I’ve learned an important lesson recently—the difference between money and value. I had thought that getting another freelance job would be valuable. When I got it, I excitedly assumed that this would be the door to achieving my dreams of a fully independent income. 

However, I found that I value my personal time more than the money from an extra job. I would rather be resting, writing, or watching a movie than worrying about pleasing an unhappy client. Why should I be putting in so much extra effort that’s unproductive?

I realized that my time, which is impossible to buy back, is more valuable than money or any job when it comes to dealing with extra stress. What is my peace worth? What is my own fulfillment worth? What price can I put on my contentment and physical, mental, and emotional balance? My answer is there isn’t one. For me, I have learned that the saying “money isn’t everything” is absolutely true, and there’s a reason for it.  

When we value something, we usually put a price tag on it, a monetary amount. But can money really be used to measure the value of something? Can we put a price tag on time with family, health, or our peace of mind? I can’t. I have been through enough in this life to realize that money, although a necessity in our culture to survive, does not equate to value. Something of true importance cannot be bought—like my self-worth. I do not do well when I put a price on my time and my value. All I get is anxiety and unrest as I try to meet someone else’s standards of what I should be.

What would you pay for a day if you knew it was the last day you had to live and do what you wanted? Why does our time have a price on it?

What’s the answer for me? I can’t put a price on living my life my way. When I try, I lose the ability to enjoy the greatest things in life—my family, my health, having my needs met, and being in the moment. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that I will never have my own income one day. I still hope to, but it has to come in such a way as to not be my most important goal in life. I must have balance, both inside and out.  And the only way I can have that is if I value myself and my life more than the pursuit of money.