The cultural wisdom is that everything can be measured with money. Your time is worth what you’re able to have someone pay you. All your goods and possessions are measured by their market value.
And your value to the world is based on how well-off your family is, and what you can leave your heirs when you die.
If you think about it, though, money is an entirely artificial construct. It was invented several thousand years ago as a substitute for the things that really mattered, like a horse or a chicken or someone to harvest your field.
But money has never been able to measure the things that really matter. Your loving relationships. Being satisfied with your place in life. Making a difference in the world.
If you measured everything with money, you’d figure out how to get by with two hours of sleep a night. OK, I hear you saying, but you won’t be productive (making money) at work without sleep. OK, then why would you bother taking more than ten minutes to have a meal?
Could it be that your family and enjoyment are important too? You’ll actually SPEND money for those?
Here’s the exercise for today: Imagine yourself as never worried about money again. You’re rich beyond your wildest dreams, but I’m not going to let you go out and try to buy your happiness. No expensive villas, no fancy cars, no jewels. Instead, I’ll give you a decent amount of money to live on – perhaps quite similar to what you have now – and the rest you can only spend if it makes others’ lives better.
Where would you choose to spend your money and your time?
Bill Gates is the richest person on the planet, and he has a house that’s huge and has all the technology that could be imagined a decade ago. But you know what he’s doing with his money? He’s eradicating disease and starvation around the planet.
More important than the money, that’s where he’s spending all his time. Doing what he can to make a difference.
If you had your choice, what would you do which would be worthwhile?
And what’s keeping you from getting started today? Be honest.