The Greatest Lie Millennials Believe

Welcome to S&T’s #TBT! This week’s post is an official throwback post from 2015. I’m considering whether to re-release old posts on the blog every first Thursday of the month. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section! 

I remember when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I thought to myself:

Now, why would I ever believe that an oversized man in a big red suit fit down a narrow chimney with Christmas? How exactly did he fit? How could one man fly 24,901 miles in 24 hours around the world delivering gifts to 9 billion children? And how did he travel on an object intended for snow? Could he have at least rented a private jet?

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But I did. And if you’re honest, you did too.

In fact, we’ve all believed menarche at some point in our lives. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we millennials have endorsed yet another lie.

We believe that if we follow our passion, then the money will come. Money’s not important as living our dream life.

Now, I’m not saying that money is everything, but to the person who invented this quote, have you ever not had any money?

Have you ever been broke? Now, I’m not talking the Awww-man-I-can’t-afford-to-eat-at-a-five-star-restaurant-broke, I’m talking the I-don’t-have-money-to-eat broke. I’m talking the should-I-pay-rent-or-should-I-buy-my-children-food broke.

I’m talking the I-can’t-attend-your-birthday-party-because-I-have-$10-in-my-account-and-can’t-even-afford-to-pay-for-gas-to-get-there broke.

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I’m talking BROKE without the “K” or the “E.” You’re so broke, you’re BRO. Can’t even afford the last two letters of the word.

I’m going to assume that the inventor of the Follow-Your-Passion-Don’t-Worry-About-Money quote was rich because I doubt that she’s ever attempted to live on her passion alone, unless her passion was software engineering or investing in lucrative firms.

If her passion was teaching elementary school, I wonder how she coped with making a mere $35k per year. I wonder how she coped with being inundated with over $30k in student loan debt. I wonder how set she was for retirement at 65. Did she save enough money for her children’s education?

The truth is that the follow-your-passion perspective is skewed because it does not allow room for error. If your passion is painting, how are you going to pay rent if you haven’t sold your artwork? How are you going to eat if it takes many years for you to make a name for yourself and start earning income? How are you going to get by?

The quote should read:

Follow your passion but have a foolproof backup plan. 

Be an elementary school teacher, but take on side software development projects to supplement your income and diversify your cash flow. Be a graphic designer, but maybe prepare taxes on the side or sell real estate. Develop skills that are invaluable in the marketplace, so you’ll always have money to fall back on, if your passion fails to help you earn money.

I love to write, but it doesn’t pay my bills. My job as a healthcare data analyst keeps my lights on. Fortunately, my job is 9 to 5, so before 9 and after 5, I’m free to pursue my passions. If one day, I’m able to make a lucrative career out of writing, then I’ll consider leaving my job.

If there is a burning desire inside of you to accomplish something great, then pursue it fiercely. I support you and your endeavors. We should all have a passion, something that fulfills us. That’s what life’s about.

But let’s be smart. Following our passion with a backup plan makes us even more likely to succeed. Money helps us buy food, clothes, and a place to live. Money keeps our mind at peace because we know that if an emergency arises, we would be all right. All of these factors will push us closer to living our dream.

Photo Credit: http://www.seniorliving.rog

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26 thoughts on “The Greatest Lie Millennials Believe

  1. You are so completely right. I laughed out loud (at work) with the “BRO” comment because I’ve been there. Most adults or even those our on age encourage you to risk it all for your dreams/passions in hopes on making it big because they’re paying attention to the exceptions like Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs but not enough attention to the rule. I agree pursue your passions with a fierceness but don’t forgot that the landlord doesn’t take IOUs for when you finally start making money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so great! I’m trying to get my business to take off and in some business groups and I’m seeing a lot of “quit your job and the universe will provide: kind of stuff and I’m like dafuq did I just read?! I am stressed out thinking of people following that advice


  3. If I have a vote, I vote for more TBTs!

    Throw Back Thursdays, I mean, not Tom Being Toms. Though, the latter doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, either. 😉

    I like the idea. In fact, I dig it!

    As for the idea of following our passions, but paying the rent, I completely agree. Let’s build a society, however, that allows more time for both. Let’s shrink the 9 to 5 to 10 to 3, same pay, and passion the hell out of life. 🙂

    Just thinking aloud!



    • Of course you have a vote! So, more TBT’s it is! (And yes to Tom Being Tom as well.)

      I’m agree with a 10 to 3 work day. Or a 7 to 12 work day or even a 6 to 11. Haha, I’m here for all of that. Studies have shown that people are more productive in shorter working days than longer. I know that’s definitely true for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Studies do indeed show that! The 8-hour work day is corporate slavery!

        That sounded too reactionary; let me rephrase that.

        The 8-hour work day is corporate slavery!

        Nope, that’s all I have. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m at my desk laughing! “Broke as a joke” — I heard his voice looking at that GIF! Your post is dead on! Like you, I love to write but posting blogs every week doesn’t buy TJ’s diapers lol


    • EXACTLY!!! Lol, I suppose the alternative theory is that if you quit your paying job, you’ll have no choice but to succeed at what you’re doing. I suppose that works for some, but not for me. When I’m broke, I have no creative energy. All I’m thinking about is my next meal.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES! My mom actually gave me very similar advice when I was in college. I was an English major and she told me I could major in whatever I wanted, but that I needed a solid backup plan/minor. So I minored in legal studies. It was actually my ability to write grants that got me into my current career, but it was very sound advice she gave because I see so many English majors that struggle to get decent jobs. Go after your dream, but also have a way to support yourself.


    • It’s true! My degree is in psychology, but I took extra statistics courses. My statistical skills has always gotten me the job. I can’t say the same for psychology. It’s unfortunate that some of the things we love just cannot help us afford the life we want. Your mom gives great advice! 🙂


  6. Not to mention those of us without clear dreams! Trying to make a career out of your dreams when you’re still not exactly sure what they are is pretty impossible. I have a lot of passions and a lot of different things I like to do and I’m still trying to figure out how to make money doing them (spoiler: I’m not!). So, yeah, follow your dreams but make sure you can pay those bills. Great advice!


  7. This was a good laugh and truth in one post! That “bro” scenario is no joke. Been there and done that many times. I’m so happy I’ve reached a place where writing is paying some bills, BUT, best believe I’m all about multiple streams of income. This blogging/writing world is a fickle entity sometimes.


  8. This is so true! I pursued a degree in humanities/social sciences, and my parents always made sure that I picked up extra skills on the side to help me along in getting a job. I was lucky and ended up getting a job that combined both, and I’m very happy that my parents pushed the practical side of things as I went through college.


  9. Hmm I have mixed feelings about this. I’ve been broke enough that I’ve had 32 cents in my bank account and didn’t know how I was going to make it the next few days until my paycheck, and saying “pick up a side hustle” is easier said than done when you’re wasting so much mental bandwidth worrying about making your dollars stretch. Side hustles require attention and a boatload of time, and I totally support anyone picking up a side hustle, but I feel like running my side hustle is a luxury I’ve only been able to mentally afford since I’ve been financially stable and not worrying about making it to the next paycheck. I do agree that you have to be realistic about your passions, but I also think certain employers need to be more realistic about what’s a minimum living wage in this country.


    • It’s true. And side hustles are hard to begin and sometimes, although they are called side hustles, when you’re new, it can be more like a full time job than a side gig. And I agree that employers need to be more realistic about minimum living wage (cause really, how realistic is it?!” Thanks so much for stopping by and I love your blog :).


  10. This is true on so many levels! You get so broke then all of a sudden your friends have events they need you to attend. Some boldly chime” you seriously cant be that broke to come? Everything is free”
    At the back of your mind your are thinking ”well, I cant even show up if I don’t have money to get there, can I

    Liked by 1 person

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