"What If Money Didn't Matter": Great Tip To All Creative People Out There

Take a 3-minute break from whatever you're doing right now, and listen to this short recorded lecture of British philosopher and writer Alan Watts (1915-1973). This is a very inspirational, thought-provoking and interesting to anyone who ever wanted to work in the industry - Doesn't matter if its as a photographer, film maker, sound-man or a retoucher. Listen, and decide: 'What do you desire?'.

The full text:
"So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it's so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say 'Well, we'd like to be painters, we'd like to be poets, we'd like to be writers' But as everybody knows you can't earn any money that way! Another person says 'Well I'd like to live an out-of-door's life and ride horses.' I said 'You wanna teach in a riding school?'

Let's go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him 'You do that! And forget the money!' Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living - that is to go on doing things you don't like doing! Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of which you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing - it doesn't really matter what it is - you can eventually become a master of it. It's the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don't worry too much, somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in, you'll find others who are.

But it's absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don't like in order to go on spending things you don't like, doing things you don't like and to teach our children to follow the same track. See, what we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. So it's all retch and no vomit - it never gets there! And so therefore it's so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?"
- Alan Watts

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Phil Lowe's picture

What pays the bills whilst you are living this fantasy?  A nice video, in essence, but is seriously lacking in reality check.

Gordon Andersson's picture

I decided to do what I loved and now, guess what? I make money doing it. A long time I had to do double the work but it was worth it.

Danny G's picture

You sound as if you once had dreams that never turned into goals and in time faded into oblivion.  Now you're like the majority, stuck in the pasture chomping away at the grass wondering if it's greener on the other side.

Mike Philippens™'s picture

You're too brainwashed to understand the meaning I guess...
If you think hard enough, there is always a way to do something you really like. The point is that you have to make a decision: do I want a big house, a big car and beautiful (but expensive) stuff and a boring job/existence OR do I want a small house or even a trailer and spend my time doing things I really, really like, but make less money with? Maybe even both is possible. That too can be done.

It's not about paying the bills, it's about choices and priorities.

I thinking about a trip around the world, and seeing a lot of problems (mainly about 'paying the bills').Meanwhile, there are people out there DOING it on a $0 budget. It's not as comfortable as the same journey on a $20k budget, but a lot more interesting and fullfilling.
Just one example. We're stuck in the money trap. That's mankinds' biggest problem. Money should be abolished ;)

Thewirehead's picture

Did you even listen to the video?

Fib's picture

This is absolutely not what this video is about, If you don't get it, you never will.

This is the most important part of that speech:

"And after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much,"

Albi Kl's picture


Dennis Katinas's picture

One of the most powerful vids ever. This is so amazing and true. I know people who have done it, living in a dump only eating rice for long stretches of time, following their dream and they made it. 
It also makes me rethink the system we are living in, we are kinda stuck in it, evolution is going to slow, damn, still driving on expensive gasoline... it's crazy if you think of the almost free solutions that are already out there. Thanks for posting.

Glad that's popping out. put it on my facebook yesterday. Quite true, Quite realistic, even though we live in a world pushing us to do all the contrary and will have many detractors. 

Luke Lee's picture

At the end of my teenage, I found out what I wanted to do. Couldn't do it though because I was forced not to. Pursued it however because I just couldn't live without.
Then I was broke at one point where I had 4 dollars on me to live a month. I had to find a job.
Now I look back and see my happy wife and house and... debts to make this happen. Wife says do it, but now I'm worried for my family, I can't take a risk. So... still dreaming that if I don't give up and keep dreaming and pursuing, I will eventually reach my dream.
Sometimes I'm so sad how I ended up so "normal" but also have to admit that what happened up until now made me a person who is much better than I used to be before.
Dang.... the 3 minute vid got me thinking a lot.

Go do it man... even if it's aside of your 100% job for a few years. Been through 2 projects, 1 down, 1 ongoing, but keeping the spirit up and having people around me supporting me. 

i'm launching an indiegogo campaign to get my project up now, but i can't live unhappy... so i can totally understand what you're going through. 

so my 2 cents would be just to see the light... and do what you love :)

Henry Fan's picture

I'd love to hear professor Watts explain to me how my love of masturbation could one day make me a master-masturbator, thus making me rich.

You could certainly come up with the best orgasm-giving machine in the world and sell it to all other masturbators out there :D

Henry Fan's picture


Jeff W's picture

Take a hobby you love and turn it into a job, way to take all the fun out of it. When there is a job there is a client, with expectations of value. Why not just pay people to take pictures of them? If money is no object you only ever answer to yourself, money is not part of the equation. That's the solution if money is no object, instead of charging people for photos, pay people. However money usually IS an object. So this discussion is a little silly.

Tony Guillaro's picture

That was beautiful