What if money was no object?


What would one do if money was no object?  I think this is a very powerful question. It strips away our fears, doubts, uncertainty, inhibitions…it frees us in many ways and most importantly, it frees us up to dream…to pursue our life’s passion…to live.

There were many times I wished I had known the things I know now when I was younger; my life would have been different, probably even better. But who knows? We all go through a path or various paths in life and we end up where we are now. We can’t change the past but we can live in the present and create the future. We can continue on the same path or we can change directions- the key thing is to know whether we are heading in the direction that we want to go. I wished I had known more about me and myself when I was younger, that I had found out earlier what I was really passionate about; or maybe I didn’t even understand what ‘passion’ really means then (apart from the amorous connotations).

I read Economics at university not because I was passionate about the subject but because it was practical, it was rather interesting and I liked the idea of being called an ‘Economist’. I fell into working in the Telecoms sector after graduation because it was one of the top sectors to work in and because The Economist Group (one of the few companies I have great respect for) offered me a job and an overseas posting. I liked working in the Telecoms sector then;  I liked the work because of what it offered me: the job, the prestige, the salary, the travel. I was not passionate about it and I wasn’t sure it gave my life any meaning apart from the material rewards.

I wished my university lecturer had asked me, ‘What would you want to do if money was no object?’ Then I would have answered along the lines of, “bookseller, start my own businesses, travel the world.” But then maybe not. I might have said, “earn even more money with a prestigious company.” Maybe before one can answer the question, one needs to know oneself deep down.

Yes, I wished I had discovered my passions earlier but in the end, I never really regretted my years in the corporate world- it gave me loads of knowledge, skills and  experience some of which I’m still using to set up and grow my businesses. Sometimes I think we travel on certain paths for a reason. But I can now say what I would do if money was no object- I’ve come to know myself well enough to answer the question in a more truthful and meaningful way. I know what I’m passionate about, what gives meaning to my life. Do you?

Alan Watts (1915-1973) was an English philosopher and writer who played a large part in popularising Zen Buddhism in the west. He gained a wide following after moving to the United States where he published numerous books on Zen and Eastern philosophy. During the 60s and 70s he toured extensively on the college lecture circuit and became a celebrity among the growing youth movement.


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  1. What gives meaning to my life is being able to watch and learn from my daughter who is growing up. Nothing like seeing the world through a childs eyes. Seriously if money was not a question. I would get the best darn health insurance I could instead of dealing with the idiots I currently am dealing with, have a small house of my dreams, along with a bit of land to grow some food on, and travel to all the places I have wanted to see since I hit college and take my family along for the ride.

  2. I’ve recently discovered Alan Watts and find his words very insightful and thought provoking.
    I’ve also recently been wreslting with this question of what I’d do if money was no object. Very intersting journey.