What Is Money?

Money is a fascinating thing.

Fascinating because many want it when they are barely even able to explain what it is when asked. It is probably the thing that takes a lot of space in your subconscious mind, if not consciously.

Since you, have asked this question my friend, should remember:

Your true wealth is your time and the value you create in that time. Money is just a medium that stores the value you create. You are the master of your life, not money.

I still remember November 2016, standing in long queues of banks and ATMs to withdraw some cash. The time when a sudden demonetization of all the INR notes (Indian Currency-INR) was put in place in a country like India.

In an instant, 90% of the current money supply then was declared worthless. The foremost leader of the great nation announced this from a podium and made it happen with the stroke of a pen sitting in his office without heeding to any wise men. 

Quite a few died of shock. Some fought with each other in the queues they stood. Some died due to the worthlessness of their demonetized money as they couldn’t undergo treatment on time and much more.

Marriages were ended because dowry money was worthless instantly, friends became enemies while fighting over small bank withdraw limits, and other hardships caused.

These things made me ponder.

  • What is this money thing?
  • What is it I am (& everyone around me) is running after?

In this quest, I did dialogues with other people around me. In my previous job, with my friends, and with my family, I spoke with anyone whom I could find.

Do you know what I discovered?

None of them had convincing answers. Nobody knew, what is the very thing for which they all are running and exhausting their lives.

Dozens of conclusion-less conversations without definitive answers have helped me conclude that many never pause to think about this. Alarmingly, this is unintentional because all of our lives we think about earning money but never talk enough about what it is in the first place?

We are too busy winning bread for our family and earning for the future. We don’t have time to contemplate all this.

Many work hard for it and apply themselves assiduously day after day so they can live in peace and prosperity. Money is not the actual goods and services you want, but you want it to have the goods and services you want to have via it. It is also a tool where you capture the value you generated for yourself or others by working on something or building something.

Think of it like electricity and battery.

Electricity is generated in thermal houses or in nuclear plants, which can be even captured in batteries. These batteries can be used again to unleash electricity as per the need. Money does the same by being a medium of exchange and a tool to transfer value. But money has its value because you have given it and by itself it is worthless.

Some might think to have money is to have a life. This far from the truth. But the fact is the majority if not all work for ‘Money,’ to have things in life. This isn’t bad, but money isn’t life. It is a part of it.

Money is important but not more important than life itself. Not important than your family, your friends, your health, and yourself. Nothing is worse than giving-up or compromising your friends, family, or health for money. It is like shortchanging your life for something less valuable.

Don’t ever forget, YOU live your LIFE and is not the other way round where MONEY lives your LIFE.

By no means, I suggest, money is evil.

But ‘Money shouldn’t be more than what it deserves to be, but neither should it be less than what it must be i.e., just a medium of exchange and a tool of value transfer.’

Once you understand these things about money, you will be able to unleash your full potential, arrive at your purpose, increase your productivity and sharpen focus. You will end up earning even more money by engaging in whatever you are already doing, or would like to do.

This is the experience I have had after having those conversations and leaving my job three years ago to go on a journey of exploring monetary history.

India’s example I gave might look counter-intuitive. It glorifies the need to have money in each case, but it isn’t like that. In those cases, everyone had enough money, but it was worthless.

Each case could have been solved by just having the right type of money in place, and Yes, there are different types of it. If you don’t know, there is hard money and soft money- the two major types.

In the interest of time, I will stop here and save that explanation for another day by saying, ” Money is a means, not an end itself. So treat it like one, not more or not less” !!

If you would like to read more stuff like this, follow me on Twitter @sudhirkhatwani !!

Sudhir Khatwani

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