Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What if Money Was No Object?

So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it’s so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say ‘Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers’ But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way! Another person says ‘Well I’d like to live an out-of-door’s life and ride horses.’ I said ‘You wanna teach in a riding school?’

Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him ‘You do that! And forget the money!’ Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of which you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing it doesnt really matter what it is you can eventually become a master of it. Its the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much, somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others who are.

But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow the same track. See, what we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. So it’s all retch and no vomit it never gets there! And so therefore its so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?

-- Allan Watts 1915 - 1973


  1. THis is awesome. I often ponder many of these questions. And while I do send my kids to school, I want to figure out how to add more value to their lives and thought processes.

    *from UBC*

  2. This is one of my favorite Alan Watts talks. I often wonder how many have listened to it and then took action. It reminds me of this quote from Bruce Lee: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” So concise and equally as powerful as what Alan Watts spoke.