Tuesday, June 01, 2010

How To Live Like A Billionaire

So many are obsessed with wealth, but how many know how to spend it?

For years, I've given a simple three word answer to the question, "What would you do if you became a billionaire?"

My response? "Take more naps."

A bit flippant perhaps, but telling. The true value of wealth is freedom. It's up to you to make the most of that freedom.

Today, I spent part of a jog refining my answer. I've decided that there are three things I'd do if I become a billionaire:

1) Get enough sleep to feel well-rested

Sleep is incredibly underrated; a full night's sleep makes me feel like a world-beater. Now imagine that feeling every single day!

2) Get enough exercise to feel healthy

For most of us, exercise is one of the first things to go when work gets busy. But if you were a billionaire, you could make it a priority.

3) Get enough time with your family to feel happy

Whether it's time with a parent, playing with a child, or spending quality time inside and outside the bedroom with your spouse or partner, your family relationships are one of the most important contributors to your happiness.

I would argue that much of the dissatisfaction people feel with their lives comes from being forced to prioritize earning money over these three priorities. A billionaire wouldn't have to.

Then again, do you really need to be a billionaire to get enough sleep, exercise, and enjoy the company of your family?

Maybe, just maybe, you can live like a billionaire right now. Ultimately, it's up to you.


I particularly like what my friend Matt said to me in a Twitter DM:
"Sleep, Exercise, Sex is also How to Live Like a German Shepherd Dog."

Billionaires have a lot to learn from German Shepherds!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Internet is Bigger Than the Lightbulb

The Internet is bigger than the lightbulb, but its effects are subtler (and colored by the massive popularity of porn, Facebook, etc.).

When I was growing up, I had two choices for getting "news". I could read the newspaper each morning (which I did) and I could watch either network or local news on VHF (channels 2-13, for those who remember when TVs had dials).

If I wanted to get a book, I had to convince my mom to drive me to the bookstore or the library.

When I wanted to communicate with someone, I could use the rotary dial telephone or write a physical letter. Calling someone long distance was an unheard-of luxury.

The only people I knew outside of my home town were our relatives.

Now consider the world today.

I can always access the latest news. I don't even need to go to a computer, since my phone provides a conduit to the world.

I can access pretty much any publication in the world for free online. My television has 1,000 channels, and the entire world's collection of video is available online.

When I want a book, I can order it and instantly start reading it on a handheld computer. And more books than in the Library of Alexandria are available for free.

I can talk with anyone in the world at practically zero cost. For example, I have a certain friend who is spending some time in Chile--in my youth, I would have to rely on receiving physical letters via airmail to stay in touch!

I have instant access to the thoughts and life events of hundreds or even thousands of people, and vice versa. I know people from places all over the world.

In terms of access to information, interconnectivity, and the ability to publish to a global audience, I would argue that the Internet is every bit as transformative as the electric lightbulb or internal combustion engine.

(Originally posted as a comment on this Ben Casnocha blog post on the slowing pace of change and innovation)