Time, energy and money – phases of life

Time, money and energy. You want it all, but you can’t have it all. At each stage of life, the balance changes. So enjoy what you have right now.

Remember when you were a kid, how you had all the time and all the energy in the world? Yes, the world was yours. You could do anything you want. Except that you didn’t have the money.

Well, as an adult, you finally have the money. And you still have the energy. But with the kids and the home and the business, there never seems to be any time to do anything.

No problem. When you retire, you will have all the time in the world. And you should have the money. But oops – where did that energy go?

READ ALSO: No, Really, You Are Never Too Old

You can’t have it all. If you did, you would be Superman. But it is amazing at what you can accomplish and what you can enjoy if you make use of what you do have.

I recall my childhood and how much fun I had. Without the money. Playing in the park and in the forest behind our house. Drawing maps. Reading books. Playing dodgeball. It was a blast.

As an adult, I am having just as much of a blast raising my girls and I really do enjoy most things about my business. I never seem to have much time, but that’s because I am spending – investing! – my time in my daughters and in my business. Sure, I would love to be off hiking and kayaking every weekend. But if I was, I would then wonder when I would ever find the time for the things I am doing now.

And I know that my batteries will start slowing down someday (like when I’m 150 years old, hopefully), but that doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy doing things at a slower pace.

Each phase of life is special

Each phase of life has something missing. But each phase of life has some wonderful opportunities, too.

So enjoy them all. You really have every reason to celebrate…unless, of course, the venn diagram below describes your situation.

Time, Money, Energy

Past Expiry Cartoons (Johnny Ancich) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Money, Greed and Happiness

I want to share with you the message that was sent out today to subscribers of A Daily Dose of Happiness.  This is particularly timely because of the credit crunch that is making everyone suffer, but if you are a sensitive sort, you might not want to read any further; I am about to rain on most people’s parade.

The credit crunch is a product of – let’s not mince words – greed.  All of our greed.  We wanted more, more, more (SFX: maniacal laughter in background).  Well, we got more, more, more than we could ever hope to throw away without even opening the excess packaging.  Sooner or later we have to pay for it.  Sooner or later has arrived.

Today’s Daily Dose of Happiness Message 

You know that whole debate about money buying happiness. It gets overly simplified, like far too many things.

I recall attending a Zig Ziglar seminar a few years ago. He said, “Money is not the most important thing in life, but it comes reasonably close to oxygen.”

His point is well taken, but how much oxygen do you need? There is a point at which more oxygen can be a life-saver. There is also a point where more oxygen becomes overkill.

Likewise with money. The first dollar you make this year will be very, very important for your happiness. At some point, when your basic needs are secured, the value of money starts falling dramatically. The 100,000th dollar you make this year will likely bring some extra momentary pleasure, but is unlikely to  actually make you happier.

The key is to find the point at which money stops making you happier. Any investment of additional time to earn more money will actually reduce your happiness (more money that does not add to your happiness, less time that would have).

Any further compromise of values or principles required to earn more money will likewise reduce your happiness (more money that does not add to your happiness, less integrity that would have).

Instead of accepting that we have to pay for all the excess of the past couple decades, we want the government (that’s us, remember?) to buy us even more excess.  Yes, we in the Western world really are embarassingly spoiled rich kids.  The problem, as any credit counselor can tell you, is that you cannot spend your way out of debt.   And as we dig our way into even greater debt, I just cannot see how that creates more happiness.  I fear we are collectively handing over the keys to what I call “The Merchants of Misery” in my book, Climb Your Stairway to Heaven.