The Meaning Of Money – Zig Ziglar

Guest Feature:
The Meaning Of Money – Zig Ziglar

Does money really matter?

What? I’m working myself to death just to make ends meet and you ask if money really matters. Are you nuts?

That’s the American story, isn’t it? It is the price we pay for the American Dream. What if money didn’t matter, though? Let’s pretend for a few moments that money is not important. How then would you live your life?

What appears to be a loaded question with complex answers is really quite simple, for there are only two choices. We either live to live, or we live to give. We either live for the enrichment of ourselves, or we live to help others. Our entire value system rests on that decision.

This may be better described in a story told to me by a bankruptcy attorney who was working with a highly successful professional with a multiple six figure income, yet he and his wife were facing bankruptcy. In reviewing the financial records of this couple my attorney friend made two discoveries. One, not surprisingly, was a mountain of consumer debt for purchases of what he described as ?just stuff.? The second discovery was much more of a revelation, and that is that not one penny of this couple’s significant income was given to charity. They made their choice.

In his autobiographical book, Man’s Search for Meaning, renowned psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl observed that those most likely to survive the atrocities, abuse, disease and starvation of the concentration camps were those who in spite of their physical and emotional weakness reached out in some way to help their fellow prisoners, whereas those who withdrew totally into their own self-survival were most likely to die. They made their choices.

Did money really matter in either of these examples? The bankruptcy case involves a financial predicament, but it is not about money. The case of the concentration camp victims has absolutely nothing to do with money. Clearly both stories illustrate the critical importance of the value system we choose for our lives. We either choose to live for the satisfaction of our own selfish desires, or we choose to live for the enrichment of others.

Does money really matter? Of course it matters. We do have mortgages to pay and children to educate, automobiles, insurance, and many other financial obligations that support our American Dream lifestyles. But each of us must make that critical choice about our values. Does money come first in our lives and in our businesses, or is there a greater value in what we do and how we live? One wise sage once said that money will come when you are doing the right thing.