Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Rich Enough Not to Waste Time"

"Rich Enough Not to Waste Time"

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing."

- Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987), played by Michael Douglas
Ever since I watched the movie Wall Street seventeen years ago, I've often wondered what Michael Douglas' corporate raider character, Gordon Gekko actually meant by the line "rich enough not to waste time". I had assumed that when you are very rich, you will have all the time in the world to do what you've always wanted to do. You are able to determine how you wish to use your time, instead of having to spend the greater part of your life slaving for others. Was that what he meant?

Or could it be that, if you are a "player", your time is money--not one second is to be wasted anymore. Whilst the rest of the ignorant masses spend all their waking hours buried in the drudgery of work and barely eking out a mediocre living, the very rich knows how to make use of their time with great effect and economy: using money to make more money and investing (never spending) time on things that bring real returns. Time is precious. Time is money.

I don't want to rehash my rather unconventional view about money. Anyone who is willing to work, makes money. Some earn more, some earn less. If you earn less, you just make do with less. If you want to earn more, you'll have to challenge yourself a bit more--work harder and venture out from your comfort zone.

Of course there are people who become rich due to luck. To me, everyone gets their fair share of good and bad luck. Those who prosper know exactly how to take maximum advantage of the luck that comes their way. It is like sailing in the ocean--if the winds and currents are favourable, you ride on it. A good navigator is always on a lookout for favourable conditions. You must be prepared to take advantage of it. Which is why people always say, you make your own luck.

Making money is a given. Everyone makes money. Just that, making a lot of money requires something more: skill, hardwork and luck. To a certain extent, we can strive to improve on all these aspects. But still money alone does not ennoble one's soul. You are not born into this world to make money. You are born to do what you are supposed to do--discovering your Personal Legend. Money is just a side-effect.

We are all born naked, with nothing, except our God-given skills, energy and time. Yes, an entire lifetime. No one should be wasting time. To do so is to impoverish oneself of one's greatest asset. Use it wisely. Use it creatively. You might not turn out to be a rich person at the end of your lifetime, but a least, if you had use your time wisely, your soul will be enriched. And to me, that matters more than all the riches in the world.

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