Aminou Laouali
Découvrez mon Site Personnel

What would you do if money were no object?

This article is originally wrote in English.

In the last week Ali Abdaal’s newsletter, he shared with us (his readers) a magnificent video from Alan Watts on “What would you do if money were no object?”.
This question has clarified my approach to work and living a fulfilling life.
In the article, you’ll probably find out that maybe the direction you’re taking needs a better calibration. By the end of this article, you’ll probably ask yourself: what do I actually want to do with my life?
Have a good read.

The article is based on the famous philosopher Alan Watts.
A few questions strike as deeply at the root of human existence and societal norms as Alan Watts’ famous saying: “What would you do if money were no object?”.
British philosopher, writer, and speaker, Watts challenged the foundations of Western society’s work ethic and the true meaning of personal fulfillment. This article explores the profound implications of his lecture, delivered in the 1960s, a time of significant social and cultural upheaval, and its relevance in today’s world.

The concept of money and work

Money is a long-standing determinant of success in our nowadays life. People come to define their fulfillment in life with the money their making. In that process, they sacrifice sometimes their enjoyment. Alan Watts recognized the paradox of this concept, noting that many people live inauthentic lives, sacrificing passion and personal satisfaction for financial security. “They’re doing things they don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, to go on doing things they don’t like doing,” Watts explained. This vicious cycle makes us ask ourselves: Are monetary pursuits cost us true happiness?

The Hypothetical World Without Monetary Constraints

Imagine if you don’t have to worry about money again. Would you love what you’re doing or willing to do?
Just imagine it. Take 1 or 2 minutes.
I know you’ll say ” I would love to but it’s not pos….”, just do it, please.

If you’ve really done it, you’ll come to the fact that some choices (with money determining) bring you to what you’re doing now. You clearly know what you love doing and are good at.
If financial pressure were removed, would there be a surge of artists, philanthropists, researchers, or explorers?

I’m hearing you: “Yes, perhaps I love doing other things, that will make my life more smooth, but I can’t just do as if I don’t need money..”.

Barriers and Freedoms:

Yet, barriers, both internal and societal, inhibit this idealistic pursuit. Fear of poverty, social alienation, or perceived irresponsibility often deters people. Watts argued that true freedom lies in the courage to act on one’s desires: “And after all if you do really like what you’re doing…you can eventually become a master of it.”

“I’m always ‘working.’ It looks like work to them, but it feels like play to me. That way, it’s clearly not possible to win over me.” — Naval Ravikant on the #1309 Episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.

Let me ask you a question: Are there some people who are living their lives doing what you love doing?
Take a break.
If these people are doing it, what will be your barriers?

Personal Critical Thinking

I have a quote that has defined me since 2021: “Life is all about perceptions.” Everybody sees life as they intended to. My idea with that article is, even if it can be arrogant, to prevent people from betting on a less happy and meaningful life by choosing the pursuit of money.

Earlier this year, I had to make a decision about going to a certain country, living there, and working there. It was before I came across Alan Watts lectures, but it feels like I did.
I asked myself why ? And then why ? And then…

My goal was to find clearly what I wanted out of my Life. Do I need to constrain myself to another geographical position to achieve what I want?

As Warren Buffet said, “Write your obituary and try to figure out how to live up to it”. What do you want to be remembered for? What the 100 Old You would do?

These questions really work for me. I choose what to do with my life from that.
You really don’t need that much money to be happy in your life.
True happiness comes from within.

Thats my take.

Hope that you enjoyed the reading and see you the next time!


The video to Alan Watts Take.

I’ve also done an article on “Career and Aspiration: How to Find Balance?” if you want to check it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *