Why it is important to live your dream and not chase after money

Shahrokh Shariat | © feelimage / F. Matern
Shahrokh Shariat | © feelimage / F. Matern

Money and success, for many people this is the most important measure in their profession. In the long term, however, it is much more satisfying to make your dreams come true – and also more promising

Since my arrival in Vienna, I constantly hear that we doctors are underpaid for our work. It’s true. In relation to our expertise, which we have acquired painstakingly and night after night in our studies and work, and the sacrifices we make by spending little free time or time with our families, as well as our responsibility we have to bear towards our patients every day, we do indeed earn too little.

This fact often leads many of us to take on a part-time job in addition to our medical work in order to fulfil our financial expectations – a vicious circle in which earning money becomes a priority. Don’t get me wrong, money is a fantastic resource. However, I am concerned about how more and more people are falling into the “money trap” instead of focusing on what could really bring them fulfillment.

Dream and reality

I was fortunate to experience both prosperity and living with very limited financial means, and thus learn an important lesson: as soon as you realize that it is much more about realizing your dreams than constantly chasing money, you suddenly have a completely new chance of success.

It’s one thing to see people on the street, dressed well, driving expensive cars and going to fancy restaurants – but nobody can see how these people are doing at home. Even social media platforms can easily give the impression that everyone is living an incredibly great and exciting life – but the reality is different. In fact, most of us are chronically unhappy.

It’s a huge problem, although it could be solved very easily – with an open mind and a constant supply of quality content. That’s what I say to my students and young doctors.

Living the dream

If something is especially important to you – like your dream – and you give everything for it, success will come in the end. Through your success you also create value for others – value that can very easily become money. The fastest way to make money is not to focus on how you earn it, but how you can “create” it.

This “creating money” requires a great dream, a passion and the absolute conviction to succeed with your plan. How to do this? Well, the skills to achieve a dream can be learned, so they are not a prerequisite at first. If you now have the impression that I am imagining all this quite simply, it is probably because I am actually doing it. I have always thought that success is easy – provided you start somewhere and consistently train your mind and spirit every day.

Starting from zero again

One thing I appreciate about money is its ability to show the true face of people. For example, if someone wins the lottery, but doesn’t have the attitude to add value to the prize, he or she will almost certainly lose everything again soon. This is because once you have come into money by pursuing a dream (i.e. by following the realistic path), you can achieve this again the next day, even if you have already lost everything the next day. Starting from zero again would not be so difficult in this case. You already know how to reach the goal, so you just have to do again what the passion is for rebuilding your wealth.

Especially because you can lose all your money so quickly from one day to the next, it is important to always concentrate on your dream – everything else will follow.

True feelings of happiness

When dreams become the task of life, there is a fulfilment that cannot be outweighed by any money in the world. You know the situation: Someone was in a bad mood, then suddenly came into money, whereupon his mood improved. He spent it, and the following week the mood was back in the basement. This can make money with us if we let it – so don’t let money become your main focus.

Money does not necessarily give you the unforgettable experiences you secretly desire. Having a lot of money can make you feel great for a short time – but that’s about it. Yes, sure, you can for example spend expensive holidays – only to find out very soon that the people you spend your time with are much more important than bought experiences. “Bought experiences” may often seem perfect at first glance – but after a while you always notice that they weren’t really all that special.

You cannot have everything

When one area of life flourishes, another usually lags behind. It seems to be an essential law of nature that not all levels of life can function one hundred percent at the same time. The next time you enviously look behind a person who is bursting with well-defined muscles, remember that he or she has invested all energy and time in a particular area of life, while other areas have most likely fallen by the wayside.

What you don’t see at first glance is that the person may not have an intimate relationship, may not have savings, may not be in the best of health, may have a career that is going down the drain, or may have a broken car – all of these are things you don’t see on the surface. But it is almost certain that this person has had to make one or two sacrifices to achieve their goal.

How much are you willing to sacrifice for your dream?

So if you pursue your dream, be aware that you will probably have to make some sacrifices. The reason why I’m telling you this? Money is very similar to a person with a lot of muscles. It’s meant to serve as an example of the areas in a person’s life It is meaningless to have a huge muscle if all other muscles fail miserably. Concentrate on your dream, stimulate those areas of your life that are important. And the “thing with money” will work when you have finally reached your goal – that is, accepting your goal, the fulfillment of your dream will give you enough money as a side effect.

That being said: your money status is meaningless. Don’t forget that how much money you have is absolutely meaningless and most people don’t care how much money you have earned. If Richard Branson, for example, were to enter the room right now, we would be impressed by how many dreams this man has fulfilled – not how much money he has. It is the seemingly impossible things he has achieved that have made him successful. The more you pursue your goal, the more you achieve the impossible, the more you will become obsessed with creating value, and the higher your social status will be. And in the end, that is what most people are all about when it comes to money and success! (Shahrokh F. Shariat, 2.12.2016)

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