If Money Was No Object, What Would You Do?

Your answer is more instructive than you think

Photo by Francisco T Santos on Unsplash

It can feel like life is one everlasting pursuit to acquire more and more money. We work in jobs we don’t like, to earn money that we spend on stuff we don’t particularly want. Money is the central pivot around which our lives dance.

Without it, we can’t do much and we are pushed to the margins of society. With limitless amounts of money, we can do whatever we want and even mould society in our image. Money talks and it plays a bigger role in our lives than we realise.

The lottery is a concept that I find intriguing. Anyone can buy a ticket which gives them the chance to win millions. A life-altering amount of money. Week after week, people pay a small fee, based on the even smaller odds they might strike it lucky and win big.

None of us would turn down the opportunity to win millions. You’d either be an ascetic loving monk or stupid to do so. But how many of us have contemplated what we’d do with all that money if we did win?

If money was no object, what would you do? It’s an intriguing question because it provides us with the opportunity to consider how our lives would look if the pursuit of money was rendered moot.

Right now, most of us spend eight hours a day working to earn money that allows us to live comfortably. Given the chance, I’d wager you’d quit your job if you didn’t have to worry about money.

The reality is that very few people work in a job they love. If you’re one of those people, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Nothing is better than working in a job you truly love. As the saying goes, you’ll never work a day in your life if you love your job.

For the rest of us, work is a means to an end. But if we didn’t need to work, if money was taken care of, on tap so to speak, what would you do? The answer to this question is one you should consider and one that points at how you should lead your life.

A big stash of cash

One of the reasons we’re so attracted to billionaires is because a lot of us wish we had that kind of financial freedom. Jeff Bezos has more money than he knows what to do with. There’s no way he can spend all of it in his lifetime, and a lot of it’s tied up in Amazon shares.

Yet, we devour articles about how he got to where he is and the minutiae of his morning routine. If only we can understand what billionaires do, then surely we can emulate them ourselves. Of course, this logic is flawed, because it fails to take into account the circumstances of their rise.

Bill Gates was lucky enough to grow up near one of the only universities in America with a computer department that allowed him to learn to code. Bezos was helped by a $300,000 investment from his parent's in the early days of Amazon. Success is about more than just routines.

Were we to be as lucky as the billionaires of today to have access to enormous wealth, what would we do? When money is no object, your choices can be dizzying. Buy a private island, buy a football team, invest in startups, donate to charity. You could go on and on.

The first thing to fall by the wayside would be our jobs. For the majority of us, work is a means to an end. A way to earn money, rather than something we enjoy. With no need to work eight hours a day, five days a week, most of us would quit our jobs to do something that excites us.

Suddenly, you’d have time to follow your passion and not to have a compromise with the reality of life. Always wanted to paint? Now, you have more than enough time. Want to relax by gardening? You can garden to your heart’s content.

The point is that when you remove the necessity to work, people gravitate to things they enjoy. No one is going to spend time doing something they hate when their freedom is assured.

This is the problem of the modern age. A lot of people feel like they have no choice but to postpone or ignore their passions. How many times have you heard someone lament about not being able to write a book, or commit to a career they were passionate in because life got in the way?

If money was no object, this would no longer be an issue. You could follow your passion and do something you find fulfilling. It’s a useful thought experiment because it points the way to what we should be doing with our lives anyway.

Money is not the problem

I stumbled into writing by chance. Starting a travel blog was not something I envisioned doing when I graduated from university, but five years later I had set one up. Although, if I look back to those months after I graduated, the seeds of my future were in place.

I dreaded going to my job. I would often imagine the creative pursuits I could follow if I didn’t have to worry about earning a paycheque every month. Without realising it, I was already considering what I’d like to do if I didn’t have to worry about earning money.

Writing has always interested me and I found my way back to it after a few years. Now, I make a living from my writing and travel blog and don’t need to worry about working in a job that I find unfulfilling.

I may not be a billionaire, I likely never will, but by considering what I’d like to do if money were no object, I found a path in life that I could follow. This exercise may only ever be a hypothetical for the majority of us. But it’s a powerful one.

Life is short. You shouldn’t waste your time doing something you don’t enjoy if there is the possibility to do something you would. The main regrets of those close to death are what they didn’t have the courage to do, rather than what they did.

Money will always be a consideration. It will always prevent you from doing things, but it’s not a permanent roadblock that can’t be navigated. With the emergence of side hustles, you can follow your passion at the same time as working in your normal job.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a billionaire to do what you want in life. You can do it now, even with less than secure finances. You just need to put in place the blocks that will allow you to get there. Money makes things easier, but the lack of it doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dreams.

In an ideal world, we’d all do what we wanted to do. No such world exists, but with a little hard work, thought and perseverance you can get to the point where your life resembles what you ideally want it to be.

What would you do if money was no object? Whatever your answer, it’s what you should be doing now.

I like to write. I like to travel. https://www.thetravellingtom.com Join my email list -> https://tomstevenson.substack.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store