Time and Money

A couple years ago I decided not to go to college and to pursue a career of Cinematography through hands on experience instead. Photography and Videography have been my passion ever since I can remember. I can work a 16 hour day and not feel tired and by the end of the day my creativity will be just as fresh as it was when I first clocked in. I live and breath it. Everyone has a passion, something that drives them forward, some kind of fire inside them. We all say “If only I could do this...” or “If I could have any job, then I would do this…” But there are so few of us that actually do the things we want to do. Why is it that we aren’t all living our dreams and doing what we love? While I am traveling both in and out of the country, I am constantly running into people that are amazed by my liberating, carefree lifestyle. Almost every single one of them tells me “I would love to do what you do if only I had the TIME and the MONEY.”

If you are not currently doing what you would like to do, or your goals are merely dreams of what you hope the future to be like and not your present efforts, your excuse probably has something to do with not having “enough” time and money. I have heard this excuse over and over again, so while on a long bus ride from Panama to Costa Rica, I began to think about this and write down what I came up with. The first thing I thought of is, “what could everyone possibly be spending all of their time and money on?”

If you’re not careful, the things you own will end up owning you. What I mean by this is that the fancy house you buy, the matching furniture, the giant tv, the cable with 1000 channels, the ridiculously fast internet, the tile floor supposedly taken out of some gutted cathedral in Tuscany, instead of improving your life, end up taking away your freedom. You end up being tied down to these things, having to spend all your money each month to pay them off. Your expenses are all focused on items which rob you from having new experiences. One of the secrets to getting happiness out of the money you earn is to “invest in experiences, not things,” Experiences stay with you forever. No one can rob that feeling of accomplishment, that amazing sunset you watched from the top of a mountain will never decay, that rush of excitement you felt from conquering fear will never die, your memories are yours to keep forever. The memories you will have to look back on in the future are all made up of the experiences you are having now. Don’t let all these things that marketing tells us we “need” rob you of your time and money. Do you really need $200 jeans to survive? Is that $50,000 dollar car really going to change how you get from A to B? These things are ok to have, but first make sure you are living your dreams and only buy them with what is left over.

What happens is the marketing within our society is constantly pushing and ramming the idea into our heads that if we don’t have all of this “stuff” we will never be happy. They make us think that we need just one more thing, the latest and greatest, the newest edition, and then we can be happy. But because of the way marketing works, they will always come out with something newer, better, and faster, and again you will need one more item before you can be happy again. It’s an endless, vicious cycle. So like I said, it’s not about somehow acquiring more time or money, its about actually using them towards your goals and the meaningful experiences you want to have instead of towards material things that will one day break or rot away and leave you once again feeling empty and unsatisfied. A great teacher once said: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” You can’t expect something temporary to give you everlasting happiness.

Another thing that can rob us of our time is our job. Your job can either enable you to do what you love, or keep you from it. If you can’t get a job doing what you love right now, make sure the job you have is merely the means to an end and that you do not lose sight of what you truly want to do with your life. Don’t let your job take up all your time and keep you from seeing new places, enjoying time with friends, and embracing your passion. Spend the money and the time off that you receive on your goals so that your dreams become a reality. Don’t postpone your dreams just so you can buy the latest smart phone. The time you waste now will never be given back to you and later on you may not be physically capable of pursuing what you love.

Even if we get our priorities straight and spend our money and time in a way so that we can make our dreams a reality, there is still one more hurdle to get over, fear. Fear is normal, and healthy. Anyone that claims to not be scared of anything is lying. It's a natural instinct we all posses that can help us make rationale decisions and protect us from danger. What is not healthy is when we let fears overcome our logic or common sense. Fear can be the feeling of excitement before trying something new or it can be what keeps us from doing it. The only way we can overcome fear is by doing whatever it is we are scared of. If you can transform fear into thrill and excitement, you will become unstoppable, and this is done by repeatedly and intelligently doing what you are scared of, without ignoring common sense or logic, so that is becomes a habit.

Life is so short, and you only get one. Make a list of the expenses you have. Cross out all of the ones that have nothing to do with your passion and any others that you can do without. Being wealthy isnt so much about making money as it is about knowing how to use it. Don't let your life pass before you as you envy other people's accomplishments and achievements. You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to. Figure out what your passion is and dedicate your time and money to it. That is the secret. You don't need more time or money, they are not what's holding you back, it's the way you are spending them that is holding you back.

My name is Eric Bennett and I am currently living in Provo, UT. I grew up with a strong passion for Photography and Videography in Southern California. I have a deep love for capturing the outdoors and seeing the beautiful planet we live in and sharing it with others.