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What Comes After Money? The Art of Finding Happiness

money

We talk a lot about capital in this era. Money is important, and that’s more significant now than ever. From big banks making big money to every financial guru on TikTok promising increased assets, if you just follow his 10-plan scam, we’re all obsessed with it.

But what does all the money in the world matter if you meet your end in a hospital room, with no cure to an ailment in sight? Does that wealth matter if everyone you loved is gone?

What comes after money? What is more important than capital amassed over the years? 

We often talk about retirement here, and usually that involves money saving tips, and how to have the perfect nest egg ready to go when you need it. But the thing is, money isn’t the only wealth we’re depending on here.

After all, what is a retirement fund when you can’t even get out of bed? What does retirement mean if you’ve lost all the time to connect with your family beforehand, and now you’re alone? What is retirement if you aren’t even there to enjoy it?

Today, let’s discuss what I consider the trifecta of wealth: Money, Health, and Time, and what that means for us in life:

  • Money And Reputation As Social Currency
  • Time Isn’t Money Anymore
  • Why Health Triumphs Overall

What Is The Trifecta Of Health?

So many people, much smarter than I, have come up with these ideologies of living life. A lot of them focus on personal growth, and some are more focused on community. They all promise you different things, from rags-to-riches stories to a fulfilled life and whatnot.

So, what am I going to offer you that sounds any different?

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Consider this: I’m old. I hate to say it, but I have lived my life. I’ve also had the honor (and sometimes reluctant responsibility) of treating others close to the end of their lives. And you can learn a lot from someone who has to face their own mortality on a deadline.

To a lot of people, the regrets usually come down to not having enough money or not having enough time to earn that money. All while they are lacking the main third thing, which is a healthy mind and body.

So, what is the trifecta of wealth? It’s the three main forms of capital we depend upon for a life well lived. Financial assets, time to achieve our goals and a body that holds up while we put in the hard work. It’s as simple as that.

But how important are they when compared to each other?

Drop Some Money

Of course, it’s going to sound really obnoxious of me to say money isn’t important. It’s quite literally the foundation of the system that runs the entire planet. We spend our entire lives pursuing it, studying, and working just so we can earn more of it. And it’s a basic need for a happy life.

Even more than that, gaining financial independence is a luxury. It means you don’t have to depend upon anyone to fulfill your needs, you can do it yourself. And to a lot of people, that is the thing they have worked to achieve in life.

There’s also the fact that money buys you more than just stuff; it also helps you gain respect. It makes me sound like a tired old fogey, yes, but it’s true that money certainly helps with your reputation.

Money won’t buy you ultimate happiness, but it’s easier to be sad in a nice house with all the fixings versus somewhere out in the wild, without any comfort to your name. That is the truth of it: money allows us to get material goods that make us comfortable.

Investing in assets, building a foundation for eventualities and emergencies is never a bad idea. Gaining wealth is simply the way it goes when it comes to an easy retirement.

Time Gone By

The funniest thing about time is that it’s technically a manmade concept. I mean, so is money, but time feels a little more larger than life than some sheets of paper we decided to give worth to.

Time is tangible and it shapes the very universe around us. It is also the only thing we can’t get back once lost. 

Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? Time can’t be turned back. We can chase the moments we’ve lost for as long as we live, but they will never truly come back. That’s something so visceral to most of us who have retired, regretting the time lost in the mundane when we could’ve done things differently.

And when you talk to the older generation, that’s one of the biggest things we feel remorse for. Because unlike financial wealth, time feels more limited. It only lasts as long as the next moment and you can never predict when your clock runs out.

How do you utilize your time? How do you make sure to live life to the fullest? Is it through chasing capital, or making the most of this existence that you have? Well, you do it by prioritizing what’s important to you – your family, and the people you love.

It’s easy to get lost in the world’s noise and ignore what you have, but treat time as the gift that it is. 

Nothing Matters If You’re Not Healthy Enough To Experience It

You know, when all is said and done, no amount of time, money, social clout, or anything else makes a difference to you if you’re dead. 

Does that sound morbid? Probably but that just emphasizes how important health is. And I’m not just talking about physical health here. Mental and spiritual well being is just as important to hold you up as a healthy body is.

People in their youth often take being able-bodied for granted. And this usually translates into them working themselves to the bone, not maintaining themselves when it was easier to do. Which leads to ailments in later years that can’t be treated no matter how much time and money they throw at it.

Because let’s be real, how many of us sacrificed our health to be where we are today? And can we truly say we don’t regret it? Do we want to spend the rest of our retirement stuck in a hospice bed because we extended ourselves too far?

You can have all the money and time in the world, but if you’re too sick to enjoy life after you settle down, what’s the point of any of it?

And let’s get one thing straight: Mental health absolutely matters here too. We spend our hectic lives constantly stressing and not getting the needed help. This leaves us more prone to mental health issues, especially when it comes to retirement.

The worst part is that no one is willing to discuss how much of a shift it is to go from a fully booked schedule to having all the time in the world and how that makes us feel. Mental health needs to be given just as much importance as physical health. It’s a symbiosis, where one cannot exist without the other.

Investing in finances and time management is a great idea, but I genuinely believe that investing in our mental health and fitness is the thing that pays off the most. 

It leaves us strong enough to face the world and hug those we care about back. It makes sure we are there to experience life at its best, instead of being locked away in a room, with our golden years spent in constant hospital visits.

Health is everything, and it’s about time we acted like it.  

Why It Works

Instead of waiting for things to get better, start as you are. Start saving up in a way that’s feasible, make sure to go out with your partner every now and then, start exercising even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day.

The trifecta of wealth is a balance that is easily achievable and does make me realize there is more to life than the things society usually places value on. But more importantly, it’s realistic because it works on hierarchy.

Yes, money is important, but time is limited. But even if that’s the case, you can make the most of it by living a healthy lifestyle that allows you to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. You need to reassess what you are giving importance to currently and go from there.

It isn’t a bad thing to take some time out right now and do so. You know what they say, right?

The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now. 

Conclusion

Make your relationships a priority, and gain new experiences that enrich your life. And that doesn’t mean you gamble your life savings away. It just asks that you don’t place too much importance on hoarding wealth that will go nowhere after you leave this earth.

Life already feels like a rat race. Why bring that sad energy into our retirement, when we can spend it with those we love doing what we want to do? 

After all is said and done, health is wealth. No matter how corny that sounds.



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2 thoughts on “What Comes After Money? The Art of Finding Happiness”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this; far too many people pigeonhole on just having lots of money! One of the ways I’ve navigated this is by having three non-negotiables in my life. I will always prioritize my immediate family (wife, parents, siblings, and pets) above all else. Second comes my fitness, which I track long-term to see trends. Third is my sleep, because I really require a good night’s sleep to be anywhere near my peak. Those are the three “boulders” in my life; the rest is sand that can fit among them as needed.

    Reply
    • That’s a wonderful perspective! I really did not appreciate how much poor sleep affects your quality of life until I stopped doing overnight pager call. My mood immediately improved and it was noticed by my wife. It’s a shame that these realizations about life priorities come too late for many physicians.

      Reply

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