Alan Watts – What if money was no object?


What do you desire?

What makes you itch?

What sort of a situation would you like?

Let’s suppose I do this often in vocational guidance of students. They come to me and say, “Well, err, we’re getting out of college and we haven’t the faintest idea of what we want to do.”

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 a 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 everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way.” Or another person says “well I’d like to live an out of doors life and ride horses.” I say “do you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it, what do you want?”

When we finally get down to it, to something the individual really wants to do, I will say to him, “You do that. And, err, 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 what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually become a master of it. The only way to become a master of something is to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much, somebody’s interested in everything, and anything you can be interested in you’ll find others, 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 or doing things you don’t like and to teach your children to follow the same track.

See what we’re doing is we’re bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we’re living, in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same sorts of things so it’s all wretch and no vomit, it never gets there!

So, therefore it’s so important to consider this question – what do I desire?
Alan Watts