Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Musings of a Retired Mind


In your opinion  how much money do you need to be happy?

Give me a figure. 

One Lakh, Ten Lakhs, One Crore, Ten Crore, One Million, One Billion ... how much?

Suppose you have decided that you need a home of your own and a certain bank balance to be happy.

One day  after slogging for years  when you have earned that amount and you have a home of your own  will you sit back satisfied, relax and be happy all your life?

Or will you keep on striving to earn more and more money till your dying day?

Way back in the 1970’ when we were studying engineering  we wanted a cycle – and we wanted a job after completing our engineering studies. 

Yes  when we were students we desired to have a cycle. 

I got my own cycle.

Then we wanted a job.

Yes  our principle desire after completing our B. Tech. was to get a job.

I got a job.

After we got a job we wanted a Motorcycle and then a Bajaj Scooter 

Yes, a Bajaj Scooter was the ultimate status symbol for which one had to patiently wait for a few years. 

A few years later  one day  I had a coveted Bajaj Scooter and I was happy. 

In my wildest dreams I had never imagined that I would have a car  but many years later I was a proud owner of a car too. 

Soon I had my own home  and enough money to live a reasonably comfortable life. 

Now what more do I want? 

That is when I decided enough is enough  and I retired from my job”  and I decided to invest my my time in what I like to do best  writing (and blogging).  



You can always earn more Money 


You cannot get back lost Time

That is why time is the most valuable resource

Yes, time is a much more valuable resource than money

Are you so hard up for money that you want to trade your time for money?

And if you do need money, how much money do you need and how much of your time are you willing to trade for earning money - it is a fine balance and you have to decide for yourself.

I write and blog every day.

I have written a book of short stories, a foodie book – and I am leisurely writing my novel now. 

Yes  I am writing leisurely  without deadlines  because I want to enjoy my writing.

In fact  I have realized that the creative writing process (the journey) is more enjoyable than the destination (publication).

I do not earn any money from my writing and blogging.

But I get tremendous happiness when I write and blog.

Earlier  during my working years  when I did a job  I traded my time for earning money.

Now  after retirement  thanks to the money I have earned and saved all these years  I am able to invest my time in things that make me happy.

I am leading the life I always wanted to live.

If you are happy and content here and now with the money you have, what is the point of investing your time in doing something you don’t enjoy doing?


There is a Chinese saying:

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough

It is the same with money:

“If you know when enough is enough, you will always have enough” 

Let my try and illustrate this concept by a metaphorical example.


Money is like petrol in a car. 
Money is not the car. 
Money is not the destination. 
The petrol in your car enables you to go from place A to place B. 
Now suppose you have reached your destination place B.

You are happy and content at being at place B.

Now, there is another place C. 
Now if you fill more petrol in your car ( “earn more money in your life” ) you will be able to go from place B to place C. 
But you are happy and content at being at place B and do not want to go to place C.

Then is filling up more petrol in your car of any use?

Of what use is petrol  if you do not want to travel  because you are content where you are?   

Similarly  what is the use of earning more money  if you already happy with what you have?
Do you have a capacity for contentment...? 
Do you know when enough is enough...?

I am sure you have read a version of this meaningful inspirational story:

A fisherman lived on a tropical island.  

He fished for his family and had plenty of time to play with his children, to enjoy the beauty around him and to be a good neighbour.
A yacht arrived carrying a wealthy entrepreneur.  

The fisherman took him out for a day’s fishing. 
As the day went on the entrepreneur looked at the beautiful island with its silver sand fringed with palm trees, the calm blue sea filled with a rainbow of darting fish and saw the opportunity for development and making lots of money. 
The wealthy and successful entrepreneur was a magnanimous man so he thought he must help the fisherman by offering him the idea, so he said to the fisherman, “Why don’t you build a hotel and encourage tourists to come to the island...?”
“A hotel...?” the fisherman asked perplexed.
“Yes, a hotel,” the businessman said, “In fact you should build a holiday village with a sports complex so people can come and relax.  It could be so successful that you could build an air strip so you can offer the whole package to the tourists so you can cut out the middle man and make even greater profits.”
“Why should I do that...?” asked the fisherman.
“You would make lots of money and be rich of course...!” replied the entrepreneur.
“How long would it take...?” asked the fisherman
“I would think it would take ten years to be really successful,” answered the entrepreneur.
“What would I do with all that money...?” asked the fisherman.
“You could go on exotic holidays to a beautiful island where you could fish, play with your children and have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty all around you” replied the entrepreneur.
“But that is exactly what I am doing right now, isn’t it...?” asked the bewildered fisherman.  


Sometimes  we can have happiness and contentment here and now.

But we keep on struggling and aspiring for more and more and do not enjoy what we already have. 

Yes  Your Happiness is Here and Now  not in some distant future  so there is no need to be ambitious and ruin your present while trying to chase some distant happiness.
It would be apt to quote Warren Buffet:
“I really like my life. 
I have arranged my life so that I can do what I want... 
I get to do what I like to do every single day of the year…”

I think I can say this about me too.

Barring unforeseen contingencies  I am able to do what I like to do almost every day of my life.


Dear Reader  may I wish you happiness and contentment here and now  wherever you are  with whatever you have got.

Money is like petrol in a car.

Money is not the car.

You need to fill only that much petrol which is required to take you to your destination.

What is the point of filling excess petrol if you do not want to travel further?

If you know when enough is enough  you will always have enough.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. These are my personal views. They may or may not work for everyone. Please exercise your own due diligence in your life.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is an updated and abridged version of a self-help article I wrote long back and first posted on my blog in 2009 - urls:  and

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