It’s healthy to occasionally step back and look at the direction you’ve taken thus far in life and compare that with where you’d like to end up. Are you on the path you want to be? If you could go back and change one career decision, is there one you’d change? Do you wonder if life is really about looking forward to Fridays and dreading Mondays? Wherever you are in life, I strongly believe that you should work to live, and not live to work. I haven’t yet been successful in being able to find my true passion and spend my time doing that, but I am confident that I’ll get there. Based on some of the articles I’ve been reading recently, I’m not the only one contemplating these ideas.

Flexo at Consumerism Commentary wrote a great post on the importance of making money. It’s easy to become too focused on making money and winning the game of life. To quote from the philosopher Miley Cyrus, life “Ain’t about how fast I get there…Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side…It’s the climb.” The financial community would have you believe that life is all about making the right choices for that golden goal of retiring. As much as I focus on investing and saving, I don’t think we waste away our life so that we can have a sweet retirement. I’d rather see the world while I’m young and healthy, than try to do it when I’m old and have bad knees.

Retire By 40 is ready to leave his job and is now debating how he should do so. Should he quit? Should he get himself fired? Which one makes financial sense, and which one is “the right choice”?

TwentySomethingMoney wrote about having ambition without passion. He’s lost some of the passion he once had for his career and he’s trying to figure out what will reinvigorate that passion. I had the same thoughts as him, but mine actually came a lot earlier in my career (and I lot earlier than I had expected). We live for 20 years, and then choose a career that is supposed to last us 40 years. It’s easy to see why many of us head in different directions than originally intended.

If you find that you focus too much on the pursuit of money instead of the pursuit of life experiences, maybe you need to check out 20SomethingFinance’s 50 Life Pleasures that Make Money Seem Insignificant.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the pursuit of money or success. But if we want to look back when we’re 80 and be satisfied with the life we led we need to look at the path that lies before us to determine whether what we’re doing now is leading us in the direction of what we truly value in life. As another philosopher, Drake, says: “Everybody dies but not everybody lives.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr – oldflints