Meaning Trumps Money

Meaning trumps money. If you don’t believe me, watch:

I can make you a billionaire right now. The only catch is that you are forbidden from ever speaking to your friends or family ever again.

Would you do it?

I can make you a billionaire right now. The only catch is that every book, film, and song in the world would immediately cease to exist.

Would you do it?

I can make you a billionaire right now. The only catch is that you’re not allowed to laugh ever again.

Would you do it?

Meaning trumps money.


It’s not that money is irrelevant. As Earl Nightingale once said “Nothing can take the place of money in the arena that it works.” He was right. Where it is the best thing for the job, it truly is the best thing for the job. It just sucks at literally everything else.

You know how people get into relationships because they have some idea in their head of who they might one day be able to change the other person into? And you know how that is every single time a doomed venture? This is the same thing.

Just as people must be accepted for what they truly are – rather than what you think they could one day be – so too must money be accepted for what it is, and what it can do.

And what’s something it cannot do? Give your life meaning. Oh, it can help you to more fully express meaning that’s already there. But it cannot give meaning in and of itself. Ask Jay Gatsby. The failure to grasp this simple truth is responsible for the misery of both the rich and the poor.

Most of the time, you don’t have to choose between money and meaning. But on the rare occasions when you do, choose meaning.

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