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I’m going to present an idea to all of you out there that will probably scare you badly enough to send you into an epileptic seizure just from the sheer suggestion.

Here it is…

What if all of the money you’ve worked hard to save and invest was suddenly, completely worthless?

I mean worthless. As in, not even $1 million dollars would buy you a loaf of bread. Toilet paper would be a more valuable currency.

Sounds scary doesn’t it?

A Little History Lesson…

This all comes from a discussion I had with a co-worker about the hyper-inflation that occurred in Germany in the year 1923. While I don’t know a lot about the subject, this is the basic gist of it; There was nothing real to back Germany’s currency (like a gold standard), and Germany had incurred expenses from World War 1 that they began to have trouble paying back,  so in response they simply printed more money, causing inflation. The government tried to fix that issue by, well, printing more money. On and on it went, until workers in that country were given daily breaks to rush to grocery stores with wheelbarrows full of cash just to buy some bread.

These workers were given time to do this during work because by the time the day was over, their money may have become worth half of what it was worth the day before.

Imagine being given time off of your job to rush to Wal-Mart to buy food, because by the time 5 pm rolls around your $1 may only be worth $0.50. And this happened EVERY DAY.

Would You Still be Happy?

This post could go a lot of ways… it could discuss why a gold standard is a good thing, it could discuss why government shouldn’t just print money… it could even discuss the parallels between Germany’s history and some of the current events in America… Instead we’re going another route.

What would you have left in this situation?

I for one spend so much time trying to reach my goal of becoming financially independent, and dreaming about the life I will live once I get there, that the thought of finally reaching that goal, and then having it all taken away, being told that what I have is worth nothing, is heart-wrenching.

I think I would still be happy however.

Would you still be happy? I mean actually happy, happy with the people in your life, with yourself and the kind of person you are, happy with the decisions you’ve made in your life?

Keeping Perspective

It’s important sometimes in our pursuit of success and prosperity to keep in mind the difference between goals and life. My goal is to be financially independent. My life does not depend on me being financially independent.

I like to think that my purpose, my life, has been given to me in order for me to accomplish my goals and the things that I want to do, all the while helping others along the way reach their goals. It’s not the goal itself that’s important; it’s how you get there that matters.

Yes, it would be painful beyond belief if I reached my overriding goal, only to have it taken away by the ineptitude of others, but I would still be happy with the fact that I had actually accomplished my goal, and that I did it in the best possible way. 

This can all be summed up in one quote, a quote I have on my fridge at home.

“Would you like yourself when there’s nothing else around?”