Why You Should Chase Power, Not Money

by Paul Hudson

Life is everything and allows for anything. You are gifted one life -- one chance to create, to experience, to feel, to mean something. What you do with your time is up to you. Sure, you do have some obligations to the rest of the human race and the society that you function within, but for the most part, your life is your life and you can live it as you please.

We all live our lives in a very simple fashion when you think about it. Our lives revolve around our wants and needs -- needs we cannot live without and wants, which without them, life isn’t worth living. The question is, what is worth wanting and what is a waste of your time, energy and, essentially, your life? This question isn’t as difficult to answer as one would make it seem.

The details vary between individuals, but the general concept remains the same. All people basically want the same thing in different forms; they want to influence, to change, to create and/or destroy. In other words, they want their existence to matter in some way. We all want to know that our lives, our entire existences, were not without purpose, without a reason or point to it all.

We want to matter, and we want to matter so much that the want itself surpasses its limits and bounds, becoming instilled in our minds as a need. In the world we live in today, there is a widely accepted misconception: Money -- attaining it, having it, spending it and forever pursuing it -- will allow us to become the purposeful, important individuals we seek to be. I’ll be honest with you, it’s not too far from the truth. However, money on its own is nothing but paper. Money only has as much worth as people give it.

A million dollars today could possibly not even buy you a sack of potatoes in a year. So you may think that you should invest, and you are right to an extent. But only because investing gives you something that money can’t: power. The beauty of power is that it doesn’t necessarily require money to begin with. There’s another currency that we trade in that is even more valuable: time. That which we invest our time into -- which we devote our lives to -- is the only thing that can give us power.

Power, in turn, is the only thing that makes you matter. Power is the difference between living a life that will be remembered and living a life that didn’t matter. The reason for this is very simple: Power is best defined as the ability to create change. Life is all about change. It is change. The only people who are remembered are those who impact the lives of others by changing something. No one is ever remembered for keeping things exactly the same way they have been, for maintaining the reality that is.

You only make an impact as a living being if you influence other living things. The more you can influence other living things, the more power you have and the more you matter in the grand scheme of life. It’s easy to think that we are small blips in time and space that cause no effect, but the truth is, we don’t know that.

If a butterfly happens to flap its wings in Beijing in the month of March, then by August, hurricane patterns in the Atlantic will be entirely different. We make a difference because we exist, but we only matter if we create a large enough change on some scale. The scale can be small and interpersonal, or it can be large and international.

The larger the change, the more you matter in history. The more you matter in history and the grand scheme of things, the more meaningful and purposeful your life. Money can’t give you purpose -- at least not one that holds worth. The only use of money is for power, but true power lies in how you can affect and change the minds and actions of other people.

Human beings are on top of the food chain; we matter more than any other living creature because we affect the world more than any other creature -- not necessarily in a positive way. If you plan on chasing anything in life, it should be power. You may need some money to really make a difference, but even that isn’t necessarily true.

However, only power can make you matter. Many scientists will argue that all that matters in life is the human interaction we experience over a lifetime. They are 100 percent right. Only through human interaction can you influence, convince, argue with and manipulate people into creating the change you wish to see -- the change that you wish to leave behind as your legacy.

Money can’t buy you that. Only attaining power can make you matter, and true power only comes from intellect. Strength and muscle have a short shelf-life. If you want to matter, you need to chase power -- power over your peers, power over those you work with and come into contact with. Most importantly, don’t make the mistake of associating power with some sort of evil.

Power can be used to do just as much good as it can be used to do bad. If you’re one of the good guys then we need more people like you to gain power and take control to fight off all those that use their power to do ill. Money is just a piece of paper. Power is the ink with which you write your life story.

Photo credit: Netflix/House Of Cards