Money makes the world go round.
Money keeps the engine of life running.
But how much do we need to keep the engine running.
Much less than we tend to believe.
Of course, there should be money for survival.
And great if you can afford some luxuries,
But the point is what is the worth of what we buy with the money we wake by giving away a part of our lives.
First of all, what we call survival stuff may be a luxury that you are buying into to impress others.
And most luxuries are often to impress others.
This is scary because if we get into a zero-sum game of impressing others, we’ll give all our life to impress others.
Life is much better and valuable when we use it to be happy and to create something that aligns with our values.
A wise man once said, “The size of your savings is inversely proportional to the size of your ego.”
So see what experiences are driven by ego and what by real needs.
Anyway, Daniel Kahneman says that money continues to make use happy until we go past a threshold and he puts that number at $75,000. He says that beyond it whatever money you earn it does not make you any happier.
In India based on purchasing power parity will be between 14-23 lakhs.
This is the most popular piece of research on this topic. But there are other researches that suggest that even after that point money continues to increase fulfilment.
So should we continue to go past those numbers and accumulate wealth?
Sure, why not?
If that number increases your satisfaction, allows you some freedom and allows you to help those you want to and makes you a better person overall.
But don’t let it turn into a wild goose chase where money becomes the metrics that you measure your life’s worth with.
That the mindless giving away life for money will continue.
There is a workaround, if we use the power of mind and use it to reduce our satisfaction thresholds and learn to be satisfied with less.
This will take some training of your mental and behavioural muscles. You will have to learn to find fulfillment in things that do not take or make too much money – like eating a good meal, spending time with people you love, or going anywhere you have not been before and living there – which by the way costs a lot less than buying a BMW or a Tesla or a bigger house.
The key here is not to give so much life for money that you regret it later.
The starting step for this is compressing your spending. Next comes, expanding your earnings.
And the next frontier is to keep those expanded earnings, by spending less time that you did in the past. So basically with passing week or month, aim to give less of your life to make the money you make. And even then find a pursuit that energies so much that you don’t have to decompress like you do in case of a regular job.
So, it’s the good old find work you love, spend less, make more, and become efficient at making more so that you can do it in less time than earlier by deploying the money and expertise you earned.