I love money — like a lot. To an extent, it makes life easier. It allows for luxury and higher comfort. It relieves many worries and can also lead to many unique experiences. Most appealingly, it gives you power. It gives you the power to do good things on a very large scale.
At the same time, money can prove just the opposite. It can prove to make life much more complicated. It can make a wasteful and overly lavish lifestyle too attainable. The power money gives us can be, and most often is, used for evil things.
Money alone is not enough to make you happy, to make you feel rich the only way it matters to be rich. Money is only a means to an end — it’s the end that really matters.
While money can buy you many ends, there are some ends you simply cannot purchase.
1. Having friends who never fail to support you.
Friends who never fail to be there for you when you need them to be there are the rarest kind. We put too much value on fun and not enough value on respect and loyalty.
What good are friends if they refuse to be a part of your life when you need them most? It’s your friends’ job to be there at your time of need — to willingly offer a helping hand. Your friends are supposed to love you.
We too often allow the wrong people into our lives and, even more often, blunder enough to call them friends. If you surround yourself with pseudo-friends, then you’re going to one day find yourself very alone — and it’ll be at the most inconvenient of times.
Fill your life with people who love you, with friends who will walk through life with you, and you’ll never be poor.
2. Having a family who loves you and knows how to show it.
I’ll be honest, while my mom was great at showing her love for me, my dad had a bit more difficulty. Even when our parents love us, if they don’t love us the way we want to be loved, a way that actually makes us feel loved, then we can’t really consider ourselves rich.
Some of us had parents who loved them dearly but couldn’t show it. Others had parents who were excellent at communicating with their children. And some had parents who never took on the title as their own.
No matter what home you came from, you can always build yourself another one. Love your children in a way they actually feel loved, and your whole family will be rich beyond imagination.
3. Having wisdom.
You can’t buy it. You’re not born with it either. The smartest of the smart often have very little wisdom. Wisdom is not intellect alone, nor is it simply logical thinking. Wisdom is those two things combined with experience — life-information, if you will.
You can’t buy the life experiences necessary for wisdom. In fact, having too much money early on in life can make having such developmentally necessary experiences impossible.
Humans are nothing more than animals after all. No animal ought to have everything it could ever want without ever needing to work for it.
Animals need to work for their survival, or they quickly lose sight of what it means to be alive.
4. Seeing the world.
Money can buy you a ticket around the world, but you don’t need nearly as much as you’d expect. If you’re smart about it, you can travel the world and save money.
Yes, I mean what I said. You’ll just need to think outside of the box. For example, I can literally work anywhere in the world and not have to struggle financially. It is possible if you get creative enough.
But buying that ticket isn’t enough to actually see the world. You can have all the money in the world and never actually experience the world. Seeing the world — really seeing it — is incredibly inexpensive.
The world lies outside the hotels, the restaurants, the clubs, the shopping areas. If you want to truly see the world, then see the world money doesn’t want to buy.
5. Falling in love.
If you can fall in love every day, twice a day even, then be smart and do so. Love freely and love passionately, and you will never in your life feel richer.
Don’t fear falling in love with a stranger and never allow yourself to let go of the person you love most. When you find that someone, fall in love with him or her over and over again because it is possible. Don’t settle for anything else.
Love is the only currency in the world that is both invaluable and abundant.
6. Pursuing your passions.
Some of the wealthiest individuals are, in reality, by far the poorest. You can be the wealthiest person in the world and still manage to hate every second of your life.
The only way to live a happy life is to live one pursuing your passions. If you live a life void of passion, then you will never feel like you are living the life you were meant to live.
Just keep in mind being happy every hour of every day is not possible. It would require an exponentially increasing level of dopamine — which would probably kill you.
You need the lows in life in order to allow your body to replenish. Just the same, you won’t be capable of appreciating the things that ought to make you happy if you never experience any sorrow in life.
7. Cherishing memories that make you smile -- and those that make you cry.
Memories are our life. They are a collection of bits of information we are solely privy too. The things we did, the laughs we laughed and the tears we shed, they all make up our story.
There are many different ways to define “rich,” but there is only a single definition that guarantees you more wealth than anything else possibly could: When you’re life-rich, you don’t need anything else.
If you can look back at your life and say you maximized every moment, you squeezed the life out of every opportunity, then you are richer than you know. Do more, make more mistakes, learn more and regret as little as possible.
8. Having someone to share your life with.
Life is meaningless without people to share it with. Friends and family are what make your life worth living. And if you are lucky enough to meet someone you love particularly much, someone you love romantically and truly, then you just struck gold.
Whether or not you put time and effort into the relationship and develop it into what it could possibly be is a different story. Finding a gold mine won’t do you any good unless you put time and energy into mining and maintaining it.
But this isn’t just any goldmine. A goldmine can’t hold you at night. It can’t care for you more than you care for yourself. It won’t ever be willing to die for you… but finding the right person gives you all of that and more.
Honestly… take all my money and give me that instead.