I don’t think anyone would want to do a reality show of my life. It’s not that exciting or different. But I was thinking yesterday that even if I were offered $1 mil, or full repayment of Micah’s student loans, or some major financial incentive, I wouldn’t take it in exchange for having my life filmed.
Some things are worth more than money:
- Being able to enjoy life without being self-conscious.
- Sharing silly intimacies with your spouse or partner–things that you’d never do or say in public (I’d give an example, but that defeats the purpose).
- Singing in the shower.
- Sitting around in your underwear on a hot day.
- Saying “to heck with it” and making a mess in the kitchen.
- Watching geeky or trashy tv without feeling bad about it.
- Enjoying your hobbies because they’re what your love to do.
- Knowing you can do something without it being discussed on a national level.
If you get really specific about the list and ask me if I’d trade singing in the shower for $100k, you’d probably get me to give it up for a year. But it’s not about any one thing. It’s that reality tv forces (ok, they sign up for it) people to give up one of the things that’s most precious in our lives–our self-confidence.
The entire point of reality tv is opening yourself up so that others can judge you. I can understand doing it in another location–like the Big Brother house–where you’re not trying to live your average life. But unless you have an enormous amount of self-confidence, there’s no way you won’t find yourself changing your behavior to fit the cameras.
And the entire point of earning money is so that you can live life more fully. It starts with getting money to meet the basic needs, then you can fulfill other desires, hobbies, etc. But the point of money isn’t to have more money, at some point you really do have enough. Money is just a tool that lets you buy crafting supplies or enhance your education. You don’t need much money to enjoy everything on the list above, either.
This isn’t limited to being reality tv either. Most of us will make this mistake by orienting ourselves toward things which aren’t what we really want. If we let ourselves get focused on success, fame, earning power, and the like, we can forget why we wanted them to begin with. These things are only good when they make our lives or the lives of others happier.
Don’t sell your happiness, don’t sell your self-confidence or your loves. You’ll have to make sacrifices and choices because we can’t have all our dreams, especially not at the same time. Just keep yourself lined up with your end-motivation, don’t let yourself get turned around in the middle.