If you’re one of those people that completely and utterly hate this title, then you may have some reason to hate it. You might be right in disagreeing firmly with the statement that money can make you happy.
I get it. When you hear someone tell you money can make one happy, that someone usually seems shallow, materialistic and egocentric. In fact, I’m willing to agree on the fact that, stereotypically speaking, people who love money are quite often portrayed in film and storytelling as mean, power-hungry fellows with no ethical or moral compass. The same people that portray this in their films or their shows are usually the same people that have accumulated such large amounts of wealth; we wonder why they even need to keep making films in the first place. Can you see the dichotomy here?
Why can’t money make you happy? Well, let me illustrate something to you using my own personal experience. I once worked at a pretty big telecommunications company and I had it pretty good. I started with a decent salary and 2 months later my salary went up. Fast forward 3 months later and I got another raise. I had essentially gone from an entry-level sort of deal to a pretty decent, above-average pay. I even had flexible hours, a recreation room for taking breaks and smoking other employees at air hockey and even a well-being allowance that essentially paid my gym membership for the year. You must be thinking, “damn, the good life!”. After a little less than a year, I quit. I quit the good life and yes, I was entirely sane when I did it. My reason was quite simple: lack of motivation. Now don’t go off thinking I’m some lame dude who can motivate himself to do things. Come hang out for 5 minutes son, we gonna be productive. But the money, the money just didn’t motivate me. The smell of potential “green” paper (plastic in Canada) didn’t wake me up in the morning. I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH MONEY. There, I said it.
How did I go from unhappiness to happiness then? I discovered a funny fact about life. MONEY IS THE LOWEST FORM OF MOTIVATION. Sounds wild doesn’t it? Money just isn’t motivating. You can see this in action. Who knows someone who can make more money working at another company but insists on staying at the company they’re at because they don’t want to leave their team, they like the environment and they want to be part of it all. I can guarantee most of you have worked at a catatonically boring job just for the money and eventually became so miserable you had to let it go.
Let me tell you one of the things that helped me find happiness. I realised money was simply not motivating. So then what was motivating? You’ll find that the next step above money as a motivating factor is personal interest. You can already find yourself more motivated by simply looking at what you can do that will fulfill your personal interests. But still, that doesn’t quite keep you happy very long. Well how about personal conviction? That isn’t so bad. If you are doing activities every single day that fulfill your own firmly held beliefs, you should be pretty motivated and pretty happy. Almost. So how in the hell can we be motivated to such a degree that we can be HAPPY? Duty. Duty. Duty is the highest motivator. Duty is what you know you need to do for this world. Duty is the deep-seated truth burning within your soul. It is the moral obligation that you know you must provide. When I speak to an artist or anyone for that matter and I ask them what is their purpose in life, I never accept such answers as “I like to sing” or “I want to be famous” or “it’s fun”. Never. What will you do with your fame? Why be famous? Why go through the hell and high waters of the music industry or any industry? Why go through the trouble? It is at this very crucial point that I can see this person right in front of me actually tell me their true purpose straight from the heart. I can see their eyes get watery, their heartstrings playing the sweetest of melodies as they sing the truth of their very existence. The beautiful nature of man as a species shines in moments like these.
Most of you know what your duty is. That duty should be your motivating factor in everything you do in life. Most artists I meet find out it is their duty to communicate goodness, to inspire others to reach for the stars and to let people know they understand the hard times. Isn’t that beautiful? Well let me tell you something: that is one very big purpose. And if you’re really in it to achieve your duty, you’re going to need resources. This is where money comes into play. You’re going to need substantial sums of money to build yourself up to point of sufficient influence to exercise your duty. You’re going to need to be well known enough to get your butt on ELLEN and accomplish your duty to spread love. And that is the simple, cold truth of it all.
No, money alone won’t make you happy. Accomplishing your duty WILL. You will need the money to accomplish your duty on a big enough scale to stay motivated and find happiness.
So take the road that leads to your duty.
And collect big paycheques on the way.
A & R at Father & Son Records
© Photo by Olga DeLawrence