I'll try to keep this short. I'm certainly not opposed to money. I'm 40 years old and I still live in a rented house that I share with two other people. It would be great to be able to buy my own place. It would be great to be completely out of debt, and I'm getting there. But money just isn't my #1 priority.
I grew up with money -- by most people's standards, lots of money. Both of my parents are children of immigrants and grew up under pretty squalid conditions. They were raised to believe that it was important for them to excel, both academically and financially, and they did. But I don't think it made them very happy. The money they made gave them a degree of security, but they never relaxed about it. They were always very careful about it, and worried about money all the time. It's only now that they're retired (and divorced from each other) that they're making efforts to enjoy themselves, and only my mother seems to feel the freedom that comes from her financial independence. My father, who has a young daughter, still worries about money all the time.
I also have a friend who's completely self-made and highly successful. She put herself through college and business school, and is now very high up in a very big multi-national corporation. She owns 3 houses -- nice houses, too. Her money allows her a good deal of freedom, but she works constantly and is probably away on business more than she's home. Her number one priority is her family, but she hardly ever gets to see them.
Finally, I'd like to mention three of my oldest and closest friends. We all met our freshman year of college, 22 years ago. All three are unbelievably smart. I hesitate to use the word "brilliant," but in the case of at least one of them, the label fits. All three of them had, at one point, high-powered, high-paying jobs, and they were miserable. They are now, all three of them, doing what they want
to do, are earning literally a fraction of what they used to (in the case of one of them, her current income is about a sixth of what it was 10 years ago) and all three of them are happier than I have ever known them to be.
My point? Yes, I actually have one
My point is that everyone's priorities are different. They're a part of your identity. Too many people look back on their lives with more regret than anything else. Some of those people regret concentrating on money, others regret not concentrating on it enough. If it's money that makes you "happy," then go for money. Each person has to decide what matters to them most, and each person has to examine that choice on a regular basis. If you made a mistake -- if you squandered your happiness on something you thought would make your life better and in hindsight you see things differently -- make a change.