I have spoken in the past about how I believe that time is the currency of wealth. In other words, it’s not dollars or euros that most of us are after, but rather time. We want to be able to do what we want, when we want. Some of us love our careers and wouldn’t change that part of our lives. Some of us would absolutely love to eliminate our careers and do something completely different.
What would you do with if you had all the time in the world? Would you play golf all day and “retire”? That’s the bill of goods most high paid professionals are sold, right? You work your butt off and pack money away into your retirement account so that you can one day, finally, retire and play golf for a couple years before you die. That sounds terrible to me.
I would be bored to death and being bored doesn’t sound like being wealthy to me. Being wealthy means doing what you want when you want. It doesn’t mean having no meaning to your life other than golf.
To me, the pinnacle of wealth was defined by Abraham Maslow in 1943 in his work. “A Theory of Human Motivation”. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. There’s this pyramid that has physiological needs at the bottom–like food and water and then just above that you have safety, like having a roof over your head for example. I have referred to this pyramid before on this show and in my book and have specifically talked about why I like multifamily real estate as an investment. People need roofs over their heads.
At the top of this pyramid, however, is self-actualization. Self actualization might encompass many things: expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge and the desire to give to and/or positively transform society are examples of self-actualization. It is, as German psychiatrist Kurt Goldstein said, man’s master motive. But, the only way to get there, the only way to self actualization is to have your basic needs taken care of first.
You can’t be worried about how to pay for your mortgage and put food on the table and work on your master motive at the same time. On the Summit at Sea I spoke to Robert Kiyosaki about this a little bit. As you might imagine, he’s in a position where he can focus on self-actualization. He defined this as “mission”–which one could also characterize as master motive. Financial education truly is his mission in life. He doesn’t need the money.
Let’s be clear, you don’t have to have Robert Kiyosaki level wealth to have a master motive or mission. On the other hand, you can’t be living paycheck to paycheck in golden handcuffs. You see, even high paid professionals have concerns about security. All you house poor doctors know what I’m talking about. Your problems are the same but different. In some respects they are worse because they are self-inflicted. A poor person struggling to pay rent is one thing but struggling to pay you BMW car payment? Well…that’s not a road to self-actualization either.
The golden handcuffs are a big roadblock to self-actualization. And, until you free yourself from those shackles, you will not be able to find your master motive or mission in life.
This is all to say that time maybe the currency of wealth. But you still gotta know how to spend that currency wisely!
Now today’s show is tangentially related to my rant of the day. You see, when I talk about self-actualization, that requires you to get out of your comfort zone and think about your life critically. That’s exactly what my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast today, Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity.com did over a decade ago and the result is some pretty amazing research– a real contribution to society born out of his own creativity and pursuit of knowledge. It also resulted in a much happier and healthier man.