Let’s take a deeper look at the journey of those who choose to pursue success first. You work hard now and once you’ve made your fortune, then you’ll be able to do what you want.
It sounds like a great theory and it does work for those who choose a traditional career that happens to be the one they love and are passionate about, such as investment banker, scientist, doctor, lawyer, etc. But for those of us who are not interested in traditional careers, this doesn’t seem to be a good strategy. In fact, it can be a dangerous strategy. Here are some reasons why:
- We gradually engage in self-deception. You might say something like: “I dislike bankruptcy law but I am going to do it for 20 years, and then I will retire and do what I want.” Twenty years later, you reached your goal; you have enough money to retire at the age of 46. Ironically, at that point you are convinced that the thing you dislike most, bankruptcy law, is really the thing that’s going to save the world. You managed to convince yourself that the thing you disliked was what you really wanted to do. One of the tests for that is to ask yourself and you have to ask yourself before you engage in self-deception: Would you still do this thing if you weren’t being paid?
- When you have a deferred job, your psychological identity gets wrapped up around that and if you do that for 10 or 15 years, you begin to define yourself as a lawyer or as a banker and it will be hard and stressful to get out of it. You become very psychologically deeply invested in the deferred job, not in the life that you want to have.
- Another problem with deferring what you really wanted to do is what if you never develop the skills in the job you want to do. If you’re putting off in becoming the dancer or singer, you’re not necessarily spending the time to train your body or your voice and getting to the point where you can do that. Also, you’re not building a network or creating the infrastructure that would allow you to do that easily. So, when the time comes to make the switch, you’re not part of the professional and social network.