You know, there’s a funny thing about the phrase “if money were no object.” Every time I’ve ever heard someone say that, whatever they followed it up with was actually something super realistic that they’d dismissed for some reason that had nothing to do, in reality, with money.
For instance, I’ve never heard someone say “if money were no object, I’d live in a solid gold rocket ship constantly orbiting Mars.” It’s always something like, “if money were no object, I’d open up a deli.”
But… lots of people open up delis. And they aren’t rich when they do it. And then they make a living with it.
Here’s what people are really saying: “If time and effort were no object…”
Money is just the substitute for time and effort. But we don’t like to say that, because then we may have to grapple with the idea that we actually can pursue our dreams, risking failure at something really meaningful to us. That it’s possible to have the life we actually want, but we have to accept that we’re starting today, and not ten years ago.
Those are tougher than they seem. Many people can’t do it. But I promise you this: the thing standing in the way of your dreams absolutely isn’t lack of money. Someone might say, “yes, I’d love to run a little deli. But I wouldn’t make as much money doing that as I do right now with the job I hate. And even though I hate the job, it lets me afford this car, this house, this vacation, etc.”
Maybe that’s the right call for you. I’m not you, I won’t judge. But if a genie appeared right now and offered you the chance, all at once, to swap your current situation – job you hate, but money you like – for running a deli, would you take it? All of life is trade-offs. Maybe you like your vacations more than you would like running a quiet deli, and that’s okay. But make sure that’s the actual decision you’re making, and that you’re not just automatically assuming, as so many of us do, that less money is always automatically bad.
It’s what you actually get that’s important. Money isn’t anything. It’s no object at all.