11 Things That Are Better Than Money (That I’m Thankful For)

I’m big on gratitude lists. The older I get, the more I understand that gratitude is essential to living a good, healthy life. Given my tendencies to compare myself to, well, pretty much everyone, this practice is much-needed. Maybe you can relate.

11 Things That Are Better Than Money (That I'm Thankful For)

I write gratitude lists because of the need to remember life is so much better than I ever expected or deserved. There’s so much left to accomplish, but what’s happened thus far is pretty good, too.

Enough isn’t a number

For years, money seemed like the goal of all my ambitions. If I just had “enough,” then I would be set. But the more I acquired, the more it felt like I needed. I don’t think it was greed as much as it was this insecurity of never feeling like I was enough. You can really get addicted to that feeling if you’re not careful.

Anyway, I’ve realized there are so many more things that are better than money.

This year, I’m grateful for so much. But this past year has been a wakeup call for me regarding what really matters. About a year ago, I realized I was missing the mark in terms of my goals — I was striving for one thing when in reality I wanted something else. What did I want? Happiness. Peace of mind. Purpose. And money was not providing those things for me.

Impact is hard to measure, but its value exceeds any dollar amount.

Jeff Goins

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Here are 11 things I appreciate far more than money:

  1. Hugs and kisses from my kids, especially when they’re unsolicited. If you don’t have kids, you don’t know what you’re missing. Maybe find somebody’s else’s kids and let them hug you. Actually, that sounds kind of weird. Don’t do that.
  2. The satisfaction of a job well done. The joy of the work is the reward, the price of making something that’s never been made and doing it in a way that only you can do. That’s art.
  3. That look in the eyes of a person whose life has been changed by your work. Every time someone tells me something I made — a blog post, a podcast, a course, a book, a speech, an event — any of it, all of it — I remember this is why I do what I do. Impact is hard to measure, but its value exceeds any dollar amount.
  4. Friends who love you for who you are, not what you do.
  5. A good meal with great people in place that has a really good vibe. These are the moments you remember decades from now
  6. Seeing someone perform a piece of art live. This year, I saw Tom Petty play in concert just before he died. It reminded me to never miss seeing a band whose work I admire or have had the slightest curiosity about seeing at some point.
  7. Traveling to new and exotic places where you are required to re-orient yourself around whatever cultural practices are the norm. Change is good. Discomfort is good. New experiences are good.
  8. Going for long walks in no particular direction with no defined end. Not all who wander are lost, as Tolkien once wrote.
  9. Great coffee enjoyed in the very early morning, just before sunrise, while gazing out into your back yard or park or wherever.
  10. The freedom to do what you want when you want to do it without fear of judgment by others or concern that you “should” be doing something else.
  11. You. Whoever you are. If you’re reading this, you are more valuable than money. And I’m grateful for you.

Do you have a gratitude list? Share it in the comments below (feel free to link up to your own blog post).

28 thoughts on “11 Things That Are Better Than Money (That I’m Thankful For)

  1. This comment may not add a ton of value. But, this article made me feel content and happy and sad all at the same time. Like when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. That confusing mix of feelings.

    Anyway. I’ve been feeling really stressed about trying to reach my goals and making the accomplishments that I think I should have made by now. Your post reminded me that there are other things that are more important sometimes. Thanks.

  2. And I am grateful for you too, Jeff! 🙂
    My journey with your writing and Tribe has been an exciting adventure and I am looking forward seeing you next year at the Tribe conference!
    Thank you for everything! 🙂

  3. grateful for so many things….for my good husband, good kids, challenges that keep me growing, to live in an area of peace and a time of prosperity, for talents and dreams, for God who knows and loves me and is my Father in Heaven…who has a plan for my life and wants and does shower me with blessings….for a temperate winter thus far….to be able to spend time with all the kids in the next couple of weeks…..

  4. Love this post Jeff! It wasn’t the typical gratitude list and it made me think of some other things I’m grateful for. I appreciate your work!

  5. Where I’m from, we don’t celebrate thanksgiving, as such gratitude has always been a personal endeavor for me. That, however, doesn’t stop me from reading gratitude lists when I come across them. Your list is amazing and am looking forward to creating mine. You (and others like you) will be on the list. This year, your work has really molded me as a writer and am grateful for that! Have a happy holiday?!

  6. Thanks Jeff, it’s night over here in New Delhi. Your email just popped up on my inbox and when I clicked I see the article of you.

    The first point I can relate. No one can describe when a kid hugs you.

  7. Thanks for this reflection, Jeff. I appreciate you & the Tribe community so much. As I read your recent writings, I feel as if you’re at an inflection point. Not sure what’s next, but excited to see & be a part!

  8. I am thankful first and foremost for God’s grace that covers a multitude of sin. I am also thankful for an amazing family who loves me unconditionally. Additionally, I am thankful for all of the great resources you so generously share and appreciate the fact that you model what you teach. Finally, I am thankful that I still have time to change my Thanksgiving post that is scheduled for tomorrow because I used the same image you used for this post! 🙂 My blog can be found at http://dbjwriting.com.

  9. This sounds crazy, but I am very grateful for the fact that I still have doubts and questions… No matter how far I have gone in my life, I still haven’t “arrived” in the true Southern sense — there’s room for more and different from where I am and what I have now. I’m always still building, changing, asking why and what’s next. I’m constantly doing a self-check list to make sure I’m still on my path and my plan — making adjustments and corrections in my course. I’d sure hate to “arrive” because that daily struggle giving me a reason to get up in the morning and put my shoulder into working on my life. Without challenges, life would sure be boring!

  10. I am thankful for God’s grace that is new every morning, and that if we confess our sins He faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us of all unrightesness. I am also thankful for my family, wife, kids and friends. Finally, I am thankful for you Jeff.

  11. I am thankful for endings that I didn’t want and that I fought against. Things have happened because of those endings that would not have happened otherwise.

  12. # 12: I’m grateful for the author of this article—thanks, Jeff!
    # 13: I did a clinic today—sickish people going for elective surgery. The gratefulness they show afterwards: the look in the eyes and the soft touch on one’s arm, when one spent a little more time to sooth their fears and concerns about the upcoming operation.
    #14: (Now I’m giving my age away) My granddaughter, Xeniya, who knocked on the door as I was typing this: “Delivery!” she called, handing me a small drawing she made. “I want to see what you do. Pick me up, Oupa. No, turn around. Show me.” She’s two years and nine months.
    # 15: All the new friends we’re making on TWs!

  13. Grateful … for the hard times we’re enduring because I know the biggest growth comes from the greatest challenges.
    Grateful … for friends who steadfastly rally when least expected.
    Grateful … for a marriage where sitting by his side at night is the safest and coziest place on earth … and for the way he makes me laugh in an embarrassingly loud way.
    Grateful … for road trips with girlfriends where we act silly, talk deeply and eat to our heart’s content.
    Grateful … for my two boys … my very heart walking around outside my body. To watch them grow up is my privilege and joy. They stink; they are loud; and they wreck me in the best of ways with the goodness they bring to our home.
    Grateful … for my faith in God which has become the cornerstone of my life and the one thing I would give up everything else to keep.

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