7 Things You Should Only Treat As Means To An End

Alden Tan
4 min readJan 23, 2019

1) Money

I wrote to Ryan Holiday, one of my favorite authors once about how to balance doing what you love, creating art and doing work with money. Or to put it another way, how do you stop worrying about making money when you’re trying to do your best work.

He replied that it’s important to remember that money is merely a means to an end.

Now here lies the problem: Most people today treat money as the end.

That is why rich people are still capable of getting depressed. That is why some celebrities have killed themselves, most notably Robin Williams.

Remember, money can only buy pleasure, not joy. Work hard to make that money. Get some pleasure along the way, but remember to do what matters most to you or what you’re passionate about to constantly create new ends. Like for me, as a Bboy, I create joy for myself by consistently creating new movements and routines, while enjoying the music along the way. And we all know music is infinite.

2) Fame

Fame, the philandering partner of money is another pleasurable means that is understandably seductive.

You’ve fans who adore you. You’ve companies who want to pay you. You also get tons of free shit.

I am not famous, but I dare say that they come with side effects, such as toxic friends who start to use you, shallow relationships which refuse to weather the storm or immense stress from trying to stay relevant.

Face it, fame comes and go. Someone is only going to replace you and they’re probably younger.

Dig deep instead to do shit you love for yourself, not for others. That is the only way you’re only going to better yourself.

3) A job

Working is important, especially if you need to support those dependant on you.

But at the end of the day, your job does not identify you.

You’re more than the work you do on your desk, your paycheck, your boss’s comments or the promotion you just got.

There’re many amazing things you can do outside of your job. You just need to explore and apply yourself.