|You know recently when Ukraine was going through a civil conflict it was in the papers everyday. Countries were condemning Russia, sanctioning it, trying to support the country being ravaged, sending in aid money, food, etc.
But then I saw a piece in the paper where Ukrainians said, we don’t want aid. We don’t have much right now, and that’s ok. We will manage. Homes destroyed, livelihoods wiped out, but we will manage. What we want is peace. We cannot live without peace. That is all they asked of the international community.
All the money in the world cannot replace a feeling of peace. It is why millionaires are chasing after life coaches, Richard Gere came to India to connect with the Dalai Lama, Tom Cruise adopted scientology, Deepak Chopra is a celebrity guru, and obviously over here we all have our personal favourite swamis, babas and gurujis.
We all really just want a little a little piece of peace.
Peace of mind. We are willing to give away vast amounts of wealth for it. But often we lose it while chasing massive amounts of wealth. An odd situation.
This got me wondering what else I’m losing everyday that I will one day wish I could pay to get back.
We all need a little piece of peace
Health, the greatest of wealths
Right now, as I sit here typing this out, I’m trying to ignore a mild throbbing in my upper back. You could pay me a million rupees for this article or you could say I’ll take away that niggling pain from your back, and I would choose the latter.
Physical pain and discomfort can just ruin the joy of little things… every day things. I write for a living but sitting here at a computerwriting everyday is slowly killing me.
This is something money can’t fix. I’d pay someone to fix it but they can’t.
Love, it’s quite the drug
Do you know why Mark Zuckerberg, the man who invented Facebook, invented it? Not to get rich or famous orbecome an entrepreneur. He was in love with a girl and he wanted to get her attention.
Your motivation for everything you work for – success, money, security, is probably the same. You do it for the love of your family. But are you valuing this love enough?
Parents who work long hours and are unable to spend enough time with their children say, ‘I did it to give you everything you would ever need or want in life. I did it for you.’
But what children, and spouses, and loved ones really need is more time together. Maybe sacrifice a little of that time and money, to give more space in your life to love. I promise it’ll be worth your while, it’s one thing worth more than money.
The unforgiving ticking of time
Time is unforgiving. Once past, it can never be brought back. And yet, we are often far more careless with our time than with our money. We think twice about spending money, analysing expenses with complex precision, make sure we get value for every rupee … we are quite the paisa vasool culture.
But we throw time around as though it is an unlimited resource. It is not.
Ask the parent who didn’t pay enough attention to his child, now a sullen teenager uninterested in being seen with his parents. Ask the athlete who feels the end of his career nearing, no longer young enough to be at the top of his game. Ask the woman who spent one too many years chasing career goals, and missed the deadline for bearing a child.
Time, once past, can never return. Give it due respect.
Experiences and the memories they birth
Do you remember the last time you caught up with your old college pals. What did you guys talk about? I’m guessing there was a series of anecdotes starting with the words, ‘Remember when… ‘
Arre yaad hai (remember) when we snuck out of the hostel and jumped over the walls into the library at night and rearranged all the books? Or whatever masti and tomfoolery you were up to those days…
You didn’t talk about how much you make or what you own. Yes, you carry around your sleek gadgets and perhaps show a thing or two off, maybe even throw in the brand of your new car into conversation.
But that’s not what really brings you to the pure hearty laughter that a ‘remember when…‘ story can bring. The memories of those ‘college ke din‘ are irreplaceable. The memories from your honeymoon, the first time your child said mama, the first time you jumped into the deep blue ocean with an oxygen tank and discovered you could breathe under water… priceless.
And it’s not just me saying that. Psychological research suggests that when you spend money to buy things the happiness you derive from them is short-term. But when you spend on experiences, the memories that are created give you a lifetime of happiness.
Bus yaadein reh jaati hai … memories live on… so go ahead create some more… they are more important than money.
‘A job well done is its own reward,’ the saying goes.
One of the greatest incentives that drives us is striving to be the best. Bonus and remuneration are nice incentives, the need for money keeps us going, motivates us to do a good job. But it doesn’t drive us to greatness. That is something that comes from within – the need to achieve mastery.
As Mahatma Gandhi said. ‘Infinite striving to be the best is man’s duty; it is its own reward.’
We can see this in some of the leaders of our society. Azim Premji, the founder of Wipro, recognized nationwide for being a simple man, clearly didn’t do it for the money. Narayana Murthy, another captain of industry, believes in ethical business. ‘A clear conscience is the softest pillow in the world,’ he is known to have said.
Personal satisfaction from doing the best job you can, from doing the right thing, and giving it your all, is worth more than money (even if money is always a nice added bonus).
Ok obviously, since what I do is peddle common sense I think it’s more important than money. But you have to admit, it has great value. It teaches you to deal with whatever situation life throws at you. But since I’m always writing to you about it I won’t go on and on here.
So that’s my list of things that matter more than money. I’m not trying to under value money. It is crucial to provide the foundation of a good life. But it’s really just the means to an end. That end is happiness. And this is a list of things that bring lasting happiness.
Is there anything on your list I didn’t get in here? Do write about it… everyday I hope to put more on my list of happinesses.