Here at the CCC we like to talk about money.
Money this, money that, save your money, invest your money, and make money doing what you love. But all this money talk begs the question,
“Is that all there is to life?”
Valuing family and relationships versus valuing money
If I was going to write a cliched article about valuing money versus relationships, I’d say that of course you should value relationships over money because money can never love you back.
But writing an article about valuing people over greenbacks would be boring and frankly, not worth your time. And I intend to make this worth your time.
So instead of hypnotizing you with a cliched lesson, I’ll challenge you to dig deeper into this topic with this question.
Can you put a price on family?
Most of us would say no to that question. Without thinking, we auto-respond with a brash, “No.Family is a priceless part of a person’s life.”
And we aren’t wrong. We are most decidedly not wrong because relationships never run on sale and you can never really replace them.
Ok, we all agree. Relationships are priceless.
So how in the world can you compare relationships to money? That’s apples and oranges, right?
Well, no, not really. Relationships and money are highly interactive. Your family costs you money, and if you’re not careful, money will cost you your family.
This brings me to the main point. Cost. How do you measure cost when it comes to money vs. relationships?
We’ve gotten in such a habit of measuring cost in dollars that it seems nearly impossible to compare relationships and money.But there is a unit of measurement that is common to both relationships and money. That measurement is time.
You can determine how much value you place on something by how much time you allocate toward it.
Now, if I were still writing that cliched article, I would say it was simple. The more time you allocate to something, the more you value it. If you spend twice as much time with people than you do making money, then you value relationships more and vice versa.
But I don’t think that’s quite it either.
Saying “the more time you allocate, the more you value it,” is catchy. That’s why it’s a cliche. But I don’t think it’s that simple. This cliche operates under the assumption that all people are made the same, when in reality the fact remains; everyone has different needs.
The extrovert needs time with people more than time reading books. The introvert needs more time learning and thinking than being with friends and family. The ambivert needs a complicated amount of each that might vary on a daily basis.
So you can’t say across the board someone values something over something else based solely on how much time they allocate towards it without taking into account their level of need.
See what I mean? Complicated.
So, to simplify matters, let’s break it down to two very simplistic statements.
First, time measures everything.
Second, and here’s the kicker, it’s our duty to allocate our time according to our goals.
So, look at where you are allocating your time and see if you’re happy with it. If you spend more time working toward the money category (say a career, making more money, investing money, etc) and that’s what you meant to do. Then great. Good for you.
Even though that wouldn’t make everyone happy, it’s very likely that you, as an introverted or ambiverted individual are very happy with a higher money to relationships ratio.
Whoa whoa whoa, Vanessa. Hold the phone.
Some of you are getting huffy with me right about now.
You’re upset because, “ Hey! Vanessa! It is a tragedy to not spend a lot of time with the loved ones in your life!”
I beg to differ.
I think the only tragedy is allocating your time in ways that don’t get you where you need to go.
“But, what about the dad that spends his whole life climbing the corporate ladder to get to the end and realize he doesn’t even know his kids and he missed their whole life” you say.
Well, yeah, that’s a tragedy because what that father clearly wanted was intimate relationships with his family.
But that’s an anecdotal example. It’s one instance that gets a lot of attention, because it pulls at the heartstrings and brings tears to our eyes and Hallmark may or may not have made a few movies based on this premise.
But it’s not the norm, and therefore you shouldn’t let the idea that spending more time with people will make you happier. Maybe it will for you, but that’s most definitely not the point.
The point is that you should evaluate your own life by taking a second to see how much time you are allocating to each category. Don’t feel guilty if you spend more time working toward the money category if that is what you meant to do and it is working for you.
If you are that dad or mom that would rather spend 8 hours at home with your family than 8 hours at work building a career that exhausts and stresses you, then get out! It is possible. People do it everyday, and it’s high time you take a piece of it.
And if you are that mom or dad or not even a parent at all and you realize that spending too much time with people is keeping you from realizing your dreams and potential, then learn to say no. Focus your time and energy toward something that will be fulfilling and worthwhile. It’s time you stopped feeling guilty for missing great aunt Sarah’s 87th birthday and started feeling awesome for knocking out 3 chapters of the book you’re writing instead.
So, whether or not you value family and friends or money more, just know that the only tragedy is getting to the end of your life and realizing that you never allocated your time the way you meant to.