Is it more important to make a lot of money or to learn a lot of skills? Should you spend your lifetime building wealth or building a library of books?
Recently, I've been studying the whole concept of money. It's interesting to see how currency used to work in ancient times and how they work right now, and the one thing I've realized is that currency of today has absolutely NO value in itself. Yes, the piece of green paper that you get from the ATM is no different from monopoly money: you can't eat it, you can't treat diseases with it, and you can't melt it into something else.
Yet, we slave and slave and slave on our jobs to build up a nest of this currency.
The only reason our green pieces of paper has any meaning at all is because other countries would accept it as a means of payment. We in the United States has what's called "reserve currency status," meaning that we could use it to do business with other countries. But if other countries decide not to accept our currency anymore, then all the goodies we get from these countries would cease. Eventually, our currency would become meaningless. All your retirement savings, pensions, social security, stock investments, and any cash inheritance that you're expecting would be absolutely useless. Some financial experts are calling everybody to transfer their monies into "hard assets" such as gold and silver, two materials that would always be accepted anywhere in the world.
Sounds scary, right? You've put in 30 or more years to build up a savings to live off of, but all those savings could be flushed down the toilet in an instant because the U.S. dollar has no more value. Yes, this means that the billionaires could no longer spend their money, because nobody would accept it. Spending the U.S. dollar would be like using carnival ride tickets to pay bills.
And yes, this means that all the banks would simply be nothing more than museums.
So, should we still spend our lives building up wealth when it could all be devalued at any moment? Or should we spend time learning skills that could take us anywhere in the world?
One time, I bartered my skills with a woman in exchange for her time share! She was looking for a personal trainer, but didn't want to pay the cost for one. Me, I wasn't looking for a time share, but I saw this as an opportunity to give my mother a gift for all the ways she helped me and family. Both my assets and the client's assets were "hard assets" -- that is, they had value in themselves. I could help anybody lose weight, whether or not I get paid for it. The client's time share has given my mother a wonderful experience.
Back in ancient times, there was no "reserve currency." If you wanted something, you needed to trade in something of equal or greater value. What you traded with had to be of value in itself. Gold, silver, copper, precious stones, clothing, spices, salt, etc., were all of value in themselves. A piece of paper being used for currency would have been ridiculous, because you can't wear it, eat it, make a weapon out of it, treat sickness with it, and you can't sacrifice it in any temples. Depending solely on reserve currency in itself would have been seen as risky, if not downright foolish.
Back in ancient times, there was more importance placed on skills, knowledge, on what you had to offer. If you had nothing to offer, then you would just become a beggar on the street. Today, if all you have is money but no skills, then should that money become worthless, you, too, would just be a beggar on the street.
This is why it's important to focus on SKILLS, not MONEY. Focus on building up your LIBRARY, not your IRA. What you could DO would always be more valuable than what you could PAY.
After reading this far, you need to ask yourself, "How valuable am I? Do I have anything to offer than simply money?" Think about it this way: if you were to lose your job, what skills could you offer that the average person would most likely pay for? Whatever that skill is, then that skill would most likely be valuable in other places in the world.
Back in ancient times, learning two, three, or more languages was incredibly valuable because it allowed you to do business with people of other countries. Also, should you need to flee from your country because of famine, persecution, or political turmoil, then you could easily do so and start making a living right away.
Money is only valuable until it loses value. But skills would always be valuable anywhere you go. Somewhere in the world is a person who needs what you have to offer -- if you have anything to offer. You could live in a house for free and eat all the food that you want if you have skills.
Some of us may look down on them, but maids are highly valuable people. They know how to clean and cook, and some of them may know how to be nannies. Some maids live in places for FREE in exchange for their skills. Just think: they could watch cable, take hot showers, sleep in comfortable beds, and have access to food all in exchange for their housekeeping skills.
What do you have to offer and where could it take you? Money could only take you so far, but when money isn't enough, what would you have left to offer the world?
Don't become so dependent on money that you neglect to learn something useful. It may never happen, but it's always possible for our currency to become "null and void" so that all the numbers in our bank accounts would just be that: numbers. There's even a verse in the Bible that says, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain" (1st Timothy 6:17). Money is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. Everything around us becomes more and more expensive, and it could keep getting this way until money "out-prices" itself. But the skills that you learn would always have meaning, and they would always improve your life. Focus on your hands, not on your debit card.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.