Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What Does A Billion Dollars Every Year Mean??

Recently I had a small discussion with my teammates where I was struck with the idea, what would I do if someone were to give me a billion dollars every year for the rest of my living life. Or more generally if I had all the money in this world given to me legally, how would I live my life?? What is the activity which would keep me engaged.

Here it would be safe to assume that the money would definitely fulfill all the materialistic needs and provide financial security. So it eliminates all money gathering activities such as a job, running a company, playing the stock market or value investing if you prefer. It also provides a home, or several if you prefer. You can have a fleet of servants of all kind (your personal butler, cook, secretary, nurse, driver, pilot). Finding companions won't present any difficulties. Or if you prefer a harem in the style of kings. In fact, it will easily fulfill all the tenets on the bottom three rungs of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (I read about it here) You can go so far with the money as to provide comfortably for all those you near and dear ones that you would be working for also.

So what we have here is not what you would like to buy or splurge upon. You can buy that jet you lusted for, or eat and drink in the most expensive restaurant on a every meal basis. But will it keep your attention engaged. Most of the times we want to do certain things because we see the richer doing it and by virtue of it being out of our reach, something like a trip to the outer space by Tito. But once done these things loose their charm. But then again you can gamble all your money away every year, although chances are that probability will work against you in that case and you might end up earning more. And let's keep things like charity at bay.

While the rest had differing views on what they would do, it set me thinking. I have always been fascinated by books and of my life's aims remain reading, studying, teaching and doing related activities. The question that arises is: will it be enough to engage my attention?? I embark on the quest to list such activities.
  • Gyaanpipasa (thirst for knowledge)- as is obvious, it tops my list. But with that amount of money I can embark on doing it in the style of Akbar the great, one of the greatest rulers in the history of India. He had in his court a bevy of great minds, each a champion in his field. What greater opportunity can be there than to learn from discussion with such people. Obviously, it would require me to raise my standards.
  • Travel - and that too possibly on a bike, preferably one from the touring family of motorcycles by Harley-Davidson, that has each undergone proper homologation for each individual country of travel.
There are innumerable blogs and sites which come up with lists of 101 things to do. Yet reading each one of those shows that they all can be done on each consecutive day and all the activities would be finished within a year's time frame at the max. What do you do then?? After much racking of my brains, I am able to come up with just the above. Are there any others that you can come up with?? Would love to hear such ideas.
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