We’ve all heard the saying: “Money makes the world go ‘round.”
Respectfully, Death to Stock disagrees.
Art. Creativity. Love. The pursuit of knowledge. Experiences. Adventure. These are all worth more than a fat bank account to us.
When you move on from this world, you can’t take your credit card wit you. And when you close your eyes at the end of your life you won’t be picturing how much your stocks are worth (but if you do — we won’t judge.)
Do you agree?
What’s worth more than money to you?
I’ve always believed that your actions reflect your beliefs. That if you really want something, you’ll find a way regardless of the cost, the improbability of success, or how many people call you crazy; that in order to truly achieve something great in life, you have to be willing to follow your dreams even when the path is dark and unclear. For some people, it’s harder to find your path than to follow it. But once you’ve chosen what matters to you, you owe it to yourself to pursue it, fight for it,and not let anything stand in your way.
Before I first started traveling back in 2013, I would go visit old college friends in other cities and meet their new friends. We’d engage in small talk, usually the ‘what’s your name, where are you from, what do you do for work,’ etc. At the beginning of the conversation, I could tell that most of the people at the party were only being polite because I was visiting from out of town. They were all recent college graduates and had stable, well-paying jobs (especially for recent grads in a down economy), and when they heard I was ‘between jobs,’ I could see them judge me.
But a funny thing happened once they asked me what my next step was. Once I told them that I’d quit my safe and secure job to go work on a cruise ship in Australia, their judgement turned to disbelief and, sometimes, even admiration. I would constantly get the response, ‘Wow, Todd, I wish I could do that.’ My response each and every time was “You can. You won’t, but you can.” I knew that if it was truly something they wanted to do, they would do it.
So what matters more than money? For some, safety and security matter more than money. For some, money brings them the safety and security they crave. Those aren’t top priorities in my life. Others want love or adventure (getting closer). And even more have no real idea and would just throw out vague ideas. There’s no right answer to this question, which is one reason it’s fun to ask.
It’s not a secret that I’ve lived a different type of life than most people my age. I’ve crossed quite a few things off my bucket list for a 26-year-old. But that’s what happens when at 23, I opted out of the safe corporate track I was on to travel the world and find out who I really was. I spent over two years not having a steady job because it would interfere with the life I wanted to live. So when I read the question, What Matters More Than Money?, I instantly thought I’d spent the last three years answering it.
There are numerous things that matter to me more than having extra commas in my bank account. But the one thing I treasure more than anything else is trying new things. Collecting experiences.
It’s not a secret that I’m less financially secure than my friends who didn’t spend 3 years traveling the world, but when I look back on all the decisions I made during that time, I don’t regret a single one. Because I decided that trying new things and experiencing as much as life had to offer, I was able to find ways to follow that belief even when funds were low, the nights were lonely, and the lodgings were sketchy.
That belief helped me see some of the most wonderful places and meet the most incredible people. It’s lead to my excitement for Burning Man in a few weeks (something I’m equal parts terrified and excited for). It’s lead to my planning a month long trek to Southeast Asia next year for our group. I will never be able to stop the desire to explore different places or see new things, and frankly it’s not something I want to stop. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the past few years on my need to travel and my love of exploration. At the end of it, all I can say is that it’s been money well spent.