I recently visited the local Starbucks I go to every single day and my usual barista was making my coffee when another barista that sometimes serves me showed up to hang out at work on her day off. After saying hello, I asked her why she was at work on her day off, rather than doing something more productive. She then says that she has nothing better to do, but then my regular barista jumped in and asks why wouldn’t she be here? I simply respond telling her she should be doing something productive so she never has to come here again like work on an idea or get a second job. She turns to me and says…
“Are you saying that money buys happiness?”
and I turn around and say…
“Nope, but freedom does; and money buys freedom.”
You always hear different views on the power of money in the realm of happiness. Many can argue that money buys happiness and others say that love is what happiness truly is about (usually people without any money). There is no one that can disagree that freedom is happiness, regardless of what you chose to do with that freedom. The real question then is:
Do you need money to be FREE?
I want you to think of John McAfee, the guy who invented the famous anti virus software that made him a multi-millionaire 10 years ago or so. He gets on Youtube and makes a video with hookers, cocaine, and insults everyone who has made him a millionaire. Yet we share, laugh, and allow him to get away with it looking at it as nothing more than a giant joke and a guy who is having too much fun.
Now assume the same behavior was witnessed by a homeless man chasing hooker, sniffing cocaine, and insulting people in the streets. We would look at that guy as disgusting and going against all the principles and morals we agree with, but WHY?
Same actions, two different people, two similar outcomes, and yet we judge them in two entirely different ways? Could it be that the one who made millions is accepted and therefore granted to do as he wishes?
These are all great questions and the answers link right back into our original conversation around the importance of money when mixed in with freedom. None of us are free. We never have been and are only given the illusion of freedom. While we may want to believe we are free to live as we want, we are far from it.
Our inability to choose the schools we attend, our inability to quit our jobs due to the debt we accumulate, and even our forced hand to join the workforce right out of college, only to pay back our tuition for the past 4 years. Everything in the cycle of what we deem to be society (2nd Circle) is intended to force us back into the same cage again.
So how do we earn our freedom from this vicious cycle?
You guessed it. By making a lot of money, above and beyond what others are able to achieve, you show your mastery of the system and earn your voice as a guide to others. Remember money is never the measure of success in life, but it is in society and therefore a common value associated with success for the masses.
The mastering of money enables you to enjoy more of life’s treasures and gains you access to experiencing just about anything you want. This freedom of experiencing extremes like luxury vacations, exotic cars, amazing living situations is what many people dream of and regardless of who you want to share them with, everyone has their very own definition of it.
The common principle, however, remains that money is the needed denominator to reach your very own definition of success.
While money will never buy love, happiness, or any other emotional well being, money will always and forever remain the gateway to reaching them, simply by buying you your freedom from money itself.