Time, Not Money, is the New Sign of Wealth
For the past 20 years, my life has been a long and drawn-out race. The finish line? Wealth. A drive to get out of school, to find the “right” job. All that time, my primary goal and top priority was to become wealthy. Making money meant being successful, in my mind—having all of the best material items, driving the fancy car, buying a nice house, and, of course, earning the perception of “he does really well” to my friends, and quite honestly, outsiders who don't know me.
What I have realised, now in my thirties as a husband and dad, is that the twenty-something version of myself was sorely mistaken. Working all the hours under the sun and making money doesn’t add up to wealth; in fact, it is quite the opposite. The measure of a wealthy man is not the amount of money in his bank, but rather the amount of time and minutes he has in his day to live his life—the way that fulfills him. There has been a dramatic change in my perspective on what "successful" and "wealthy" now mean, and here is why, in my own experience, time is wealth.
Why Time is Wealth (and Freedom is Opportunity)
So, what makes up the definition of wealth? We are flooded daily with the idea of "success" in the media. Celebrities who take the grandest vacations and have millions of followers on Instagram. CEOs who spend countless hours bent over a table in meetings all day and head home where everyone has gone to bed. No time to share a cuddle or kiss with a loved one, no time to share a laugh or make a happy memory to look back on one day.
This tragic scene points to a demoralising realisation: You have a lack of control over your own life. This is what the popular understanding of “wealth” and “success” really means. Here is why having an open schedule, free of meetings and obligations, is worth its weight in gold.
Having time means that you have opportunity—the opportunity to pick up a book and gain a new perspective. The opportunity to learn some new skills. The opportunity to take a walk with a mate, or find a new hobby. The opportunity to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Setting aside time for workouts and eating healthy meals will in turn add days to your life and provide you with an energy that is priceless and impossible to gain from remaining stationary at a desk all day long.
Here is some food for thought. Consider you keep the 9-to-5 job and put in the extra hours to get extra credit or earn overtime. What does this get you? More work. The traditional, corporate view of success—meaning hours of work—simply begets more work.
Humans are social. Humans are creators. The traditional model of exchanging time for a payday is eroding who we are and degrading the idea of success. Instead, freedom is what the drive should be all about. Prioritise freedom of your time and watch the wealth start flowing in.
I know it's not an instant change, it takes a plan and determination - But if I can do it, you absolutely can too.