If money wasn't an issue, how would you live?
I don't remember where I first came across this question a few years ago, but it has stumped me ever since.
It's a great question to clarify what you value and find meaningful.
I'm thinking about this today because yesterday I felt like I won a lottery. I won't have any true money worries for the next year or so.
I think of multi-millionaires and billionaires who continue striving to earn more wealth, even though they have more than they could ever use in their lifetime. They could choose to live a comfortable, sedentary life of constant pleasure. But the enjoyment in that is short-lived. A popular image of paradise is lounging on the beach with a margarita. But humans are wired for novelty. That kind of lifestyle would not satisfy for more than a week or two. We crave change. Rather, stimulation. Challenges that put us in the growth zone are optimal.
The 3 buckets of wealth are: money, time, and health.
If money was taken out of the equation, how would I spend my time? Probably maintaining or increasing health. What would it look like if time were taken out of the equation? Being immortal, living for eternity... There are so many stories where this becomes a terrible thing. I don't think so. I think it would be awesome to live forever. The stories tend to focus on how loved ones will pass away. But there will always be opportunities to create new friends. Perhaps the novelty of that could wear you down after awhile. But only if you lack imagination. These characters end up fearing loss and death anyway, for others. But there would be so many novel opportunities opened up if you had immortality.
If health were taken out of the equation, it wouldn't matter how much money or time you have, life would be horrible. But you can't be obsessed with health without becoming disappointed.
I don't know how much my life would change if money truly were no issue. I'd probably still spend a lot of time home alone. I would like to travel more, though currently it's not worth the hassle of quarantine. Jet lag is not fun, and is a health factor. I want to have a family, and there would probably be many women who would want to make one with someone with complete financial security. But that doesn't guarantee love beyond infatuation.
Money can't buy happiness, but it relieves suffering. If you can't afford the basic necessities of life: food, water, shelter, medicine, love, etc. then you won't be happy in a survival, panic mode. Happiness is only possible when there is abundance. It's possible to be happy in poverty if your relationships are meaningful, and are cared for by a community, and feel you contribute in an important way. Joy and desperation don't go together.
If money wasn't an issue, I'd want to seek out and develop amazing relationships. But I'm not exactly sure how to do this. I have the capacity to do this already if I knew how, and pushed through my comfort zone.
I still haven't figured out the kind of positive impact I would want to make on the world that would only be possible if money was not a factor.