Notes to Self: The Greatest Wealth in the World is Time
The dominant view for wealth in society is money. When we picture wealth, we picture having a great house, the dream car, and loads of money in the bank account. This definition of wealth has become the ideal that most people end up chasing throughout their lives.
It is not surprising to see our infatuation with seeing money and materialism as wealth since that is what dictates social status in society. Apparently, that is what we are all meant to chase all our lives. At least, that is what the big corporations want you to believe any way.
Tim Jackson, the author of the book Prosperity without Growth put it best:
The story of our consumer behavior is being encouraged to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.
The thing is this form of thinking has consequences. You need to spend a big chunk of your life working in order to finance them. And, that is what most of us do. That is probably why it seems that the whole world is so busy with their lives continuously chasing to meet those ideals set by society.
A poll by Gallup found that only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged with their work. In other words, 85% of workers all over the world hate their jobs.
So your chasing those ideals and you also hate your job. How convenient.
Is that the natural way that people should be living though?
I doubt it.
Let’s see what the definition of wealth actually is
- an abundance of valuable possessions or money.
That is what the definition of wealth is to most people. But is that the only definition of wealth?
According to my Google search, wealth also means:
- a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing.
Yes, to most people that desirable thing is money and material possessions. I am not against this definition at all. I am no monk who’s left all the material possessions in search of Nirvana either.
But, I believe there is a strong argument that there should be one important item that has to be added in the wealth bucket which as obvious as it is, still doesn’t click as a “desirable thing” to people.
It is such an irony that time is the only thing that money cannot buy. Time lost is irreplaceable.
Even Warren Buffett cannot buy it back. Elon Musk will have to leave all his ventures and invent something radical if he wants to buy back his time, which he probably couldn’t do either(I’d not bet on that guy though, he’s an absolute genius).
And yet, time is viewed as a perpetual commodity. Rather than only our current generation, I observe that this form of thinking is a part of the human condition. God, did you miss this when creating humans? I sometimes think to myself.
Why is this a part of the human condition? I do not know either. Go ask God, or Google.
But anyways, that doesn’t have to be the default mode in life.
If greed is allowed in this world for humans, God would probably not mind you being greedy about the way you spend your time, being picky on what you spend doing with the time you have and with whom.
I know, God is getting quite a shoutout in this post.
This is no anti dialogue on money and materialism. I’m not against those things at all. Yet, my take is plain and simple, time has to be seen as wealth too. That is a value adjustment at the root that will influence every sphere of a person’s life and every decision they make.
It is true for the person spending 5 hours everyday scrolling on social media and still is too busy in life.
It is true for the guy chasing a couple more bucks whilst in the process missing the important moments of his child grow up.
It is true for the Old Grandma who once dreamed of going on that Euro trip but did not because she didn’t have time.
The heaviest object in the Universe is Regret. That is the law of universe, be wary of your time because not seeing it as a form of wealth can have you holding that heavy object at the end of life.
This post is actually written for myself as narcissistic as it might be. The reason is that it is a lesson everybody deep down kind of knows and still ignores it in their actual behavior. I’m part of that everybody too and deep down know that is not the way to live.