If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. – Henry Ford
What does that mean?
This is another Twitter-friendly short quote. The full quote is : “If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.”
What is this? A rich industrialist stating that money won’t bring you independence? What’s next, will he declare that you can’t buy happiness?
All kidding aside, it makes sense when you think about it. If you are relying on money for independence, you have instead become dependent on money, haven’t you? No matter how much money you have, you will run out of it eventually. And if money is your only hope for independence, it will only last for as long as the money lasts.
Why is money important?
Money is what makes the world go around. It is the medium of exchange for goods and services. It is possible to live without money, but it’s not an easy road. That makes a modest amount of money pretty much a necessity.
Some will take the need for money to it’s inevetable conclusion and make it an obsecession. This is, as with most (if not all) obsessions, not a good idea. The proper course, in my opinion, is to find a balance. Enough money to get what you need and a few things you don’t really need, but no more.
The dollar amount will differ for each person, but it is an actual number. If you do a monthly budget, you probably can come up with that number in less than half an hour, right? If you’re making “too much,” you can always take the “excess” and invest, save, or give to charity.
Where can I apply this in my life?
No one can tell you how much money you need, and how much is too much. Do you want to drive an old Chevette for the rest of your life, or is there a BMW or Mercedes in your future? These cars will take different amounts of annual income to purchase and support them.
Only you can determine what your requirements are, and they will change as your life changes. A single guy in an apartment has different financial needs than a couple with young children. It will be different when that same couple’s kids are teens or college bound. It will be different again when they are ’empty nest’ types and change again when they retire.
The other portion of the quote talks about independence. Money helps, but it cannot do it all. Independence requires you to be able to do things on your own. You need the mental independence to make your own decisions and deal with the resulting consequences. You need to have the spiritual independence to know, deep inside of yourself, what is right and what is wrong. You need a level of physical independence, even if it involves a chair, a walker or an oxygen tank, you still can get around and do things.
How do you define independence today? How will that change between now and when you retire? What kind of person will you need to become to be independent now? How will that change over the years as you approach retirement? And, yes, we need to ask; how much money will you need to get together to afford to live as you would like to when you retire?
If you are in lousy physical shape at middle age, what kind of shape are you going to be in when you get to be old? When would be a good time to start taking responsibility for your future physical independence?
How are your mental faculties? Can you make a decision and be clear about the consequences? Can you think past square one and see how the dominoes fall? You can’t be truly independent if you delegate all of your decisions to your staff. How accurate is your moral compass? Do you know what you want to do and are you feeling good about how your decisions will impact others?
What else is important to you to be an independent person? This is an open question, and we each will add a little something based on our own life experiences, and stories told by aunts, uncles and grandparents about how rough things were back in the old days. Note: None of this precludes you having a partner, but your partner will also have to be all that they can be as well.
The extended version of the quote includes “knowledge, experience, and ability” as aspects of independence. Knowledge is something that once you attain it, it is yours for life. Knowledge can help get you work and keep you out of trouble. Experience is also something that once you have it, it’s yours for life, and is useful like knowledge. Ability, presumably the ability to perform a task, is another life-long skill, which can be the equal of knowledge and experience.
That’s a lot to think about, and it’s a bunch of very personal decisions to make. Make some decisions now, and understand that things will change as time goes by. Don’t wait, do something now, start improving and start becoming the person you need to become to be truly independent.
In short, money isn’t everything. While I haven’t been at too many death beds, I don’t think too many people say as their final words that they wish they’d earned another million dollars. Become an independent person, become a complete person. Leave the world with few regrets, and live your life with passion.
From: Twitter, @motivatquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/henryford127570.html
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