Maybe we’d be better off as hunter/gatherers. But since we live in this complex, technical world, you need money, it’s the single most important and effective tool in navigating it.
During a podcast I was listening to, a guest mentioned an upcoming weeklong conference. He said it’d be a great event, and it’d be attended by a few billionaires. But he added, the billionaires couldn’t stay for the whole week. The implication was they’re so busy that a few days was as much as any of them could possibly carve out of their schedules.
Just the night before, a friend was talking about a ten day retreat she’d recently attended. She really enjoyed it, it was the second one she’d been on. And it took place in a beautiful setting. The land surrounding the retreat center had been bought up and donated by a super wealthy guy. He’d had a great experience too, although he only stayed for four of the ten days. My friend guessed that was the most time this guy could get away with.
I was left wondering about the privileges of billionaires. How great are the privileges if these guys don’t have time to do more of what they’d like to do. They work at getting more money and wind up with less free time than some regular people.
Living in a cash economy, if you create a cash flow covering your living expenses you can be financially independent from work, should you want to be. It can be very simple once you have enough dough. But after that “enough” point, your gains in “quality of life” increase in very small increments (even though your “standard of living” can really expand).
It’s a universal paradox, you’re free to choose what you do but you’re not free from the consequences of your choice.
My guess is that it’s tough to stop chasing money if you’re good at getting it, even after you don’t “need” any more. The problem is that you can’t get more time. It comes down to your perspective. For example, the French say that breakfast in Germany is the beginning of a laborious day, while in France it’s the end of a wonderful night.
It’s possible to always make more money, but you can never make more time.