“What would you do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”
Several decades ago, 20th century philosopher Alan Watts implored everyday people to consider this question. According to Watts, far too many of us conflate money and happiness with the understanding that to acquire the former is to access the latter. That’s simply untrue, explains Watts. In fact, Watts believed that setting aside one’s true, artistic and entrepreneurial aspirations for the sake of a steady paycheck would surely buy them nothing more than discontentment and misery–a two-for-one sale, if you please. He explains:
“If you say that money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time: You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to go on doing things you don’t like doing.”
Watts’ words ring true, no doubt, for many entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives. They know–we all know– that it sometimes seems easier to earn a living doing something you’re pretty passive about than to struggle financially (for a while) in order to do something that you’re absolutely passionate about. We also know that this practice, this cycle, can be wholly unfulfilling and soul crushing. Worse yet: you know, in your heart of hearts, that you’re not only selling yourself short, you’re selling society short by not contributing your work or your art to it.
Sound familiar? If so, consider Watts’ words and ask yourself: What would I do if money were no object?