An Important Question: If money was no issue, how would you spend your time?

This is a very important question. One that I ask myself more than nearly any other. You should spend some time thinking about how you would answer this question as well.

Recently Hacker News has had a series of entries on the front page about FU money. I think the real purpose of FU Money is to maintain a desired lifestyle[1]. If you can find a way to live an ideal lifestyle while making enough money to live, you circumvent the need to pursue a deferred life plan [2].

The Tricky Parts:

1. There is no easy way to measure whether the way you are spending your time is ideal.

2. Money and prestige are much easier to measure then happiness so people often pursue those goals over happiness and lifestyle.

3. It is hard to find a way to support yourself financially while also living an ideal lifestyle.

What comes to mind when you think of how you’d spend your time if money was no issue?

You might think of traveling the world, partying, jet setting… all good things but that lifestyle probably isn’t sustainable for one’s entire life. At some point, we all have a need for meaning–to be a part of something larger then ourselves. This can come from many different areas but it requires going beyond a purely hedonistic lifestyle.

I can’t prescribe one right answer to this question as each person has a different temperament and unique passions. Sorry if you were looking for the answer because there isn’t one.

Rather then prescribing one answer, the goal of this post is to encourage you to think about your personal answer to this question when making major life decisions and to take it into consideration. Hopefully good things will come from it.


[1] A desired lifestyle has two parts: 1.being able to do what you want with your time 2. to be able to buy expensive things and live a very luxurious lifestyle. I’d argue that this is a distant second in importance for achieving lasting happiness to spending your time how you would most like to. Furthermore, no matter how much you earn, if money is your main motivator, you will probably start to surround yourself by even more affluent people and will never have enough. Thus, I recommend trying to scale down the importance of great wealth in living an ideal lifestyle. Quora’s take

[2] The deferred life plan is basically doing stuff that you don’t like now in order to live your ideal lifestyle later. I borrow this term from Tim Ferriss. This plan is epitomized by people who hate being investment bankers but are anyways in order to acquire enough currency so then they can pursue something else later in their life. It seems that the ideal solution for someone in this situation is to just start doing what they really want to do. (If you are an IBanker and love it, good for you and no offense intended)

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