I know what money can do and what it can’t.
I am a financial adviser to the very rich, an accountant to entrepreneurs and middle-class professionals, and as a pastor I work with the incarcerated and the homeless. I am one of the few people you will ever encounter who has financial experience with the entire economic range of American society.
I decided to write this after hearing the news that Bill and Melinda Gates ended their marriage soon after their youngest daughter left the house. I was not surprised by the divorce and I was not surprised by its timing.
Here are the things money cannot do:
Save your marriage
Save any relationship with anyone
Make you proud of yourself
Save you from your own narcissism and the isolation it creates
Help you deal with conflicts
Help you understand who you are and what your values are
Fix your past mistakes
Now here are the things money can do:
Improve your health
Improve your confidence
Buy you love (romantic love)
Buy you the freedom to live out your values
Buy you access (to pretty much anything)
Buy power (sometimes…only sometimes)
Buy clout, prestige or status
For many of you, the reason money isn’t making your life better is that you haven’t solved the problem of understanding who you are and what your real values are. And neither money nor the pursuit of it will help you understand your values, yourself, or anyone else.