A young lady sent me an email the other day and told me in no uncertain terms that “life isn’t all about money”.
And she is certainly correct. In The Old Money Book, I do talk about money. But the reason people are buying the book –and buying extra copies for their children and friends–is not because I write about money. It’s because I write about values.
Your financial net worth may fluctuate over time, but your values–the ideals and priorities that you hold dear–can remain constant. These values form a large part of your identity. They often determine the quality of your life. Good values can see you through challenging hard times and provide you a sense of perspective when unexpected success arrives, with all its potential temptations. With a solid set of values, you’re reliable to your friends and family, and attractive to potential partners.
Values aren’t so much a burdensome anchor, but more a welcome balance. They’ll support you and guide you with a steady hand. They’ll make decision-making, if not easy, a fairly efficient process: a choice will either align with your values or it won’t. If it doesn’t, you don’t do it.
Values can change over time, but usually very slowly, and usually only after considerable thought or a catastrophic life experience. Best to adopt some good ones early on. You’ll never wear them out, but with any luck, you’ll learn to wear them well.