Money is a means to an end. It helps us live the type of life we want.
We are guaranteed nothing in life. We are not even guaranteed that we will wake up tomorrow morning. We must work and plan as though we will be around for an indefinite period of time and we must make the most of every waking moment we have. Money helps us do this.
Money is a scoreboard. It helps measure our current success relative to our past successes and our goals. I believe it is dangerous and unproductive to use money as a means of comparison between two people. I do believe it can be a great motivational tool for an individual to benchmark his or her own success. I think money works well for goal setting, achievement measurement and motivation. I don’t think it makes the world go around and I don’t think it can buy anything that is truly important.
When I think about money and personal belongings, I start by imaging the kind of life I want to live and how I want to live it. What material items are truly necessary and what would be nice to have? I then plan my financial future by taking steps to acquire those things.
I believe that how I go about acquiring those things is as important as getting the result. It sounds cliché but it really is about the journey and not the destination. The path I take to get to the end result is just as important as the actual goal. The means is more important than the end.
There are two qualities that I require in making money (or making a living if you prefer that terminology). The first is that I need to have fun doing it. I must really enjoy going to work everyday. The second is that I have to learn something from the process. Learning is growing and the minute I stop growing I believe I start dying and I don’t want that to happen.
Seth Godin has an interesting post on this in his blog.