I love asking people what they would do if they had a billion dollars because I think it says a lot about them. It tells me what makes them happy. No, money doesn’t buy happiness, but if given a steady flow of cash, we would all quickly choose to spend all of our time doing whatever it is that does make us happy. That’s where the secret lies.
However, when I ask the question it comes with two rules:
- What would you do for yourself with the money?
- What would you do long-term?
I already know we would all buy our parents houses, make smart investments, and a book a two-week vacation to somewhere tropical. I don’t care about that. That doesn’t tell me anything specific about you. I want to know how you would craft your life if money was of no importance.
If I had a billion dollars, I would go back to school. I’d pick schools on the West Coast where the weather is warm and drizzly, perfect for thinking. I would go for a Ph.D. in English because that’s something that I could learn about forever. I could spend the rest of my life in comparative literature courses or writing short stories to have them torn apart in peer discussions. It’s the only part of school I ever loved.
When I finished, I’d buy a little place here in Wisconsin, near my family, where I could spend time when the temperature is warm and everything is green. I’ve never been one for big homes. It can be simple and beautiful at the same time. Then, I would buy a flat somewhere in England along the sea. Somewhere I could go alone to dream, write, and explore. The only extravagant ask I have for both homes is one room with bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling with nothing but a big, comfy chair in the center.
I would spend my days working on a novel or maybe a book of poems that I could self-publish. I wouldn’t even care if no one bought it. To see my name embossed on the cover of something I made would be enough. To make something concrete out of the mess of notebook pages and Google Docs that I’ve scrawled words onto thus far.
In my free time, I would work towards my goal of visiting every continent. Yes, including Antarctica. What’s the point of being part of a whole planet if I don’t ever leave the parts of it that I already know? I think it would be beautiful to see each of the worlds that make up this hunk of rock.
So, what does that tell you about me? What is it that makes me feel happy? I’ll tell you.
I’m a dreamer. I love spending time wrapped up in my own head. If I had a billion dollars, I would build a life that allowed me to dream all day long.
What would you do if you had a billion dollars?