We all obviously like money, and desire money. But for what?
- Do we want money to buy things?
- Do we want money to simply give us a ‘basic income‘ for basics of living (paying rent, basic food, utilities)?
- Do we want money as a form of ‘keeping track of our success in life?’ Money as used as a metric of success?
1. Money to buy things?
We are making the assumption:
In order to become happier, more powerful, and more creatively inspired, we need to buy superior things and tools which enable us.
For example, I don’t want money for the sake of money. I want money so I can buy a Leica, or money for traveling so I can feel more inspiration to make photos.
Or I want money in order to live in a nicer home or apartment, in a more desirable neighborhood, in order to be connected with better resources, more interesting people, more cultural events, etc.
Or I want more money to buy fancy cars as a totem of success, or happiness. For example, my desire to buy a BMW, sports car, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, etc. I don’t want money for the sake of the money, but the money as a means to buy the car or material thing/object I desire.
2. Money for basic living?
Do we really desire to live a simple and basic life? I don’t think so.
I think genetically we always desire to IMPROVE our lives, our quality of living, etc. To desire to live a simpler, more basic life seems to be something which happens with philosophical training and reflection.
I think the greatest boon I got from studying philosophy is this:
Choosing to live a voluntarily simpler and more basic life is ‘voluntary poverty’, but actually IMPROVES your life, IMPROVES your freedom and happiness, and IMPROVES your artistic/creative output and creation!
Why? When you can have a ‘basic income‘, and NOT have to work a 9-5 job (essentially being self-employed on a basic income), you have the conditions to live the best possible life in existence.
To me, the best life is:
- Total freedom of time (no pre-arranged schedules, meetings, etc)
- The power to control and dictate your day-to-day however you please.
- The power to go workout whenever you want, to sleep whenever you want, and to wakeup whenever you want (without an alarm clock)
If you desire to become the apex philosopher and artist, it seems to see money as a tool and means of procuring a basic living is best.
3. Money as success-tracking in life?
We should not use money to track our success in life. What should we use to track instead?
- The progress of our ‘one rep max’ lifts
- The progress of our artistic self-confidence
- The progress of the deepening of our wisdom and philosophical inquiries
If you use money to track and ‘quantify’ your progress in life, you will ruin your life.
4. What SHOULD we use money for?
Now this is where things get very interesting to me:
Obviously money is good. But what is the wisest way to use our money?
- First, money to be used to purchase your own freedom. Essentially if you no longer need to work a 9-5 to sustain your living. Also if you’re self-employed, to NOT be a slave to your own company.
- Second, using money to sustain your basic living expenses.
- Third, using money to purchase tools which make your art-creation possible. For me that includes a MacBook laptop, an iPad, and RICOH GR III camera. Or using money to buy film and film-processing expenses.
- Money to travel: Traveling to places you’re interested in. Using money to purchase experiences.
5. Via-negative wealth (inspired by Nassim Taleb)
Being rich as figuring out what you don’t care for, or what NOT to worry about:
- Not having stress about paying your rent or expenses
- Not having the frustration of having to show up to a 9-5 job
- Not being judged or rated by your peers or bosses.
6. Anti Wealth
The anti-way to think about money:
Being rich and wealthy isn’t about having a lot of money, but having the mental state of your personal richness so you don’t think about it.
It isn’t about forcing yourself to not think about money. It is just literally not thinking about money, because you’re more interested in lifting weights, thinking lofty thoughts, creating, and making great art.