Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Working for Free

Every once in a while, there comes a moment, when I wish I had a bigger house, a larger car, and essentially, more money in the bank.. There's no guarantee when that moment will come, but it does.. You could say, that it has started to come with a frequency that is more regular than what I am comfortable with. 

I don't know what the driver for this is. My hypothesis is that it is essentially my mind conscience asking if I would still be doing what I was doing, if there was no money involved.. Or to put it in a different way, would I be doing what I am doing, if it were for free?

I really don't know the answer. I enjoy what I do for a living, but yeah, the money is good. Is it something that I would do if I had to do it for free? I don't know. I think that I would, but I really don't know and that is probably the best way to put it. I also get the feeling that I am not alone in this "quest" since I see a lot of people - all, incidentally, the same age or thereabouts as me - doing a lot of things that they probably wouldn't do if they had to do it for free.

Anyway, all this thought in my head can be very distracting at times. It's not something I particularly enjoy or anything, There are definitely times, when I start berating myself for not being more money conscious. This is especially true when I see / hear of people who have large amounts of money spare to invest in some non-sensical (in my mind, at least) scheme which guarantees more returns.. Maybe its my conservative mind which wonders how much money would these folks have available, that they can "play" with large sums (10-12  Lakhs is a big deal, IMHO). I mean, what use is a fucking Stanford degree if you can't be rich??

But then when I think about it, I realize that some folks take the elevators and some take the stairs, and those who take the stairs tend to be a bit fitter. I don't know if that is true, but hey, those are my sour grapes :)

So imagine my intrigue when I landed on two different links from two different sources on this topic. Both these individuals are pioneers (at least in my mind) in their field - coincidentally the same field of investing - and both came up with different perspectives on how to approach this topic. Sanjay Bakshi, - the legendary fund manager, teacher and one of the good guys in life - linked to a long post on how the philosophies of his life have evolved and how he has essentially moved to a life where he is not working for the money. Deepak Shenoy - Founder, Capital Mind - had a fantastic post on his "FY quotient" on how much money he would need to live a life of luxury for the rest of his life, without doing much and essentially Fuck You" to life. (I cannot find a link to the post right now, and I shall update as soon as find it, but I trust his opinion, and can definitely say that I am nowhere near living the FY life, since I don't have anything close 15 crores anywhere).

Essentially, what both those articles brought to me, that there comes a point, where the enjoyment of what you're doing takes over and the money doesn't matter. It does require a certain amount of financial security, and the more I think of it, I am probably close - not quite there, but close. There is a roof on top of my head, there is a nest egg that's being developed and all in all it's not so bad.. Also, one factor, which is somewhat inspiring / motivating is that these fine gentlemen were in a similar situation as I, when they were my age.

To cut a long story short, there's hope..

Joe Heller  True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!"
--Kurt Vonnegut
The New Yorker, May 16th, 2005

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