Time & Money

Most of the time, for most people, it seems to be that ‘making a living’ just gets in the way of ‘living a life’.
The way human society has evolved, leaves the larger portion of the population spending most of their waking hours in a struggle for survival – sure, most of us we aren’t out there dodging angry bison or hunting down dinner for our tribe, but many of us are spending the larger part of our days doing jobs we don’t like so we can earn the money to buy the food that we once hunted, gathered or grew ourselves. And then of course, there’s the mortgage (damn – those tepees and caves were way cheaper), the cars we need to get to work, the cell phones we need to talk to others on their way to work, the nice clothes we need to look like we now what we are doing, etc.
But don’t worry the financial advisors say; if you plan right (and pay me my trailing commissions) you will at least enjoy your retirement. Well, I very much doubt that that is true! If you are not enjoying life right now – I can bet you won’t be in retirement!
This topic comes down to two things: TIME and MONEY
It seems we want the former but need the latter.

Time but no money:
Most of us start out with loads free time but not that much money. When we think about this time of our lives, most can probably admit to having a lot of fun. This usually relates to the time when we are growing up. Having fun, chasing lizards, building billy carts from bits and pieces we found down the local dump, and having adventures with our friends.

No time or money: This is usually when we start working in a job or becoming a fulltime student. Free time seems like a thing of the past and we can barely scrape together enough money to fill our petrol tank and pay our rent, let alone squirrel savings away that will feed us in retirement.

Money but no time: Now we are starting to get our act together financially. Our business or job is paying off and we have bought ourselves a house and have savings in the bank. We no longer have to worry about whether we can afford that trip overseas – we can, but we just don’t have the time to do it. We are a ‘fat rat’ but we are still stuck running on the wheel.

Time and money: This is the fun part. Some make it here, others sadly don’t. Usually this is when we are in semi-retirement or something like it – or perhaps we have become so successful in our business that we can spend less time doing it and still get by or even flourish.

I have NEVER subscribed to the above model. I have refused to budget, refused to ‘tow the line’, do the responsible thing, focus on tomorrow. Instead, I have lived with a sense of purpose, lived my life with passion, and really enjoyed myself in this huge playground called planet earth. When I have had absolutely no money, I was as happy and purpose driven as I am today – and didn’t suffer for it. Time, my friends, is something that both billionaires and paupers cannot get back! As my dad used to say, live for today but plan for tomorrow – but really LIVE for today. Time to go fishing with my son … cost: $2 for bait!!


Clint said…
Too true, society is all about Money these days, our very happiness seems to depend on it. Although it rarely (if not never) does actually make us happy.
Urban Samurai said…
What we should be striving for at the end of the day is working towards spending our time doing what we love and making a living from that. Working a regular job that you hate is the biggest waste of time and energy imaginable, but unfortunately it is a daily reality for most people, being a wage slave and having your creativity and productivity stifled by money driven bosses who usually can't see outside the box.

Yes, money is a nessecary evil in today's society but it shouldn't be your raison detre. In fact it is entirely possible to create a model for society that doesn't include money at all. Check out the latest Zeitgeist movie for a model of society that nurtures instead of stifles.

People have to realize that they have a choice. You don't have to be a wage slave all your life. Find the confidence to go after your goals and make the life you most want to live. It can be done. All it takes is a little hard work, proper planning and the confidence to just go for it. Eventually you will get there and you can raise two fingers up to the established view of just working all your life to keep your head above water and nothing more. Raise your consciousness and wake your self up to your real life.

Great post, John.
Anonymous said…
Bloody Marvelous as usual John. I used to have the mentality of most mainstream people have but I have what you have now which I rekon is the go.

A big salute to you ...Great John Will once again...Thanks for your wisdom.

Anonymous said…

Love this post as this is something I often think about. Time is the most valuable commodity we have as once it’s gone there’s no getting it back. I’m sure the majority of the population underrate how valuable it is. Money and “things” we can buy with it are a relatively new phenomenon to the human race. Probably one of the saddest things that can happen to a person is to reflect back on your life and say what if? Or I wish I had done this or that! I totally agree with you that we need to plan for tomorrow but as you say not at the expense of today. It needs to be in balance. Without getting too deep, life can also be taken away in a heart beat……so don’t waste your time!

Craig Moorfoot
JBW said…
Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment - I very much appreciate it. I have learned a lot of things during the past 50 odd year-long adventure that has been my life to date - and one of them is that true HAPPINESS has nothing to do with money. Have a great day all ....
warm regards
Matt "Ikigai" said…
Very much agree with you and the other commenters. The funny thing is the concerned looks you get from people when you say you'd rather work for a passion and be poor then join into the corporate network to make a "comfortable" living.

Following a passion supercedes money.
Anonymous said…
You really need to find a better class of financial planner, John. I rekon the experience is a bit like finding a good instructor. There is a lot of "BS" out there and if you don't know, you don't know any better. I bet most of the people posting to this blog can tell stories (some hilarious) about the crap they dedicated themselves to before finding BJJ and MMA. Back on the financial front - the structural corruption that is trail commission looks like going the way of the dinosaur - and about time too. I should disclose that when not training, I work in financial services.
Cine said…
I lived a life of absolute poverty until about a year ago. However, in retrospect it was a magic life, and set me up to be able to have my little nest egg that I do now. YOu really don't need much to really live, in fact the less you have the better. Being broke for years taught me that. As a result I don't have the financial disasters so many of my peers have. Nurses (which is what I am) don't make big money, but that's okay. It all balances out in the end. I still have work, I can travel with it, even in an economic climate that has seen all the 'big money boys' losing everything they thought they had to have. Ah JW...I think you've convinced me that I would benefit greatly from that extended surfing/camping trip with my dog in a sunny, remote location....

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