Ten Things I Value More Than Money

Chad Schloss

(This list inspired by an article by James Altucher)

Here’s a link to where I found James’ list,



I don’t normally share such personal notes from my journals; however, the list found at the link above published by James Altucher inspired me to write and share my own list. So here it goes.

My list (from my personal journal Notes To Self – November 2017):

#1)      Community

As in James Altucher’s definition of family and friends, I wholeheartedly agree; however, I will add to that: good neighbors, tribes (sub-cultures), fellow citizens (subjects in some other countries), and all inhabitants of planet Earth create community.

Good neighbors, especially those who happen to live in the unit above me, are those who walk softly upon the stairs and throughout their home, even if not always walking softly upon the world at large. I must remember this the next time my residence is above someone else. I’m sure I’ve been a noisy neighbor, which is probably why I’ve had some “doozies” the past few years!

Tribes (sub-cultures) are those souls whose lives parallel our own and whose ideals reflect our own. If you have found your tribe, Congratulations! For the rest of you, you’re not alone. I’m still searching, too.

As for Nations, States, and/or Ethnic Groups; if you feel you belong then this is likely your tribe. If you’re like me at all, then you’ve likely never felt very much at home anywhere you’ve been (so far) in your walk upon the Earth. Keep searching for your tribe, it might be larger, and less closely defined to your life at this time.

As for the Earth… we only have one another to help clean up our home world. Together we can all work, live, and play in a way that leaves our lovely “blue-green marble” a much better place for all of those who will follow in the flow, on the “river of life”.

#2)      Health/Wellbeing

Without good health, high functioning wellbeing, is any life truly worth living? Maybe, maybe not, but that depends solely upon the attitude of the individual. I’m still working on this… truly a life-long project that requires constant vigilance regarding exercise level, diet, attitude adjustments, etc.

#3)      Creativity

Yes, I must remember to listen to my inner child, relax more, and go with the flow. Only then can I make myself, and others happy. Period =)

Now where did I put those crayons, clay, colored pencils, sketching pads, canvas, and finger paints?

#4)      Curiosity

I have plenty of curiosity about things, places, and ideas; but I still need to strengthen my question asking “muscle”. I must resolve to show more interest in others and find out all I can about what’s important to them – discover what makes them “tick”.

#5)      Sadness (Anxiety)

James had it right.  I never thought of anxiety as a form of sadness, and although he didn’t define it explicitly, the definition seems implied as I read this section of his list.  I’ve suffered from anxiety much of my life, not realizing what I was feeling, just that I wasn’t feeling right with myself or my circumstances.

So, listen to and learn from sadness and anxiety. These are great teachers I’ve embraced (unconsciously) for so much of my life. I’ve finally learned to listen to them more fully, and now I’m beginning to learn from them, too. Soon I will finally release the sadness that has haunted me for so long. Eventually, my joyful laughter will again flow freely, as it did when I was a child, before my dark days of childhood that began a few months after I turned seven years old.

#6)      Laughter

I’ve read from time to time that children laugh as much as 300 times a day, and adults laugh on average 5 times a day. I don’t know if those statistics are accurate much less true; however, my own self-assessment when comparing my childhood with my adulthood so far – it strongly supports those statistics, save for the fact that on most days as an adult I haven’t even laughed 5 times.

This must change. Again, consciously choose to actively find things to laugh about on a daily basis. The first 5 years of The Simpsons were a message that I missed a few decades ago, though I remember telling a good friend from college something along the lines of, “Yes, it’s a silly show. It’s even stupid at times, but watching The Simpsons makes me laugh.” He innately understood my reasoning, nodded, and then laughed along with me – at least I think he laughed along with, and not at me.

Resume study of the Buddhist Master, the Happy Hotei. Yes dad, you introduced me to that legend when I was a child. I even had a figurine of that Buddhist Master for many years; but in early adulthood, that figurine was lost in one of my many moves, as were most of those early lessons. I’m back on the path, relearning what was lost for so very long, and learning new things, too. I long to laugh again, repeatedly, everyday!

#7)      Learning

I resolve to learn something new each day. This lesson I’ve clearly taken to heart – If the 200+ college credit hours I’ve attained over the past 36 years are any indication. Of course there have been so many other things learned along the way as well, from books to travel (domestic and global). Keep at it, avoid procrastination, and complacency because you know that you’re never too old to learn something new.

At 51 taking up piano was risky, but you started. Just before turning 54, you dropped the proverbial ball on that. You let the stress and anxiety of your situation (divorce finalized, job loss, and breakup) get to you.

Resume playing piano, and remember to smile while practicing! =)

#8)      Freedom

Freedom comes in a number of forms. The Freedom listed here is not really freedom as a rallying cry for independence as depicted by Mel Gibson in “Braveheart” but rather like how Laurence Fishburne, Morpheus, instructed Keanu Reeves, Thomas Anderson/Neo, to free his mind in order to escape The Matrix, and enter the “real world”.

Similarly, I still need to continue freeing my mind of the negativity loops that were programmed into me as a child starting at seven years old.   It’s high time to free my mind of what was, so that I can create more of what I want and begin to avoid continued disillusionments and failures already experienced. The time is now for a new story, not repeats of past losses, pains, rejections, betrayals, and deep despair.

#9)      Charity

I resolve to give back to those who have been so generous toward me throughout my life, and to give – “pay it forward” to those I’ve never met and may never meet.

Learn to give without expectation of receiving, but simply out of the goodness/kindness of my heart and a renewed ability to give. Give not for recognition, but for the sake of giving/helping – “raising all boats” in the storms of life in this shared reality we call life. Remember, in my successful moments to come, to bring smiles to the faces of others, and choose to do so overtly when necessary, and covertly whenever possible.

#10)   Intimacy

Yes, I want it! On the conditions that the feelings and commitment are mutual, deep, kismet, destined. Yes, I Want Intimacy! I really want it; but only if it’s true, deep, honest, and most of all mutual-reciprocal. Nothing less will do from now on, and if it’s not my fate to have that kind of relationship this turn on the wheel of life, then so be it. I accept and embrace that possibility, too.

Once upon a time, I believed in true love, twin flames, and a happily ever after for everyone alive. I no longer believe that Love is for everyone. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fail miserably, spectacularly, and/or completely. For some of us we fail every time – every attempt, without exception. Maybe I’m just bad at choosing; or maybe I’m not picky enough, or maybe it just isn’t meant to be…

Instead of love, maybe there’s something else I should focus my attention upon, create, improve, and/or heal for the remainder of my days on Earth?


Here are a few items that didn’t make the list…at this time, but they might be added later:

Spirituality (a rather private matter I may share in the future)

Adventure:  Travel & Entertainment (with friends, family, and…?)

Wining & Dinning (with the right companion accompanying of course!)

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