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Why Making Money Shouldn't Be Your Only Goal in Life

"Money can’t buy happiness." We've all heard this sentence (and others like it) countless times before, seen it printed on motivational posters and ascribed to various celebrities and philosophers. But do any of us truly, genuinely believe it?

For most people, the answer is a resounding no. In simple and obvious ways, we all need money for everything from fulfilling basic needs necessary for survival to making our wildest dreams come true. 

But making money should not be the one overarching goal in life, overshadowing everything else we have going on.

Money is a means to an end

When most people visualize a seven-, eight- or even nine-figure net worth, they aren’t thinking of the money itself: The real value of money is what you can do with it. In truth, money itself is rarely the end goal.

We need money to make many of our objectives a reality. Whether these objectives are of the real estate kind, material goods, or experiences — like travelling the world — money is going to be a necessary factor for making them happen.

When people talk of money being a means to an end rather than an end goal, this is the underlying idea. We shouldn’t be focusing solely on the act of making profits, but also on using these assets to shape our lives and others in ways that make us happier and more fulfilled. Making a large amount of money takes an enormous amount of effort for most of us – but doing so with a specific intention in mind will make the road to achieving our goals more fulfilling.

Life is short

It’s a cliché, but we all know it’s true. Though we do our best to ignore it, the truth is that our lives could be cut short at any moment, as could those of our loved ones.

It’s important to have goals in life and plans for the future, money-related or otherwise, but this can’t prevent us from living in the present. Not all dreams and goals have to be set somewhere far off in the distant future for "when I’m rich," "when I’m CEO" or "when I’ve retired." Setting the goal of enjoying the present on your way to the future won’t distract you from working towards what you want to achieve.

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