There’s a lot of content going around these days (movies, songs, videos, etc.) perpetuating this idea that “money is everything” as well as other similar overused platitudes regarding the value of your greenbacks, so I figured I’d take some time today to remind people that money is, in fact, not everything.
I’m not going to deny the importance and obvious necessity of money in today’s world to pay for what you need to survive, but I find the amount of emphasis placed on money as well as what greed drives people to do rather alarming and concerning.
While some things I list out here can arguably be “bought,” please note:
Anything on this list that is paid for is not genuine and thus, does not count.
So without further ado, here are 5 invaluable things in your life that everybody needs that (fortunately) money can’t buy.
People notice you exist, but that doesn’t mean that they’re paying attention to you.
Attention is something people have to consciously give. It’s given to things and people that matter to them. When you’re not considered worth somebody’s time, you get ignored, no matter how much you try to get someone to focus on you.
People underestimate what it feels like to be a ghost. To be nothing more than a speck of dust in a crowd of people.
You’re not going to grab everybody’s attention and not everybody’s going to grab yours.
And you only have so much of it to give, so give it to the things and people that matter most to you.
Attention that goes to people who don’t appreciate you is wasted.
# 2. Respect
After getting someone’s attention, the next phase of regard is respect.
People perceive you differently, and whether or not they hold you in high regard is not something that can be purchased or bought.
Respect comes and goes for different people. Some people never respect you, while some do. Some people respect you initially, and then lose respect for you over time.
I recommend giving people a baseline level of respect (being a decent human) until they gain more or lose what they started out with.
Levels of respect shift with things such as, but not limited to: noble deeds, actions, statements, and integrity.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Keep your word. Be smart about your paths of action and follow through with them.
Watch people’s respect for you increase.
If you were waiting for me to get to the picture for this article, here you go.
The Beatles were right about this one: money can’t buy me love.
Genuine love is only felt, received, and given through enough time spent with someone. Your connection needs to survive trials and tribulations. Good and bad moments. Exciting and dull times.
There is no love at first sight. That’s likely just your instinctual drive to reproduce talking.
Love can also be given to people you deeply care about platonically, as well as received from people who deeply care about you platonically too.
But like with romantic love, getting to that level of care and concern doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to put in work in that relationship, and the other person does too.
You can’t buy your way to a strong bond.
#4. Life Experiences
There are certain experiences like skydiving and fine dining that you can certainly pay for, but we’re not talking about those here.
The experiences I’m referring to are ones like going through a breakup, overcoming a difficult relationship with your boss, making new friends, and more.
Fortunately for you, as invaluable as these life experiences are, they pretty much come to you for free, and on the other side, you gain priceless life experience and wisdom.
The caveat to this is that you don’t get to pick and choose which experiences come to you and which don’t.
But the resulting wisdom and insight you get from your life experiences have no price tag. There are endless things that can come from these moments. You can teach someone something you learned. You can write about your life. You become stronger and smarter than before.
The best and most valuable life experiences are free.
Who would I be to not include the concept of time in an article about invaluable things you can’t buy with money?
No amount of money can twist time and turn the clock back.
Howard Stark got the memo.
I’m not just talking about going back to the past either. I’m also talking about time that is not yet spent.
Your total pool of time that you have in your life is only ever deducted from. This isn’t a savings account you can just deposit seconds into.
This is also made more serious when you understand that you have no idea when your time will run out. It could be 10 years from now, 5 years, 1 year, or tomorrow.
Money comes and goes. People’s feelings for you come and go. Your life experiences come and go.
But your time? That only ever leaves. It never comes.
Well actually, when your time comes, let’s hope before then you understood its value.