Life Recipe – Investing in the Four Ingredients of Life
In my 23 years of stay on this planet, I can summarize the four things we need to have a life on this planet.
- First is time.
- Second is health.
- Third is relationships.
- Fourth is something to do and look forward to.
I call these the four ingredients of life. Let me explain why this life recipe.
Time is the most obvious ingredient. When I think of it, life is just a series of “moments” passing by. Life is composed of the tiniest component of every second that goes by. That’s why we have age to measure the length of life. It’s natural to say that the more years you have, the longer life you have. This of course doesn’t consider the quality of that life or how each component of life was spent.
You simply can’t have life if you don’t have time to spend, like if you’re dead or near dead, which brings us to the second ingredient of life - health.
My experience with my Lolo has taught me that health is wealth. In fact, I can say that health is life. When my Lolo was hospitalized, almost all the wealth of our household, if could really call it wealth, was wiped out. My mother had to seek financial aid from all agencies which could help shoulder the hospital bills looming every single day. PCSO, office of our barangay chairman, office of our mayor, office of our congressman, even the offices of our friends. HAHA. Our water and electric lines were cut out and disconnected since we could no longer pay those utility bills. The pain of seeing your loved one in difficulty is worse than the financial burden. Really a dark phase for the entire family.
Months after being confined, Lolo finally left us. My number one fan has gone at the age of 68. I also had the first taste of the reality of the death of someone you love. I thanked God that at least, in God’s arms, my Lolo could finally breathe well in heaven. (He died of COPD complications). That experience also taught me to value the third ingredient of life – relationships.
If time is the component of life, relationship is the matter in its genetic code, inscribed in its DNA.
I have realized that there’s no better way to spend life than through the medium of relationships.
The most common and biggest component of this is your relationship with other people, including family, friends and all others who play various roles in your life.
This also includes the relationship with your God, your dreams and yourself.
In essence, relationships, I would say, is life’s content. Without relationships, life is empty.
The last one, something to do and look forward to, is optional. I added it in case you want to enjoy your short stay in life. I would label this the flavor of life. Without this, life is like a plain boring extra rice. This fourth ingredient is what would make that extra rice an extra fun.
To add, you’ve got to make this something to do bigger than yourself. And just like a food flavor, this ingredient enhances the taste of every bit of life.
If you want to maximize that flavor, that something to do should be tied with your individual existence, to your core personality, through your personal blueprint. Much like what many say as passion and destiny. Your unique voice on this planet. This is your reason and motivation to wake up in every new morning, recharged, alive and enthusiastic.
When you have all the four above, it’s going to be very ultra mega difficult for you not to be happy.
So I define life freedom to be the state of life where you have enough of all those four ingredients. I couldn’t think of anything that’s lacking when you have them all.
So why talk about money?
But wait, if time, health, relationships and something to do and look forward to are all what life is, then why do I discuss about money and growing it by investing in stocks? Why do we take extra effort and time to delve on managing one’s finances?
Short answer: Because money can be a great tool to manage, improve and take care of all those crucial ingredients.
Money is not the most important thing in life, but it undeniably affects every important thing in life.
And this includes the four life ingredients we have above.
Let’s go back to each one.
Money obviously doesn’t add time, but it can certainly give you freedom to spend wisely your time.
Think of the richest guy in the Philippines Henry Sy. Because of the billions of pesos he has, he is his own boss. He doesn’t have to spend his time in a way his bossing would like simply because he doesn’t have one. He has the freedom to spend the 24 hours each day in the way he likes. And that’s because he doesn’t have to work. All he did was to put up a system that would do the working for him that pumps millions of pesos to his assets every single day.
On health, think of the case of Philippine Comedy King Dolphy. (May he now rest in peace) Because there was enough money to cover all the needed expenses, medicines and hospital operations has extended his life a little longer. If the same ailment had inflicted to an ordinary man, we cannot ascertain if that man’s life would be extended to the same extent.
On preventive measure, money can also buy vitamins and minerals that you would need to improve the state of your health. It can also give you the power to switch to the kind of diet you want that’s better aligned to your physical goals.
On relationships, you probably have known that money problems is the major cause of all marriage divorce cases. If only couples know how to manage their finances well enough, there would be fewer families to be broken and less children to suffer.
Our OFW heroes know this fact very well. They had to sacrifice first and spend less time with their family to make money abroad to cover the basic needs of their family. Had there been enough money for them here in the Philippines, I doubt these people would dare leave their loved ones.
Having money can also help you have that dream vacation with your spouse, children and friends that will greatly enhance the quality of your relationships. Or have those dinner-outs with some close friends long-time-no-see classmates, or even secret crushes. HAHA
Your relationship with your God, your values and yourself can also be reflected with your tithes, charity donations and the things you award to yourself, all of which has a clear money component.
Lastly, with something to do and look forward to, money can help you give the tools and resources to do whatever you want to do and look forward to. One of my ultimate dreams is to be a farmer in a silent local province, which obviously requires a farm, something I just couldn’t buy now right away. Or if you want to advance some human advocacy, that will surely come with some financial cost.
Money makes the world go round, doesn’t it?
But money is not the goal!
In the finance seminar I recently attended, I was reminded once again that money is never the goal. At the most, it’s just a tool. Oftentimes, we forget this rule and we end up having so much money but lacking in the real ingredients of life. We then use that money to coat that ultimate longing we have inside. I myself overlook this important point many times. And this is what I wish to share today.
I was playing my keyboard yesterday when I noticed the curtailed and troubled sound it started to produce. As I began to examine it, I found out that one of its keys was no longer working. But what hit me later on is the fact that even if it’s just one note out of many, the old complete sound I used to enjoy was no longer there. All because of a lacking single note.
How does your life sound today?
You might be a high-paid CEO of a company but really a slave of your job who doesn’t have a time of your own.
You might have millions of cash but your health is starting to haunt you.
You might have many investments but none in your family.
You might have all the money but never the satisfaction and sense of purpose in life.
While we continue to manage and multiply the blessings we continually receive, let’s not forget the core reason why we do so.
Have a great week ahead!
Have fun investing (in your life!),
Money can buy a house, but not a home.
Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy a clock, but not time.
Money can buy a book, but not knowledge.
Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
Money can buy position, but not respect.
Money can buy blood, but not life.
Money can buy insurance, but not safety.