both of these are inextricably intertwined.

So why not do both? There is no expiry date to learning, and as we’ve highlighted in point 1, no job experience is ever wasted. Either you succeed or you fail to learn.

5. Surround yourself with people who hold you to higher standards

Research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard found that – “The people you associate with determine 95% of your success or failure in your life.” 

95% is a lot!

The people you spend the most time with shape who you are. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect which attitudes and behaviors you regularly expose to.

Eventually, you start to think and behave as they do. Get around people who hold you to a higher standard and actively construct your social environment – don’t leave it to proximity or chance.

With these pointers, we hope that the next time you catch yourself falling into that pitfall of indecisiveness – maintain the financial status quo or follow what your heart tells you to do – 

You’d know which way to go. Don’t chase after riches, choose what aligns with you and let the riches roll to you instead.

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