Business media can distort the realities of commerce. The true metric of success may be more obvious than you realize.
Check out this Trizle article on the topic.
Living as a frugal college student makes you appreciate even a basic income. After you have one, it is easy to forget what you appreciate about having money.
Here is a list of little things that I wish I could always afford so I can look back at this list after graduation and be reminded of why I worked so hard.
(The possible exception to this lifestyle is being in startup mode. When working on a new company, I may spend weeks working sixteen hour days and sleeping on the office couch. This would also qualify as happiness)
If I could afford it, I would do a combination of these activities every hour of every day.
1. Hanging out with friends constantly - In high school, I was fortunate to be able to be around my friends whenever I wasn't at school. I was part of an engaging conversation almost constantly.
2. Expeditions - One summer I drove to Canada with some friends after discussing it the night before at dinner. Road trips, camping trips, beach trips, hunting trips, lake houses - Lift isn't complete without a sense of adventure.
3. Music - Being in a band is intellectually stimulating as well as fun. After graduation, I will definitely be playing with a group on a regular basis.
4. Sharing Meals - Why would you ever eat a meal alone?
5. Entertaining - I look forward to having an "open fridge policy", by letting guests feel at home by eating whatever is in the fridge.
If you are lucky enough to already have an income, go out and enjoy it. Most of these activities don't cost very much, and you can manage little expenses such as gas. So next time you find yourself in front of the TV, throw the remote behind the couch and get out of the house.
"An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body."
- General George S. Patton