When I was young and believed in the hippie ethic of “small is beautiful” and that “material things” and money won’t give you happiness, I believed it and lived it. I did not have a desire to make money or buy nice things. I wanted to help people. My lack of ambition to make money resulted in my father privately confided to his sister that he was concerned he’d have to take care of me the rest of my life.
You wrote, “We’re all raised to want money and nice things, which is why most people choose their work based only around those two.” and it made me wonder if there is a counter-strand of Gen-Yers and Gen-Xers who are not pursuing materialistic goals.
I will add here that in my mid-thirties, once I started to have a family to feed and take care, my career trajectory moved toward more revenue generation, but this likewise evolved out of who I was… a creative person who expressed himself as a writer and artist. By focusing to excel in my writing skills it opened the doors to a career in advertising, which paid my bills, paid off a house, took care of the needs of a family of four.
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU that you have to know yourself and who you are, and let that live out from within. I’ve actually written about this many times over the years, including last week here on Medium.