“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
I was reading The Money Game by Adam Smith last night, so thought about sharing some random thoughts on a too-close-for-my-comfort subject of ‘money’.
“It’s simply outrageous!” you might think on reading today’s headline. “Who doesn’t want money?”
Well, this is indeed a very normal way of thinking (Who doesn’t want money?). But you see, what’s normal isn’t always rational.
Just stop and think about it for a minute – is it really the money itself you want – that thin strip of cotton paper with ink on it?
If you were stranded in an African desert with no water, and you had a choice between a bottle of water or few million rupees, I’m guessing you wouldn’t choose the money.
So money is just a medium of exchange for us humans. It is worth as much (or as little, in case you are stuck in an African desert) as the people doing the exchanging agree it has.
But in my experience, people often place too much faith in money.
Each day, they would tell themselves – “If only I had more money, my life would be better.”
This is what a financial advisor would also promise you – “If only you can accumulate so much money, you will achieve complete freedom in your life.”
See, these words like ‘financial freedom’ sound great and give you a nice easy feeling. So you keep running after money trying to achieve your freedom faster!
But deep down your heart, you know that money can’t make you happy, or ensure you a content life.
It can only be used to buy things that can achieve those results, and that’s why you just need so much money that can buy you things that will make you happy…
…not a big car, a 5-bedroom house, or a foreign holiday…
…but the freedom to pursue your passions, the freedom to enjoy time with family and friends, and the freedom to not worry about money at all!
That’s all what you need money for. And you don’t usually need millions in your bank account to achieve your real freedom – spending more time with family, or pursuing your passions.
So if you are disgruntled with how your financial life is going or why your stocks are not rising the way you wanted them to, here’s my humble advice…
Forget worrying about money. Keep working hard and gradually save and invest.
When you no longer view money as something you need, and view it instead as a facilitator, you’ll probably find that money comes to you much more easily.
At the end of it, your bank account may still seem inadequate (like mine!), but your life will be far, far richer.
This is one key lesson I’ve in my life – If I don’t take my financial life so seriously, I can learn to enjoy the process of shifting from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance.
So I play the money game for fun and growth, including the fun and growth of my dependents.
I don’t worry whether I’m winning or losing. The more important question is: Am I growing?
What about you? Does money drive you? If yes, why? If not, why? Let me know in the Comments section below.
By the way, my wife just read the headline of this article and shouted back – “But I want money!” 🙂
I am with your wife on this one 🙂
Ok, I partially agree with both your views.
Money is not everything because I remember the evening I was stuck in heavy rains and water logs in Mumbai and I had all the money in my wallet and credit cards but could not buy a piece of bread. That day I actually realized that money is not everything. Then I walked into Inorbit mall soaked in water, the store guy offered a free t-shirt to get changed. That was a very emotional day for me.
Then I look around my day to day life and feel the helpless for not having enough money that others get their way out just because they have it, you will see this at RTO, Passport Office, Banks, Hotels etc. Money talks in today’s world. You can almost buy anything if you have it.
Both views are ok, it’s a personal choice. The famous dialogue from an old movie “Whoever says money is the root of all evil, doesn’t have any”
Vishal Khandelwal says
Thanks for your feedback, Mansoor! Yeah, it’s simply a personal choice.
Hi Vishal, This is one of your best articles.According to me true wealth is our family,friends and natural resources. What will happen if we dont have any natural resources, what will we do with the money then. Everyone who does hard work in a sincere manner deserves to lead a decent life but money doesnt let that happen. Money creates divide (rich and poor). Education has become a business. Nobody wants to teach anything in schools and colleges. All these educational institutions want is 100% pass record and placement record so that they can attract more students next year and earn more profit. Good healthcare is available only to affluent people. Money has made everyone profit-minded.
Sometimes we fail to see life beyond money. It is however true that we need money to lead a decent life and those who dont have it are left behind.The worst thing about money is inflation which erodes the value of your wealth. I request you to watch this documentary ‘Zeitgeist-Addendum’. Its a brilliant documentary about how global money supply is controlled few big private banks and corporations.It explains why all our money is debt.
I would like to know your view about Fractional reserve banking after watching this documentary.you can find this documentary for free online. I know you are busy,but please watch it when you get time,its worth it. Thanks, Vijay
Vishal Khandelwal says
Hi Vijayshankar, thanks for your feedback! I completely agree to what you mentioned….and will try and catch up on Zeitgeist-Addendum soon.
There is a saying in English: ‘Money makes the mare go!’ However, I am not after money! But let money be after me.
Very well written……Vishal….neat balance and defined “want” and “need”.
Vishal Khandelwal says