By Paul Blase
It’s the title of the hit Notorious B.I.G. song, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” I think that this perspective bleeds over into other aspects of life as well. There are so many things that contribute to our individual happiness that one thing can’t fix it all. I often see people say, “If I had 10 million dollars, I’d be happy!” and “All the problems I have in life are related to money!” Sure, money will solve a lot of issues in anyone’s life. You’d be foolish to think that wasn’t true. Not having to worry about rent/mortgage, car payments, etc. But let’s take it a bit deeper.
As anecdotal as it is, a vast majority of people I’ve encountered in my life have issues that run much deeper than their financial issues. Let’s just pretend that you had some level of “Fuck You Money” akin to the Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’ of the world. That’s not going to repair your relationship with your family. That’s not going to put you in a loving, fulfilling relationship. That’s not going to help any mental health issues that may exist. It’s also not going to solve the litany of issues that will arise from your newfound wealth status.
This has been a long-winded way of introducing a dilemma I currently face with my life. I’m extremely wealthy. But not financially. In my 31 years on this earth, I’ve accomplished so much that it’s mind-boggling. I visited 46 states before I was 25. That total is now 47. I’ve lived in 13 different states. I’ve lived in 3 different countries and have visited 8 different countries. I’ve made some amazing friends in all of these places. I’ve lived my dream job as a professional ice hockey player. I’ve worked in the music industry as a booking agent for multi-platinum artists. I currently own and am planning on developing property in my current state of New Mexico. I’ve been a restaurant General Manager. I’ve run my own business doing car audio and customization. I’m a father. I’ve been engaged multiple times. I’ve lost loved ones.
I guess you’re getting the point– I’ve accomplished a lot in 31 years. In my 20’s, it was hard to have conversations with people my age because my life experience was akin to that of someone twice, if not 3 times my age. In my 30’s, people are catching up. But I still feel like I’m way ahead of the pack.
This is the problem. Having accomplished all of this so early on – what the hell am I going to do next? I’m so ambitious as a person that working some boring 9-5 just isn’t going to cut it for me. Normally, it’s simple, right? “Go Travel!” “Find Love!” “Follow your dreams!”
Yeah. I’ve already done all of that. I need new stimulation. The problem is, what form will that new stimulation take? I’ve always been passionate about the restaurant industry. I’ve worked in it on and off for most of my adult life, as well as helped my family run a sports bar and grill that, unfortunately, shut down on January 1st of 2021 after 12 years in business due to the egregious, and often nonsensical, COVID-19 regulations against small businesses. I’ve talked to some close friends who have connections in the food and beverage industry. They like my ideas; they like my experience and vision. It is definitely a door that’s open. However, I recently left the industry due to the same factors that are leading to unprecedented numbers of hospitality workers to leave their jobs during this “Great Resignation.”
So perhaps, that’s not as viable as I’d like it to be. Although I’d surely enjoy it, it does come with a whole host of issues, stress, and risk. I recently went back to school for electrical engineering, but after one semester I decided that it wasn’t for me. I’ve dipped my toes into the waters of many careers, but I just can’t seem to find the right one. I’d love to stay involved with hockey, however, even with a resume as impressive as mine, it’s extremely cutthroat. There are so many qualified individuals and simply not enough open positions. Even so, when people get these positions, they do not leave as it’s obviously a dream job of sorts. I digress.
Let’s circle back to my analogy about money and how it doesn’t solve all the other problems that one may have in life. That’s exactly what I’m facing right now. My life has been fulfilling. I’m generally really happy with what I’ve accomplished. My son makes my world light up and right now, I think I just need to find what’s going to give me the best life moving forward so that I can provide him with all the opportunity and the quality of life that he deserves. It’s almost like finishing the story mode of the video games Grand Theft Auto V or Red Dead Redemption 2. You’ve done the main plot. You’ve gotten the 100% completion award. Yet I still have the issue, a midlife crisis if you will, about finding my purpose. Finding the next “thing” for me. What is my next move?
The answer? I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’ll go join the Army or something.
Perhaps you’ve reached the stage where you need to give back. Teach or mentor someone who shares your interests and enthusiasm. It will fulfill you like money never will