Anyone remember the Sims game?
It is a strategic, life simulation video game series where the player (you or I) creates virtual people called “Sims” and places them in houses and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires.
Now a-days there are all of these additions, but I used to play the original back in the day-spending countless hours hustling to make a few bucks, keeping myself happy and clean, while keeping my friends and family happy. It was a struggle to do all of that, very frustrating at times, but it was fun and highly addictive….that is until I learned there was a cheat that allowed me to exponentially increase my money at a moments notice. When I entered in a certain code, my money would increase by thousands of dollars! Jackpot! Right?!?!
When I first found out about the cheat I was ecstatic– I felt like I won the lottery in real life! I could hardly sleep for the first few days after I found the cheat code. I could build any house I wanted with all of the furniture I wanted and I didn’t have to work for measly dollars. Life was great….or so I thought. After the newness of my money wore off, and I had all sorts of new and expensive furniture in my houses (yes plural), I stopped playing the game altogether. It no longer excited me, so I moved on. Cold turkey.
So years later I am able to look back on my sudden change of heart with a game that I really really loved to learn a very valuable lesson.
I never understood either, how rich celebrities could be so self centered and miserable. To be frank I would get quite annoyed. I would look at a bored Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and just shake my head. But now I get it. They are bored. They have the Sims “money cheat” and they don’t know what to do. The excitement of the money wears off and you have to find other ways to entertain yourself.
Now I am not one of those people who thinks money is bad, I think it is preferable to have money than not. No apologies for that sentiment. (how can you help others if you have nothing to give?) But I do realize that as a society we tend to put too much emphasis on money, the influence and privilege it provides, and how we can get more of all three.
So when I am tempted to complain thinking if I just had more money things would be better/different— I try to think about what I am really asking for: peace of mind and financial freedom to make decisions not based on how much work leave I have.
While money does make things more convenient, it doesn’t erase the hardships of life. Although the hustle of working everyday, can be frustrating, it is a necessary function to keep us from becoming bored.
In a virtual world, I had what I thought I wanted: unlimited funds, access to the best houses, cars and lifestyle but I quickly became bored. Interesting, eh?