March 15, 2012, 6:00 am

What’s More Important Than Money?

by: MD    Category: Personal Finance
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Is there anything more important that money in this world?

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P. J. O’Rourke

What’s more important than money? Time and health.

I used to be really greedy (and still am to an extent), but recently I’ve started to believe that time and health are more important than money. Now don’t worry I’m not here to create world peace or to preach to you. I just wanted to share my thoughts on the importance of health and time.

How’s time more important than money?

“People want to experience what they think only millions can buy.” — Tim Ferriss

Time is precious because once it’s gone it never comes back. You can always find more ways to make money or how to cut back on expenses. You’ll never be able to get time back. You’ll never be as young as you are right now.

I wanted to share a quick story about my friend Tom and time…

I used to hang out with Tom fairly often growing up. We were both the kind of dudes that worked full-time while studying. When college finished I was stoked to get to hang out with friends more often. Tom on the other hand decided that he need to work after college. His logic is that more money equals more girls and more fun. Over the years Tom has lost touch with everyone and has forgotten what it’s like to have fun. While I totally support working long hours to reach your goals, I also firmly believe that you’re never going to get your time back.

You can have all of the money in the world, but what’s it worth if you don’t have any time to enjoy it?

“Lost time is never found again.” — Benjamin Franklin

Why’s health more valuable than money?

I always took my health for granted. When I was in college I would boast about how I also worked full-time. I would often consume a few cups of coffee before an exam because I was behind on sleep. Fortunately for me, I could get away with all of this because I’ve always had decent health (knock on wood!). Recently I’ve been around remarkable individuals that just haven’t been blessed with good health.

When you have good health you can do anything. The only thing stopping you is laziness and various other excuses (bad breakup, not enough time, or the classic “too busy”).

Here’s a quick story on health and money…

Once you’re health is gone with a chronic illness that can’t be properly treated you won’t care about money. I was chatting with one my supervisors and I asked him if he was planning on working much longer. He told me that the benefits help him pay for medication that his wife needs to treat her MS. He also let me know that when they were young they never had money. Their trips would be simple and very rare. Then in their later years they began to travel more. Now that they have money saved up, they just don’t have the health to travel. This older gentleman told me that when you have you health you can do anything you want to.

Here’s another quick story on health…

One of my friends work long and odd hours because he’s saving up for the future (which is what we all should be doing). The only problem is that he’s horrible with time management and taking care of his health. His odd hours have caused him many health problems because he doesn’t sleep properly. His lack of sleep often leads to grumpiness and he ends up eating junk food all of the time. He looks much older now. He has more money than ever but his health is deteriorating.

“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering – an image of death.” — Buddha

Is there a perfect combination of time, health and money?

I would like to think that there is. You can be a really successful person that has been blessed with good health and the ability to manage time like a champion. The problem is many of us can’t master excellent health, time, and money at the same time.

That’s why I feel that time and health are much more valuable to us. I’m also not oblivious to the fact that we all need money to survive and want money for comfort and luxury. I just feel that money is useless without time or health.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Gandhi

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Comments

Very good reminder of what’s truly important in life. As they say, few people say on their deathbed that they wished they had made more money. Most would say they wish they had spent more time with loved ones.

I am TERRIBLE at taking care of myself. Terrible. Those health stories are a great reminder to do so. You work A LOT of hours do you think you have a good balance?

by: Jerry Hung | March 15th, 2012 (10:44 am)

I totally agree, HEALTH >>>> Money

Last month I experienced this myself
My dad had toothaches (unbearable), and later removed them
My brother couldn’t turn his neck after sleep, and lasted a week (can’t work, eat easily, or do anything)

I then truly realized then… having lots of $$$ wouldn’t matter one bit when you were hurting or semi-zombie, etc..
What helps is having family around

So, work to LIVE. Enough $ is enough..it’s not the most important thing
Have fun (happiness = better health) and stay healthy!

People tend to buy money with health when they were young. They will buy health with money when they get older.

We generally realize time and health are important when we do not have either. Either you lost your good health or you ran out of time. In other words, it is always old people who talk about this. “Youth is wasted on the young”! In essence, they do not take advantage of it.

There are many things we take forgranted without realizing it. Or we realize it but don’t think we can ever find ourselves in that situation.

I think many of us know that money isn’t the most important thing. But it’s always easier to say that when you’re not so broke. When you’re really broke and can’t afford most of your basic needs, then it becomes difficult to let yourself think of anything else than making money as soon as possible!

You don’t care about how long you stay awake or whether you’re eating well, you just keep pushing yourself to get there, especially if you’re the type that hates to be a burden to others.

I work straight 12 hours (from evening to morning) without sleeping almost everyday. Even sometimes when I don’t feel well (like now that I am just recuperating) and I know I should rest, I just keep pushing myself to meet my goals. I’ve lost touch with a lot of friends and don’t even bother to keep in touch. I hope it doesn’t get lonely at the top!

I do agree that no matter how hard it might be, we need to try to keep reminding ourselves of what matters most.

We don’t want to finally make the money and find out we’re all alone and no one cares.

When it comes to time I am more concerned about what you do with it since you can never get a second of it back. It’s like a youth that wastes all his/her young years only to start working during old age.

The time runs so fast these days that I wonder sometimes. The only way to keep up with time is to plan ahead, set goals and take some action everyday to achieve your goals.

Thanks for the nice reminder of what is important!

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Really telling insight. Money isn’t any good if you don’t have the time and health to enjoy it. Without time, nothing in the world would exist because for any progress to take place, you need time ^_^

When you have been raised in a very low class condition, you can surely forgive yourself for not making much money or give your offspring an edge; yet, when you have been raised at a family with higher expectations, you know you cannot simply afford to become philosophical about life for your pragmatic reality is that you need to break your spine working and investing as to catapult the chances for your people. Half a million years ago money meant nothing and raw power of the fittest was the rule and the unique way to success. Today you might be physically the weakest, yet you might be the best suited to survive through your economic prowess. In the current society we have all worked so extremely hard to create, there are incontestable rules such as the more the money, the better they treat you. Money rules the world and all the previous comments are just sad excuses of people who see themselves as prone to failure. When you are dying, at whatever age, money by itself cannot undo age or recover your health; nevertheless, it can surely buy you the quality of treatment that could comfort you. When you pass away, lack of money will destroy your family. Having loads of money to inherit will not make the lives of your relatives any better if they are stupid or ill-educated, but it could surely increase their survival chances in this harsh society. So, in the end, it is your choice: you can believe all the useless excuses of those who have evidently failed or make money and buy a better you and a better aftermath.

When thinking about this topic and comparing health and wealth, a Dalai Lama quote comes to mind. Why people spend the first 50 years of their lives sacrificing health for wealth and the last 50 sacrificing wealth to buy their health back.
That being said, my grandfather used to tell me, for all those who say money doesn’t buy happiness should try and live without it.
I think that it really is a balance, but it is not always an easy thing to find.
Thanks for the post!