Money is great! It satisfies what we want. It makes us happy and brings us comfort. It buys us luxury, travel and many other nice things in life. Money is a means to what our inner selves truly want – but it isn’t really what we truly need.
I remember when I was just starting out after college, I was so eager to buy a TV set and an audio system for my parents’ house. I wanted to get a new refrigerator and other good appliances as well; I wanted to satisfy this particular goal. However, I know that what I used to make would not necessarily buy what I had imagined to get (at least at that moment), the all-new plasma TV and the La Germania stove. My earning capacity at that time wasn’t strong enough yet.
And there lies the difference.
If you have the money, you know it isn’t what you truly need. Yes, you recognize the fact that you are blessed, that you have a sense of satisfaction and that you have one less thing to worry about. The satisfaction is there, but only for a fleeting moment. Deep inside, money isn’t necessarily what you truly need; what you need is the freedom of choice and the satisfaction that we get from it.
Just imagine this:
You are craving beef and you want filet mignon. You tell yourself, you want it in a few minutes, and so you drive to the nearest restaurant, the one that you always wanted to try but have not had the chance to. You sit down there, enjoy your order and top it off with a cocktail drink, the one you always get. Life is good. You go home – and then browse the Internet. Then, you see something from Net-a-Porter that you are interested in buying for yourself: a travel bag. You browse some more. Then, you hit click, put the latest Chloe weekend bag into your cart and pay for it. Now, your online shopping is done. You decide to go to your yard and sit down in your cabana facing your gunite pool (Yes, you do have a pool). You call your assistant and tell her that you want to go to Hawaii next week for three nights.
Let me describe another, more simple scenario:
If you have the money, then you are not stuck with just the limited choices of sneakers sold at Payless for less than $80. You can shop your next pair of sneakers anywhere, from Newbury Street in Boston, to Nordstrom online, maybe at your next trip to 5th Avenue in NYC. Your choices are broader and limitless. You name what you truly want and you can practically get it.
Most people do not realize that although money is powerful, it isn’t what we all strive for. We strive not because we wanted to be very rich that we can flaunt to our friends (but maybe some do), but the reality is, we all want to be free – free from worries, free from waking up at a certain time of the day to get ready for a work schedule, free from being told what to do, free from the red-white-and-blue color selections, free what to eat and which doctor to go to. Being free is limitless. Being free is priceless.
Having money is all about giving us more choices and the ability to choose what makes us happy. Money is good – but in the end, it is not the ‘be-all’ and ‘end-all.” It is actually the means to the “be-all” and “end-all,” which is our freedom.
(P.S. Now you wonder why a lot of people migrate to the U.S. and other countries; it is because of the ability to experience freedom and eventually be able to choose from many nice things in life.)