For the past month or so, I’ve enjoyed a slower pace with life and work. It’s felt good. I’ve had time to myself, enjoyed some downtime and rest, as well as some adventures.
This new pace has been a change from the frantic workaholism of last year. Now that I’m debt-free, I’m not in constant hustle mode and have the privilege of being more selective with clients.
I finally feel like I have a semblance of balance and am really happy with where I am at. I even calculated my final income for 2015 and it was better than I expected.
On a recent episode of Martinis and Your Money, I mentioned how weird it is to have the income I have now. I’m the person I used to be jealous of.
Three years ago, I was making $12 per hour and would kill to have the salary I have now. A few months after that I upgraded and finally got a full-time job making $30,000.
Since quitting my job in July 2014, I’ve more than doubled my income.
Since reaching my income goal, I should be ecstatic, right? If only it were that easy.
Because I’ve reached my goal, this level isn’t good enough anymore.
I need to go harder, better, faster, stronger. Peers are making even more than I am, so shouldn’t I keep pushing myself toward my goal of six figure income?
On one hand, of course I want to push myself and reach for the stars. Dream big and work hard and all that stuff. But the other part of me wants to enjoy the fact that I made it here and just be.
I can tell that my body and mind were exhausted from hustling the past five years and now that I could rest a little, I let myself. But to suddenly go from workaholic hustler to taking days off had me feeling lazy.
Now, I don’t think anyone would call me lazy, but I felt lazy. And I wondered to myself, why in the world am I beating myself up for resting and taking care of myself? Why am I not just content with the income that I have now?
After some reflection, I’ve realized we live in a world that idealizes hustling 24/7 at the expense of everything else. I’ve even been one of those people echoing those sentiments, talking about working all the time, getting no sleep, and being over stressed.
Not only that, but we’re always working towards the next level. Now that I’ve reached this income level, I need to go after even more. And then more. And more. But will it ever be enough?
Will there ever be a time where we can just be happy with where we are at, without always pushing forward? Or is there a way to push forward organically, without the pressure of feeling like you always have to be improving or striving for more?
I guess more than ever I want to practice presence and gratitude for what I have and not let jealousy or the rhetoric of the online world make me feel empty and always wanting more.
I think it’s so easy to look at your peers and see how far you have to go, rather than look at your own journey and say, “Wow, look how far I’ve come!”
But we are all on our own journeys, in our own time. Only you can decide what is enough.