…and others do just the same with their time.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



For this Monday’s quote we can thank German writer and politician Johann Wolfgang von 1. Goethe initially gained fame for his epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, and many of his ideas went on to have a significant impact on German culture in the 19th century.Goethe. 1

When I first read this quote late last night I found myself reflecting on the fact that I – unlike the many people that Goethe refers to here 2. Heck, my passion for the topic of compensation is at least a little driven by a vested personal interest in understanding the market factors which most heavily influence pay. – am a compulsive saver and investor. 2 Ergo, whatever other regrets I may otherwise one day have, as a general rule I have long suspected that my financial decisions will not be among them.

But yet… this morning I found myself revisiting the text a second time; and this time I took pause. I realized that lately, in my zest to maximize lifetime earnings I’ve lost sight of the fact that a life truly well lived is one rich in both material goods and experiences. In recent months, I’ve passed on attending a few too many vacations/events/reunions in the interest of letting compounding interest work on my savings; and I’ve further spent perhaps a bit too much time skilling up when I should have been living it up.

…Last week I talked about how burnout is about resentment, declaring that the key to beating it is holding sacred those things which are most precious to you. Having had some time to reflect, however, I would now like to also add that burnout can come upon us well after the fact; this is because often, we don’t resent losing something until it’s gone. It is easy to be careless with your time when you have lots of it, but much of life passes by faster than we might expect.

I don’t say the above to discount the importance of money. At the end of the day, pay is very important. To this point, according to Glassdoor 32% of employees listed increasing pay as one of their top professional resolutions of 2014.

…With that said, in between working hard and making lots of money I would encourage you to also invest in experiences. There is some good data that . 3. A while back, Google People Analytics Manager Kathryn Dekas was featured in a great WorldatWork video talking about just this topic here.suggests this is a good idea for a host of reasons 3, but I would submit to you that the most important reason is to avoid that which is only evident to us in hindsight – regret.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy Monday,