Time has Much More Value than Money


value of time

Value of time …

Many of us misunderstand the true value of time. A good friend forwarded this email to me a while back. I decided to post it here as it definitely helps to keep things in perspective. You gotta read this and please let me know what you think in the comments area below.

Establishing the true value of time …

———- Forwarded message ———-

The best advice I ever got:

I had 2000 dollars saved, and was trying to choose between a surf trip to Bali, and a piece of land on the Big Island (of Hawaii) for which the seller had agreed to take my money as down payment. I called my friend, a gypsy traveler who had made it big in real estate. “If I buy this land now, I will be way ahead of the game when I am older” I reasoned…

“How old are you?” He asked. “20” I said.

“Man…. There are a million ways to make money in the world. GO SURFING”.

Since then, Ive had many amazing years of travel, and living outside the social norm. I have come to the conclusion that far too much emphasis is put on money in today’s world. That the real treasures of life are mostly things that don’t cost a thing: Freedom, adventures and the TIME to experience them.

Time has much more value than money. Strange then that we trade our time for money, is it not? 

The error is in the belief that more money will buy one even greater time…  But it rarely does. I put it to you that the more you have, the more you are slave to what you have.  Just ask my millionaire boss.

Sure, money can buy you a gold plated ipod, a new Beamer, a country club membership, but these are just distractions, aren’t they?

Comfort is not the same as happiness.

We should realize that all dreams have a common thread- time:  When I just get enough time, I’m going to…  After just one more thousand…

But as Sterling Hayden Once observed: “To be truly rewarding, a voyage, like a life, must be based on a firm foundation of financial unrest… Which shall it be, bankruptcy of purse, or bankruptcy of spirit?”

As a direct result of my refusing to buy into the normal 9-5 work system, I have had the kind of experiences  most people would give their life’s fortune for.

My value of time is different to most …

Many people have wondered how I could ‘afford’ to travel all these years- (he must be doing something illegal)… But in response, I ask, “how can you afford to stay at home”?  What with the rent, the car payment, the cable T.V. the bag of weed and a twelve pack each week… Heck, Im SAVING money by being a rolling stone, I don’t know how the rest of you do it. Im serious.

But, differences in lifestyle aside, the real gem here is the perspective shift.

The focus should never be on the money, but rather the things money could achieve. Once you see clearly that money is just a means to an end, but not the end itself, a whole world of possibility opens up, and a great weight is lifted: Money is only an obstacle, a waypoint, on the path to the real goal. It’s a distraction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the surest path to your dreams is always a direct one.

I learned early that to make a journey happen, all I really had to do was buy the ticket. Even if I didn’t have the rest of the money, there is magic in decision. Just buy the ticket, and all else will fall into place.  I was so sure of this basic principle- a universal secret- that I bought my first boat on credit cards.

Disclaimer: You must have a plan, and not just blind faith. You can’t just run off around the world with no plan to pay it back. But a loose outline and a bit of self discipline is usually all it takes.

I could have taken the long road: Saving money each year until I thought I had enough. But Id still be there, Im quite sure of it. Instead, a bit of work in exotic places like Taiwan, and Fiji, kept me floating until Australia, where I sold the boat and paid my debts.

5 years in the blue Pacific, and not a penny to show for it, but memories to rival the greatest treasure.

So it is with great trepidation that I now find myself invested in a house, and holding down a “real” job. At nearly 40, perhaps I can be forgiven a bit of nesting instinct- the desire to have an even better quality of life.

Few would question a man’s God given right to own his own home, right? Even the freest spirits would admit a need for balance- one cannot live on rice and beans forever. Moreover, no one would pity me for my job, sailing around the world and getting paid.

But that is exactly what I am questioning. Do we really need these things?

With 6 billion people in the world, are we ALL entitled to our second home in the Hamptons? How many cars is enough? How much money is enough? Isn’t the dream job, still just a job?

What are our highest intentions? Is it the dream job, or the dream itself?

For me the answer is still time. Freedom and time. Sure, some of life’s greatest rewards come from commitment- relationships, family, even your job… But let us be very clear about the fine balance we must keep.  

In everyday life you will find that your boss, your lover, or your government often try to manipulate you. They propose a “game” in the form of a choice in which one of the alternatives appears definitely preferable. Having chosen this alternative, you are faced with a new game, and very soon you find that your reasonable choices have brought you to something you never wanted: you are trapped. To avoid this, remember that acting a bit erratically may be the best strategy. What you lose by making sub-optimal choices you make up for by keeping greater freedom.”  – David Ruelle, Chance and Chaos.

Again- you cannot run off around the world with no plan to pay it back. But a little planning goes a long way. The scales are already so greatly imbalanced in ways that will trap you in the system, one must give extra spontaneity to tipping them back.

From the mainstream, these kinds of actions- quitting  your job, buying a boat, going surfing- may seem erratic, even irresponsible. But from where I am standing, they seem like some of the sanest options available.

I was recently in Cuba, one of the poorest countries, yet with some of the happiest people.

Ever notice that often the less people have, the happier they are? Why is that? Perhaps it is true that “Freedom is just another word for ‘nothing left to lose”. 

Sadly, every Cuban aspires to move to Miami, the asphalt land of the “free”. Meanwhile, most freeway numb people in Miami only dream to feel as alive as a Cuban…

There is a high spiritual price to pay for financial gain, pretty much across the board, yet we all rush headlong into it regardless. We are convinced that we will be the exception. “Not me, I’ll be different. Come on lucky number 7!”…

In Cuba I met a French sailor, an anarchist, who believes that the “lack of system is the only viable system”… That accepting pre determined roles and bench marks sets any system up for eventual crash. That making ones own definition of “success” is the only real success, and that once enough people live outside the system, the system will dissolve, peacefully and without fanfare.

And he is right. Don’t hurt anybody, but be yourself. The rest will take care of itself.

I’ve got a house and a job, for now, but I will not be a slave to these transient things. This dream job is still just a job, after all. There are million ways to make money in the world. Money is not a good bench-mark for success.

Life is grand and far from over. Im going surfing.


Do you appreciate the value of time? How does time, freedom and material possessions rate on your personal scale? Let me know in the comments below!

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. DylanC

    What you say is true. Almost like what is described in 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. The most important thing I have found is to strategize and free up your time.


  2. Devinder Pal Singh

    Chris, which you posted in this wall Freedom And Time. It saying that today i am free from all my problems. and this time to live happily and free without disturbing any person. Happy movement never came again but the sadist time always came day to day life. when you are free from your job or are u have an holiday so please live your live happy because here your boss or company employe is not person thank uuu


  3. Adediji Aderemi Kamoru

    Chris, your team is womderful. The awareness of comparison of time and cash is taken very minor by greater percentage of global population. The key aspect is that money wasted in one form can be regained in another form but, time wasted cannot be regained.


  4. Johnson

    How do you mean, Ahmet?


  5. Ahmet

    So true we are all a slave to money and material possessions, most people equate money and wealth with security, the successful often become enslaved to their business having little or no time for their partners or families, the trick is how to get out of a system that keeps you from living your life on your terms. Great article thanks for sharing.


  6. Johnson Abiodun

    That’s true, my friend… keep it up!


  7. david

    Chris, this is very, very true. Time on this world is short and everyone is sort of ‘running out’. If we spend all of our time persuing money, what will we have in the end?

    Good that you have some memories that make you happy.


  8. Bruce

    Great story. Make me want to make some changes. I have worked to hard to have what I still have which isn’t much now. But do find that I am much happier without all the really nice things I used to have. I have been in construction most my life and have nothing to really so for it. Good reading.

    Thanks Chris


  9. Jason

    “I learned early that to make a journey happen, all I really had to do was buy the ticket. Even if I didn’t have the rest of the money, there is magic in decision. Just buy the ticket, and all else will fall into place.”

    These are words I live by! Everyone that knows me thinks I’m “crazy” or even irresponsible but they love to hear my stories. I see their blind slavery to the system and know who’s really crazy. It’s as if people subconsciously expect that they will live forever when it’s quite the opposite. In their calculations, they NEVER include the value of their time. I told a “successful” workaholic friend of mine that he’s going to be buried like King Tut when he dies because he has no time to enjoy his money. Die broke I say!


  10. Kenney

    i LOVE my time & freedom that the Internet, Info Products, and learning how to market has provided for me.

    The way I market my products has adjusted over the years as new players have come & gone, but the core methods have stayed the same: build an audience I can reach through email or direct mail, get to know them as best I can (even individually), and occasionally offer them something of extreme value that will hopefully have an extreme positive effect on their life (info product usually). I have two products now… A membership site where I create all the info and a product that I licensed.

    But I don’t do it for the money… I know that this sounds weird.

    For me… I’ve learned that If I have to do something purely for money, I have like ADD… Lol… I have NO motivation for it if I can’t get anything out of it besides money (i.e. laughter, humor, entertainment, life changing for me or someone)

    For me I have learned that MONEY is a result of “solving a particular problem for someone”. I learned that from a guy named Mike Murdock who teaches wisdom principles of life…

    Anyhoo, when I started solving problems that I felt where associated to my “assignment” so to speak… That’s when work, business, and life just “worked itself out”. It’s tough mentally at first if you don’t have money or freedom because that is all that you can think about… how to get it. And that causes all kinds of problems.

    OMG, this was a loooog comment, sorry. Just got on a tangent… Lol

    Well, thanks for this post Chris…

    Kenney, over and out ;)


  11. Chris

    This post came at the perfect time for me; Hassles at my job(which doesn’t even pay that much) and all the mental energy it drains from me. Then, I had a dream last night that said:”Be your authentic self…”
    So that was going through my head upon awakening…then I open my email to this post.
    I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I’m going to stay with it until i know. A change is in the works.

    Thanks so much


  12. Jairo

    Beautiful, I completely agree with you. Thank you for such excellent insight.


  13. Grace Hull

    I am so glad that someone is enjoying life to the fullest!! Most people are bound with big mortgages, car payments etc… Just as you have said…. I run my charity work in Australia, through the death of my Mum in 2002 in PNG. I was only going to help my vakuta Island people and my family, but the need of other rural areas in PNG is at large…..so I am spreading my wings to help them too! My grass root charity had shipped 4 20ft containers to rural PNG and now loading one for Manus Island people. I have no sponsores!! We do our own fundraising and Faith in God, for the rest of the income for shipping cost. ($6,000.00) I travel to PNG when needed, and I pay my own way, my grass root charity does NOT pay me, or pay my fares or accommodation. My motto is, IF I HAVE A DOLLAR, I AM A MILLIONAIRE!! ALL Money raise for the charity is for the charity projects and I live by faith and my casual job, if I get a call in to work, if I am lucky…….the rest of my time spent on collecting used stuff and packing ready to ship to PNG, for Hospitals, Schools, Mother’s & Babies, Youths, villages, Churches etc… I just book my tickets when I find the cheap fare and pay through my credit card…..but have kept my eye on paying it off before the 55 days is up!!! CONGRATULATIONS FOR SHARING YOUR WORLD….FREEDOM!! Google, Grace Hull Vakuta for more details about my grass root charity work. Anyone wishing to donate a Dollar for my grass root charity called; VAKUTA PNG HELP GROUP AUSTRALIA INC. You are most welcome!! IF I HAVE A DOLLAR I AM A MILLIONAIRE!! That is my motto for life.


  14. Donald

    Thanks for the posting!

    I’ve never had much money, and spent way too much time working. That is until several years ago, faced with bankruptcy, I found that money and stuff are not what matters. Now, I still don’t have a lot of money, and most of my stuff is old and worn, but functional. I do however go out to see concerts and meet people on a regular basis (so much so that the club owners know me and wonder what happened when I miss a few shows) . Always a new experience to be had, new band to discover, new music to hear! I may not be a world traveler, but with the international music scene, the world comes to me!


  15. Marvin

    Good choice. Be a free spirit and enjoy life. You can always get a Job later.


  16. Ellen

    Thanks Chris… I really appreciate the wisdom in this post. Maholo…


  17. Jaylin

    Phennmeoal breakdown of the topic, you should write for me too!


  18. Gauher

    Awesome article Chris. Thanks for posting. Sounds like you have lived your life the way the article states! Enjoy your surfing.



  19. gayle mcdonald

    Hi Chris,
    Loved this article! Part of my motivation for doing IM is to create
    time for expressing my creativity. In the past I have lived somewhat of a dream life doing what I loved but not making enough money and now faced with not being able to continue that way, I am needing more money to get off the hamster wheel. I do live simply but I love to have beauty around me and sometimes that is more expensive. Feeling freedom is the most wonderful feeling. Thanks for the share.


  20. Ravindra

    Hello Chris,

    It’s true that money is not everything but it’s also true that you need money for everything. What it takes to travel across the world if at all I decide to and I know I can’t.

    Nice article though and I am am glad to see you happy and busy with your traveling. Keep it up.



  21. Dipen

    I have learned a lot from you on the internet marketing and Currently I am on my way to freedom. I already have left my job and started a small business working daily 4 hours, which pays me way more than my old job. and I am also enjoying more time with my family. I am working on couple of projects which will take around 3-4 months to complete and then I will just have to work 1-2 hour daily on the internet with pc/laptop/ipad/iphone/smart phone whatever . Thanks, for all the help you have provided :)


  22. Chris Carpenter

    Thanks for your comment Dipen! And congratulations on breaking free!


  23. Mike Highstead

    Thanks Chris.

    Have you considered that energy is even more valuable than time?

    What are some ways that you personally manage your Mental, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual or Financial energy?



  24. Chris Carpenter

    Hi Mike, That is a great point that I did not consider as everything comes from energy, does it not?
    To manage my energy I regularly practice yoga and meditation. I also try to eat really healthy and drink lots of water. I also do fitness training 3 times a week on top of surfing, biking, and all the other outdoor activities I love doing. And I also take rest days where I do very little physical activity and spend lots of time reading and just relaxing and spending time with our 1 and a half year old daughter. People always tell me that I have a ridiculous amount of energy. I think it comes from being really motivated to do stuff and also balancing activities with rest and relaxation.
    What about you Mike and others? How do you manage your energy?


  25. Mike Highstead

    Great answers Chris!

    You sound totally aligned, in tune, in love and in harmony with Nature and your highest power.

    I have 4 daily rituals – 4 things I practice every week day for each of the 5 categories that I mentioned. And then at the end of the day, I give myself a score out of 100. I find doing this is a fun way to stay focused and more effective on the the things I value most.

    For example, for my Physical Energy, I score myself on a scale of 0 to 5 for eating, exercise, rest and hydration. Then total it of 20. Same as the other four areas.

    Might sound like a lot of work, but it actually takes only a couple of minutes and keeps me feeling awesome and effective throughout the day!


  26. Chris Carpenter

    That sounds really cool Mike!

    Usually at the end of my work session I will plan out my 3 most important tasks to complete during my next work session. At night I will plan out a soft schedule for my next day.

    I really like your idea of breaking everything up into categories and having rituals for each. It’s like systematizing your business only you do it for your self. Then you can score yourself on how well you did the particular ritual (system).


  27. Mike Highstead

    Exactly! I find it really helps me both personally and professionally. I started using this strategy many years ago when I was a coach with Tony Robbins.

    And as Kenney pointed out below, in their book The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz offer a detailed view of how to shift from Time Management to Energy Management.

    But Chris now I’m really curious. I have an established private practice that delivers massive value to my niche, but I have yet to systematize my marketing efforts to the point where I am attracting sufficient traffic to achieve my goals.

    What are the best products or services that you offer, that can help me systematize my marketing?


  28. Chris Carpenter

    Mike, I don’t have any products or services to sell you right now. When I do I’ll certainly let you know. :-)

    Have you read my Google Cash ebook? If not you can download it for free by subscribing to my newsletter.

    My ebook might give you some ideas for using Google Adwords to drive traffic to your website. But even more than that it might give you some ideas about Affiliate Marketing and how you could possibly implement an affiliate program with your business.

    What sort of profit margin do you have? The reason I ask is if you can offer a good commission like we do with information products then an affiliate program might work well. For example if you sell a service for $500 and you could give $200 of that to affiliates and still be profitable then a great marketing strategy for you could be affiliate marketing. You could compile a list of possible partners – people that have customer lists that would be interested in your service. You can do this online and also locally. Then you contact the potential partners and propose them a win-win offer. They contact their customers and recommend your service and they earn a commission for every sale.

    Besides that I would need some more information about your business to recommend a marketing strategy to implement. There are so many different ways to advertise online. Which to choose depends on your budget, the price of your product or service, your audience, etc., etc.


  29. Mike Highstead

    Thanks Chris,

    A few years ago my son, who was 17 at the time, was interested in Affiliate Marketing. I purchased Google Cash for him, hoping he would do something with it for himself and for my business, but I think at the time he was still more interested in skateboarding!

    I would LOVE to set up an affiliate program and can offer the following payouts, serving an affluent niche that I can easily dominate:

    $75 per lead
    25% of $400 monthly subscription sign-up
    20% commission on services ranges from $8,000 to $24,000

    Monstrous opportunity here for affiliates, but I have no idea how to set it up. Can you send me an email, or may I contact you to explore the possibilities? If so, what’s the best way to reach you?


  30. Chris Carpenter

    With those kind of commissions I think an affiliate program will do really well for you.

    It is really not that complicated to setup.

    You can purchase an off the shelf affiliate program and integrate it with a payment processor.

    Then your partners signup as your affiliate and receive their affiliate link.

    They send people to your lead capture page and when someone follows through with a purchase
    they earn a commission.

    For your wordpress site you could use a simple wordpress affiliate plugin like this one:


    It integrates with many shopping carts. And if you don’t have a shopping cart yet, then a good one
    might be a simple one like WordPress Shopping Cart plugin.

    Do some research into the above and I am here to help as you have questions.

    Again, it is really not that complicated. And yes by all means send me an email with more questions
    if you rather do it off the blog, etc.



  31. Kenney the Experimenter

    The Power of Full Engagement, Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal.

    That’s the name of this book that I just read a few weeks ago, the name says it all. Your comment about managing energy just made me think of it.

    This idea totally changed the way I manage my whole day. I learned that I was a “sprinter” when it came to work (as I did also run track in college) and that I needed to do a better job of managing my energy throughout the day.

    Since then I work in 90 min shifts, 3 times per day and eat on breaks. I read in the afternoons and I cut my work day in half, but I get more done… actually more and I am a heck of a lot more passionate when I am working.. What a relief. The Pareto’s Principle, Parkinson’s Law, and 1st things 1st (second things never) really help me to focus also on what’s important.

    Okay so I have lots to say today… Lol, this is my third comment today here ;) Maybe it’s the Starbucks coffee, or maybe it’s me ;) Lol



  32. Amelia

    Love this article! This is basically how I’ve lived my life since traveling around the world for 2 years after college. I’ve had some regular jobs and rented some dwellings, but somehow wanderlust always takes over. Time and freedom are worth more than all of the money in the world. Some friends were convinced that I had a pot of gold hidden somewhere, as they couldn’t understand how I could afford to travel internationally so often.


  33. Karen

    Thanks Chris for this post, you could not have picked a more on target reminder that time is our most valuable commodity. Time, freedom and living your Dream are what makes life juicy! Got to get packin my bags, leaving for Hawaii soon!!


  34. Chris Carpenter

    Have a great time in Hawaii Karen!!!


  35. Everardo

    Thanks Chris,
    Great Post.


  36. Silvat

    a truly inspiring piece about how time is much more valuable than money.one day you can lose all your money it important to ensure that you spent your time well with family or by going on holiday doing thing you want to achieve.money comes and go but when time is gone is gone. well written


  37. Chris Carpenter

    Well said! So many people are putting off doing things until they have more money. Then the money never comes and they missed their opportunity. I re-read this email every month or so to keep things in perspective.


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