Ask DN: What would you do if money was no object?

over 6 years ago from , Co-Founder of Liberio

I listen to this piece by Alan Watts once per week. It was the driving force at a time where I straddled the line of what I was doing (working in the special education and psych field) and what I wanted to be doing (design). Now, it is a reminder of the happiness that comes with taking heed to his advice.




  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 6 years ago

    Thanks! I haven't listened to that in a while, and I love it.

    I frequently ask myself this question, because even though I love the work I do, in the end I still only do it because I need to make money. I've thought about it, and I think if I didn't have to make any money there is no way I'd be spending my time on the computer designing and coding - it's fun for work, but I struggle with the idea that it doesn't make much of a difference in the world - woah - I might get nailed for saying that out loud on DN, but seriously - if I'm going to spend 40 hours a week putting forth effort and energy, in the grand scheme of things, I could be doing a million other things that have more of a direct impact on the world - volunteering, helping a community in some way, fighting for human rights, for animal rights, for laws to help protect the environment - anything!

    I got myself into a situation where I owe an unbelievable amount of money to the government and Chase bank for student loans, so I have no choice but to make money, and unfortunately, just to stay afloat, I have to make a considerable amount of money.

    So I wonder - am I alone in this feeling?

    I realize I could at least be building websites for people and companies that help these causes that I have deemed more important and worthy of my time - and that's the goal for now, it just hasn't happened yet.

    Anyway, to answer the question: I'd be working with children in education and empowerment in some capacity - anywhere - for sure.

    20 points
    • Ryan Hicks, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      I concur.

      If money was no object I probably wouldn't be sitting around designing. I'd be out traveling, volunteering, helping others as much as I could, maybe designing for others in need that can't afford it, I'd be skydiving more often, hell I'd hitch a ride to the edge of space, I'd be visiting areas that have been on my list since I could understand what they were, and basically be full-filling my dreams and helping any others along the way to full-fill their dreams. I'd also free everyone else up from their financial burdens so we could all enjoy things together. Only in a perfect world; le sigh.

      No you're not alone. I came out with about 70-80k from college 4 years ago. I struggle to just stay afloat all the time. I pay each month on those loans as much as most people do for their house mortgage. I was lucky enough to knock a small loan out in 2013, and I'm on pace to do it to another one (or a couple more) for 2014.

      2 points
      • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 6 years ago

        Wow - yeah, same story here pretty much. I'm working to chip away at them more and more, but the interest rate is so insane, they seem to barely budge! haha. But thanks, and I'm glad to hear others feel the same way.

        0 points
  • Nathan ManousosNathan Manousos, over 6 years ago

    Same thing I'm doing now :D

    5 points
  • Jeff EscalanteJeff Escalante, over 6 years ago

    I would do exactly what I'm doing right now. I am a lucky fellow, and try not to take that for granted.

    5 points
  • Eric FilkinsEric Filkins, over 6 years ago

    Definitely my favorite Alan Watts piece! Here's a piece that I made using that same speech.


    4 points
  • Robert BusbyRobert Busby, over 6 years ago

    Buy an Airbus A380, turn it into a mobile home and travel the world.

    3 points
  • Per VPer V, over 6 years ago

    @Cat, thank you. I don't know how I've missed this "speech", but after closing my eyes and listening to it 5 minutes ago I've now set up Google Calendar to send me the link every Monday morning at 9.

    What an inspirational speech!

    3 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 6 years ago

    I'd be making games, and I'd be sickeningly good at it.

    2 points
  • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, over 6 years ago

    Work as a designer for public services. Money is not really a strong force against this – politics and general design acceptance in government is the hard part.

    2 points
  • Max SchultzMax Schultz, over 6 years ago

    Play and engage with my daughter the entire day.

    1 point
  • John JensenJohn Jensen, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I would work on free & open source applications for the musically inclined. I already do this to some extent, but would love to devote my entire creative being to this if possible.

    1 point
  • Paul @StammyPaul @Stammy, over 6 years ago

    travel, take photos and write

    1 point
    • Cat Noone, over 6 years ago

      Would you still continue to design? And what would you write about?

      0 points
      • Paul @StammyPaul @Stammy, over 6 years ago

        I'd write about that (and continually redesign my site, photoblog, etc). Design for others for free and write about it too.

        1 point
  • Carlos MCarlos M, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    What a brilliant question, and the answers just above mine are equally as great.

    1 point
  • Mike SkonMike Skon, over 6 years ago

    I would travel the world meeting a variety of people. I would help those less fortunate whether through finances or through training or through an ear to hear and a shoulder to lean on. I would continue to design as it's something I enjoy but less day to day and more every other week. I would also buy a RED Dragon camera to capture life and memories.

    1 point
  • Cat NooneCat Noone, over 6 years ago

    Just to add to my original description - For me, design is more than just sitting in front of the computer. I love knowing I get to work on a product that so many people will use and will make a difference.

    Which is why I‘m really big on building meaningful products. I don't do this to build the next snapchat. I do it to solve problems.

    And it just so happens that what I do for a living allows me to work with some of the most intelligent people in the industry and comes with freedom that allows me to travel and see the world through a different set of eyes. A fact and freedom that I am humbled by and beyond grateful for.

    1 point
  • Nicholas HendrickxNicholas Hendrickx, over 6 years ago

    I'd buy some stuff I always wanted, donate money and just continue everything else.

    1 point
  • Taylor LeCroyTaylor LeCroy, over 6 years ago


    I'd love to have the time and resources to devote to getting better at all things I want to get better at. As it is, client work has to come first.

    0 points