In the western classic Fistful of Dollars, one of America’s last great action heroes Clint Eastwood made his big screen debut as a mysterious gunman who rides into a grim, dusty Mexican border town controlled by two warring rival bands of smugglers.
A master of the quick draw, Eastwood’s character soon receives offers of employment from each faction. As the plot thickens, it becomes clear that the stranger’s loyalty is not for sale as he sets into motion a plan that destroys both groups of criminals by pitting one side against the other in a series of brilliantly orchestrated setups, showdowns and deadly confrontations.
Of course as the ending credits roll, Eastwood’s infamous “Man With No Name” rides out of town a very wealthy hero leaving a path of happy townspeople and vanquished foes in his wake. But as the saying goes, “Only In Hollywood.”
In the real world, playing a similar game of “monkey in the middle” with your career usually leads to a High Noon showdown pitting your desires for personal fulfillment through your work against your material needs for a higher paycheck where ultimate victory is utterly impossible-more commonly referred to as “Hired Gun Syndrome.”
Which begs the question is it possible to have both? “I am so driven by earning more money that I have an extremely limited amount of time doing the other things that are important to my life,” related one of my more frustrated clients. “I have always felt that having money was the first step in order to attain anything else, but this just isn’t the case. Through your training I have come to a point where I realize that happiness on the job and life in general is worth much more than a pile of money in the bank.”
When clients ask, “what is the right career for me?”, I try to make them realize that their desire for more money alone is the primary limiting factor, especially in the area of time. In order to break this dangerous thinking pattern, I encourage my clients to abandon their “gun for hire” mentality and to get in touch with what they enjoy doing most.
For example, another one of my clients mistakenly believed, “I always wanted to write a book and travel to Europe, but I figured I had to make the money in order to do that. Little and big dreams have been stopped due to my limited belief system.”
Once again, the limiting belief for this client is her misconception that money must come before personal fulfillment. The fact is, money is irrelevant to her happiness. If she could pursue something that she would enjoy right now, what options would she truly want to pursue?
Once money is no longer the dominating concern, you will begin to see beyond your financial limitations into the realm of limitless possibilities. A place where on the job fulfillment and a significant source of income can both coexist.
Most people feel they don’t have the freedom to create what they truly want. They question whether it’s possible to answer the question, “What is the right career for me?” They are limited by a belief, such as I need to make money first before I can do ____. Becoming ensnared in this mindset means you will probably never accomplish anything until you make enough money.
Unfortunately, for all too many financially motivated individuals, the level of money necessary to maintain their current lifestyle keeps changing, shooting down their most important dreams in the process. It’s vital today to start to accomplish those goals that will bring you the most personal fulfillment because those accomplishments can fuel your sense of self value as you ride off into the sunset of the rest of your life-even more than flashy jewelry or a Rolls Royce in the garage of an even bigger luxury home.
Freedom can start today, you have freedom of choice, freedom of direction and freedom of opportunity when you begin to put your biggest aspirations ahead of your bank account. Remember, as circus pioneer P.T. Barnum once said, “Money is an excellent servant but a terrible master.” Happy trails.