Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Rich as I may be from a material standpoint, I’ve long felt that I’m very poor, indeed, in time. For decades, my business affairs have made extremely heavy inroads on my time, leaving me very little I could use as I pleased. There are books that I have wanted to read—and books I have wanted to write. I’ve always yearned to travel to remote parts of the globe which I’ve never seen; one of my greatest unfulfilled ambitions has been to go on a long, leisurely safari in Africa.

Money has not been a bar to the realization of these desires; insofar as money is concerned, I could have easily afforded to do any of these things for many years. The blunt and simple truth is that I’ve never been able to do them because I could never afford the time. It’s paradoxical but true that the so-called captains of industry frequently have less time for indulging their personal desires than their rear-rank privates. This applies to little things as well as big ones.

It is not my intent to imply that I am in any way dissatisfied with my lot in life. Indeed, I would be more than ungrateful for the good fortune and advantages I’ve enjoyed if I were anything less than happy. Moreover, I am very gratified that I have managed to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself when I began my business career.

The point I’m trying to make is that each individual has to establish his own standards of values, and that these are largely subjective. They are based on what the individual considers most important to him and what he is willing to give for a certain thing or in order to achieve a certain aim.

Old—but true are the bromides that you can’t have everything and that you can’t get something for nothing. An individual always has to give—or give up—something in order to have or get something else. Whether he’s willing to make the exchange or not is entirely up to him and his own sense of values.

- John Paul Getty

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