Route to Joy
A last minute breakfast meeting at Game Developers Conference allowed me to make a new acquaintance while hearing an interesting theory to wealth.
His theory was there are five things you can do with money.
- Earn it
- Save it
- Invest it
- Spend it
- Give it
His theory says that only giving will help one experience true joy. That the other acts will bring fleeting happiness at best. I’ve thought about this a lot.
It is true that when I’ve earned money, I feel satisfaction, but the satisfaction is merely from having a yardstick to a truly satisfying action (aka, creating a great company). I’ve personally never been a skilled at saving. Investing money begets more money, which doesn’t solve the problem of what to do with money. Spending it can buy a lot of nice things. Can things buy joy?
And then there’s the final part of the theory. Giving it. Does that provide any joy more fleeting than the others? Or is giving it just as fleeting and temporary?
Since hearing this theory I’ve been trying to formulate an experiment. Assuming I’ve already earned it, I would then take $1,000×4 and find great ways to save, invest, spend and give it. And then track the joy received each from each action. Would one learn from that experiment? What’s the best way to set up and track it?