I’ve been what I would call a professional for quite some time. One of the benefits of being a professional is that my income is pretty good. I have read – and I agree – that once your income covers all your basic needs, more money doesn’t really make your life better. Sure, you drive a nicer car, you eat at better restaurants, maybe you stay at nicer hotels. The old problems of “I wish I could afford to…” kind of go away. Then it becomes more of, “Should I…”
But something else changes. You start looking for ways to make yourself happy by seeing other people happy. You start spending your excess money on other people, because, well, you’re taken care of already. This manifests itself in many ways. For my part, I’ve gotten involved in activities that required investments and purchases for the benefit of everyone in the activity. And that was fine for me, because everyone had a good time.
But, there comes a time when it doesn’t seem as fun, when your effort and contributions don’t seem to make as much as a difference. And more importantly, you are not inspiring others to step up their involvement. And then it’s not just about the money, but the money is what seems to matter the most.
2015 has been named the year of no-involvement. It is a year of rebuilding for me, both financially and socially. For the last couple of years, I’ve tried to get involved with projects, with the hope that they would take off and be something great. A lot of times, I provided a lot of financial support to boost the timeline or the project’s presence for it to succeed. But it just seemed in the end that the people involved or the people benefitting just wanted to go along for the ride.
You want to be inspiring and set a good example. A totally made-up scenario would be like having a group that enjoyed beaches and boating and such, so I would rent a boat for the group and we would all have a great time. I would hope that it would inspire them that if they could all put in a little more into the group, then we could do this all the time. But, sadly, that’s not how it would turn out. There was never a “That was awesome, what do I need to do to help make that happen again?” moment.
In some ways, it’s like I want to be a venture capitalist, providing startup money for something that would take off. But I don’t exactly need to see a return on my investment, I just want to see things succeed and see people happy about it. It hasn’t happened yet. So I guess I need to improve my business sense and invest more wisely in the future. 2015 is going to be a great year. 2016 will be my chance to try again.