Is Having Money The Key To Fulfillment?

by Ellen Scheidt
"You need not to climb mountaintops. You need not to cross the sea. You need not to find a cure for everything that makes you weak. You need not to reach for the stars when life becomes so dark,
and when the wind does blow against the grain, you must follow your heart." - City and Colour

This quote from City and Colour describes perfectly how I feel about life, careers, and success. I used to find myself wondering, “Does having a high salary mean that you are successful?

Are you rich because you have enough money to pay your bills, go on vacation, buy a home, and not have to worry about money, or would you rather be rich with fulfillment?” Is there a way to ever have both? Unfortunately, in today's society, it may not be realistic to have both.

I am in the health profession because I find it fulfilling. If you ever Google the starting salary of therapists it may seem like a complete joke. I am still not sure why therapists are seen as modern witch doctors and psychics, when our entire practice is devoted to helping people solve their problems and realizing their own strengths.

Psychology is a clinical field with a lot of empirical research to support the theories behind the practices. Unfortunately, many people immediately get freaked out when something is a bit subjective.

As of May 2013, the field got a little bit more subjective. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V), which is also known as the bible of psych, was updated and rereleased to the public.

Usually, a diagnosis of a mental disorder is labeled on a five-axis system complete with a numerical GAF score, basically grading the client on their level of functioning. Insurance companies look at that tangible number most of the time and decide what services they will grant.

After the revision, there is no longer a 5-axis system, or a GAF score. Now, on diagnose, a therapist just simply writes a paragraph describing symptoms and issues.

This seems absurd. This new criteria for diagnoses just deepens the reasons behind the fact that other medical professionals see psychotherapy as a "pseudoscience." Every therapist might as well save himself or herself the trouble and start applying to work at the local Olive Garden so they have extra spending money for the upcoming holiday season.

Maybe therapists should just invest their time trying to become reality TV stars. The financial success would be greater than that of working in a subjective field. Look at the Kardashians, no further commentary is needed.

This is where my compassion kicks in. It is not about the money, it is about the job itself. Sometimes I think that if I were really shallow I would be more aggressive and wealthy.

Would being selfish and wealthy make me happy though? Maybe it would, but most likely it would not. If I were aggressive and selfish I would not be the kind of person I am today.

There is a lot of pressure for Generation Y kids to become highly successful. This means having an interesting job that pays well, perfect friends, and strong relationships.

Immediately after graduating from college, it is expected that people will either land their dream jobs and live happily after ever, or return to school so that they are able to land an even better paying job in the future.

These days, it seems almost impossible to climb the professional ladder without going back to graduate school. Our parent’s generation seemed to be able to thrive with only bachelor’s degrees to their names. Today's master’s degree is equivalent to the 1980s bachelors degree and today’s masters seems equivalent to the PhDs of the past.

I have come to realize that it is not important what credentials you hold, what letters you can put after your name, or what kind of lab coat you wear to work. It is what you actually do at work and how you feel at the end of the day that matters and makes a difference in the world. Money can be squandered or taken away at any moment, but no one will ever be able to take away your feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Top Photo Courtesy: Tumblr