Nothing’s Ever Permanent

Here’s a crazy thing to think about:

Nothing you own is permanently yours.

Not your house.

Not your clothes.

Not your car.

Not your friends.

Not your health…

Everything will disappear at some point in your life, and the world will keep moving on without you!

That’s the freaky part.

The good part?

We have lots to be appreciative of NOW, and we get to choose the bulk of what we bring into our lives later too :)

And good thing, because it opens up a number of doors!

  1. It’s much more freeing. No more having to make everything perfect because it never will be anyways! Things always change!
  2. You can make choices faster! (And then change your mind faster later too – nothing’s permanent!)
  3. It’s empowering. Almost everything in our life we have control over. WE get to decide where to spend our time and money every day. WE get to decide who we hang out with and who we do not. WE get to control our own hopes and dreams and futures.
  4. It means our stresses, struggles, and debts are temporary too. Imagine if all those were permanent?! *shiver*

Here’s a quick test:

Look around your home/office/bedroom right now.

How does it make you feel? Happy? Sad? Annoying?

Try logging into your bank accounts now.

Do you like what you see?

How about all the people you’ll be hanging out with today? Do they love you? Support you? Make you a better person?

All of the above can be changed at any point you want them to.

So while the lack of permanence can be sad to think about, it can also be quite beautiful.

From people to things to money to dreams, WE are the ones in control of our lives, and WE have the power to dramatically change it one way or the other.

Take a minute to appreciate everything you have at this very moment, and then get right back to hustling and dreaming for more.

Nothing’s ever permanent. And that’s a good thing!

PS: If you really want something to marinate on today – consider that in 100 years none of this stuff will even matter anyways! Everyone you know will be dead by then: friends, family, celebrities, politicians – and an entirely new population will be roaming this Earth. Happy Friday! ;)

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  1. Ms99to1percent October 27, 2017 at 5:57 AM

    “It means our stresses, struggles, and debts are temporary too.”

    This ^^^^.

    Whenever I’m going through a hardship, I always think how temporary it is, that it will be over by the next day, week, month,…And that soon enough I won’t even remember that hardship or I will be looking back and laughing at the situation.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 9:58 AM

      Seems like you’ve got it down :)

  2. Ember @ An Intentional Lifestyle October 27, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    Short, sweet, and to the point today!

    I think recognizing that life is short makes me work harder to make an impact. I want to leave a legacy to my children’s children, and that means working on it now.

  3. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance October 27, 2017 at 6:59 AM

    Great post as always! When Mr. FAF and I were poor, I dreamed about having our own home, more money in the bank, stable full-time jobs, and trips to Europe.

    Now that we’re better-off than before, I am happy and appreciative of what we have. But at the same time, I feel that pursuing my passion projects and seeing my family happy and healthy are what make me happy the most.

    I think once we have all of our basic needs met, the desire to own more seems to weaken. I’m so glad I’ve discovered personal finance blogging!

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 9:58 AM

      And we all are too! :)

  4. BD Mike October 27, 2017 at 7:01 AM

    Happy Friday, indeed.

    Embrace and drive change.

  5. Leo T. Ly October 27, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    I definitely believe that my destiny is in my hands. It feels empowering to know that you can determine your own faith. For richer or poorer, you can decide. If you want to be an entrepreneur, start a business. If you want to be a doctor, go to medical school. If you want to be a millionaire, save and invest your money wisely.

    with great freedom, it also comes with great responsibility too. If you don’t know where you want to be or what you want to do, no one can help you. Just remember, nothing is permanent. If you don’t like your situation now, you can always change it. This is your life. Make it count.

  6. Mrs. Groovy October 27, 2017 at 7:57 AM

    There’s a song lyric that’s been in my head this week “maybe what’s good gets a little bit better, and maybe what’s bad gets gone.” That’s how I like to think of impermanence. The good getting much better and the bad going away. (It Goes Like it Goes, Academy Award winning song from “Norma Rae”)

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:13 AM

      I dig it!

  7. Budget on a Stick October 27, 2017 at 7:59 AM

    My eyes started to open to that fact after watching the Minimalist documentary and solidified after reading Get Rich Quickish’s comment about everything I Owen will one day be garbage.

    I’ll be hanging out with my baby boy so I’m happy to spend time with him while I can :-)

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:15 AM

      YES!!! So freaky right?? About the garbage?

  8. Josh October 27, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    This reminds of the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds which comes from Ecclesiastes.

    Since becoming a parent of two small children, my wife and I have focused more on leaving a legacy. Getting out of debt and wisely managing our money has magnified results as compared to two years ago when it was just us.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:16 AM

      It’s a beautiful thing :) Just like kids!

  9. Laurie@ThreeYear October 27, 2017 at 8:04 AM

    Ahhh, perspective. I love it. Without it, we’d still think the world was flat and/or the sun revolved around the earth. For me, a thought exercise like yours is one of the few ways I’m able to really take a good, hard look at what I’m doing in my life and if it makes sense, while ignoring society around me. Happy Friday J!!!

  10. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance October 27, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    Thanks for putting it in perspective J. Be appreciative and keep hustling! Love it. Let’s just hope the earth with be here in 100 years. At least that would mean we did not screw it up too much!

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:16 AM

      Haha very very true…. we’ve got to open up our eyes at *some* point, right?!

  11. Manda October 27, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Best post I have ever, ever read anywhere of all time! Seriously!! When people are asked at the end of their lives what was important to them, they all say the same thing. Nothing matters in the end except the people that you love and hold dear to your heart. We still have to take care of ourselves, physically, mentaly, socially, and financially, but not let greed corrupt us. Thanks for this post today which puts things in perspective so very succinctly.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:33 AM

      Wow – I’m so glad!! Thank you for making my morning!!

  12. Joel October 27, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    All we are is dust in the wind, my friend! A wonderful post to start off my Friday with. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

  13. Mr. Freaky Frugal October 27, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    So very true!

    I spent 7 years as a student at a Zen Center and I had the concept of impermanence drilled into my psyche. I find seeing that idea clearly makes my life much easier. Thanks for the reminder!

    I even wrote a post that included how impermanence is one of the things that makes it easier to get rid of stuff and downsize.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:35 AM

      Nice! And very very true!

  14. Dave October 27, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Great post. It is fitting as I look out of my office window and see all of the red and yellow leafs that are now on the ground. Just like summer, nothing lasts forever. For me, the best way to find peace with any change is to accept it. I don’t have to like it, but if I can accept the change I can better deal with it and move forward.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:41 AM

      Boom. You got it brother.

  15. Mrs. Kiwi @ October 27, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    Nice short and sweet post today! It’s very comforting that nothing is permanent. This year I’ve tried to enjoy watching the sunrise as I drive to work and noticing the changes with the seasons (instead of cursing the sun for blinding me).

  16. Paul October 27, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    “How about all the people you’ll be hanging out with today? Do they love you? Support you? Make you a better person?”

    I can say the people I surround myself with now, do in fact support me and want good things for me. I had a very long friendship end a few years back, I was mainly due to Jealousy. At some point it evolved into a game of one-upsmanship that was only being played by one person. Its not like my ex-friend cared if I did well, he just had to be doing a little bit better in his mind…It got really old, and the constant negativity drained me. I can unequivocally say my life is 100% better sans 1 friend.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:44 AM

      Damn, good job for recognizing it and just cutting it off like that… maybe he’ll return later a better man!

  17. Dads Dollars Debts October 27, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    As some one who recently lost everything (and I mean pretty much everything) to a wild fire, I can attest to this. I had already been one for change and impermanence…I think it is the natural state of things (Entropy- disorder- impermanence, call it what you will). So the massive disruption in our life, while shocking (and the reality is that I am still processing it) was less disruptive due to the fact that we don’t value material possessions (All though we had a ton of them over 10 years of living together and almost 40 years of living in general).

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      i still can’t believe y’all lost your house like that man… just never know what’s in store for us in any given day, right? hit me if you need anything at all, okay?

  18. Handy Millennial October 27, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    J another great post! Implied in what you said is also the impermanence of you. By this I mean your personality. We are constantly in flux. For some reason people have decided that we don’t change. I think this is a harmful myth. We change constantly and we are always different. This is what causes relationships, interests, and hobbies to wax and wane. Lets all embrace this change and make up liberated just like you suggest in this post!

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      Very true! Nothing is off limits with change!

  19. Dave @ Married with Money October 27, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Love the simplicity in this. :)

  20. Moose October 27, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Very true, J. Whatever the state may be, we often assume that it’ll always be that way. The more comfortable we are with change, the more we can capitalize on it and adapt to it.

  21. Linda at Bklyn Bread October 27, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    There is a similar epiphany I have over and over again that I cannot seem to summon when I need it (but I’m trying): all stress will pass. I dreaded this week so badly -I just had awful meetings, crazy deadlines and root canal. My stomach was in knots Sunday night. Now all the worst of it is over and I survived, just like always. How to make myself realize this before the fact and avoid all that awful stomach turning stress? It doesn’t have to be, I know that.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:48 AM

      If you can figure that out, PLEASE tell me! So wild how as humans our emotions totally override our more logical side despite us trying to stay sane haha… I’m glad you now have the week behind you! It’s a fresh new one! :)

  22. Jason@Simple Man Money October 27, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    So very true – as they say, we are all but ashes and dust. I’ve tried to be more intentional about acquiring things with the idea I can pass them down to my children and (eventually) grandchildren.

    For instance, I recently splurged on a new tool chest to organize my various garage tools. It was more money than I would typically spend on myself, but I did so because I knew one day the chest, and the tools within, would belong to my son…and then his son, and so on. With that in mind I am more likely to only buy things that would add value to his life, not just mine.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:50 AM

      VERY good way to look at things… I’m totally saving this idea for a future “Money Hacks” post too – thank you :)

  23. FullTimeFinance October 27, 2017 at 12:13 PM

    Love the perspective. It’s a struggle to get your head around as most people at least in the US are taught to think of the world per your place in it. But it’s so true…think of how many people that have been alive before you. A large portion we don’t even have records about their existence. Even if you look more recent except for some with a geneology bend few look before their great grand parents. So ultimately what you do today is for you and those you interact with.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 10:52 AM

      Yup… and unless anything is *recorded* on you all your thoughts and accomplishments all get lost over time too… Freaky stuff to think about! (And good to make sure to document for your heirs at the very least!)

  24. Lily @ The Frugal Gene October 27, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    An entire new population sounds fair. I’ll end up in the trash along with the rest of my things…but I’m still a little keen on making history, a footnote of it is good enough :)

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 11:05 AM

      Hey – I’ll be right there with you trying to write that footnote!

  25. Crispy Doc October 27, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    Spot on! Impermanence and insignificance are ideal as ego checks and emancipators.
    Nice reminder that we don’t need to hold ourselves back.

  26. Steve October 27, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    That was a great post J. It really puts things into perspective.

  27. Kris October 27, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Nice, simple and to the point. We are all in control of our own lives, its matter of how we want to leave a legacy to our family so they can pass on our teachings to the next generation.

  28. Angie October 27, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    Eternity is permanent.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 11:06 AM

      You got me!

  29. Financial Samurai October 28, 2017 at 12:37 AM

    Reminds me of Buddhism. Desire is the cause of suffering. Impermanence is reality.

    Enjoy all we have until it’s all gone!


    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 11:06 AM

      Amen to that, brother.

      (And where were you this weekend? Did I miss you or did you take a year off?)

  30. Andy October 28, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Add “The Power of Now” by Eckhardt Tolle to your reading list. It changed my life.

    1. J. Money October 30, 2017 at 11:07 AM

      On it!

  31. Frank October 31, 2017 at 2:06 AM

    Used to manage a dept where we we often hired contract help through Temp Agencies. My favorite was the guy who had build a lifestyle using temp jobs that allowed him the flexibility to pursue what mattered to him . He was competent and took pride in his work but never took himself or anyone else too seriously. Every time he worked for us he brought along a small wooden sign he displayed on his desk that said “Life is a temporary assignment.” He believed that sign and, from what I could tell, lived his life accordingly. At the time I thought him a little odd, in retrospect I think wise might be a better description.

    1. J. Money October 31, 2017 at 6:03 AM

      That is too cool. I like that :)

  32. Tim November 2, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    This article actually made me feel a little bit better. Honestly I just cant figure out what I am: I’m either unemployed, semi-retired or retired. After a dozen years at a great company that I loved I had to “move out” when new management came in and the company’s culture changed. I supposedly have enough invested and saved not to ever work again even though I’m not at retirement age. I guess you could say I’m lucky but then again man I’m bored since most of my friends are still having to work.

    Regardless, this article says it all: Nothing’s ever permanent.

    1. J. Money November 2, 2017 at 4:20 PM

      An interesting place to be in! There’s nothing you can work on that’s super exciting to you right now? Either personally or professionally? I know the feeling of not having a good dream or goal lined up though – that can suck… I hope you find something juicy to jump on :)

  33. Ten Factorial Rocks November 5, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Great reminder J$ about the impermanence of everything in life! Yet, it amazes me that many of us seek 95%+ success probability in ER simulations.

    1. J. Money November 6, 2017 at 10:17 AM

      It’s one of those things we *do* have a good amount of control over ;) Well, the savings and time we decide to quit, at least…

  34. GYM November 10, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    I’m going to tell this to myself regarding how my baby is not sleeping through the night. That the sleepless nights too, shall pass! You and Mrs. Budgets are Sexy should get your sleep banked in now before Baby Dime comes!!

    1. J. Money November 13, 2017 at 5:56 AM

      Oh, that is ESPECIALLY a good time to remind yourself of that :) And I am not looking forward to that part all over again myself, ugh… hope it gets better fast for you!

  35. Enoch November 10, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Like they say, “this too shall pass” and “no condition is permanent.” Thanks for the reminder, J. Money.

  36. ZJ Thorne November 13, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    The only thing constant is change. It helps to remember this.