What is the Answer to 99 Out of 100 Questions?

I finally decided watch the movie Vanilla Sky, starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz. If you are some of the few who have yet to see that movie – A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover. Besides being a great movie, Tom Cruise’s character said, “My father wrote about this in his book. Chapter 1… Page 1… Paragraph 1: What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?…Money” It could not be worded better than that.  Before I get a lot of people telling me that life is not all about money, let me make a few clarifications:

  • Contribution is more important than money
  • Money does not measure one’s success or buy happiness
  • Money make the world go round and round


Almost everyone everywhere at one point or another has money on their mind. Whether or not they have enough, how they can get more, and what they can use it on. People who say that money is not important are just putting up a facade. You cannot tell me that money is not important to you. The clothes on your back, the reason you get up early in the morning to go to work, the mortgage payment, and car payment, all have to deal with you having and making money.

Contribution is More Important Than Money

I agree with this completely so let’s go into further detail. There are two ways you can contribute:

Contribute Your Time

You can contribute your time in several different ways. You can give people advice on how to live a better life based upon your knowledge and your personal life experiences.  Many people who write autobiographies talk about their challenges and how they were able to overcome them. Some of these people share knowledge they have gained from over 30+ years of experience.  Imagine reading 1 book like this every month for 12 months, that equals learning about 360 years of life experiences in just 1 year! Mother Teresa is a great example of a person who dedicated most of her life to helping others. Her efforts was so highly respected, she impacted the whole world. A smaller scale example would be me, believe it or not, it takes me several hours of my time to write about knowledge and experiences I have gone through in my life. Or how about a vague example of a high school student who spends their time after school helping out at the senior center.

Contribute Your Money

I was having small debate about Donald Trump with a reader of mine on my article about losers. Even though many people portray “The Donald” to be a self-centered egomaniac that is only interested in himself and money, he is still able to contribute more money to charities than most people do in an entire life time. In his show, The Celebrity Apprentice, they were able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for needy charity’s around the world. You cannot donate money to charities by being poor. Contributing your time helps, but your able to do so much more with money. Being wealthy not only allows you to contribute more money to those who need it (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), but being wealthy also means that you are able to provide jobs (employees) and help other people around them (investors) make money.

Money Does Not Measure One’s Success or Buy Happiness

Success and happiness, like beauty is determined by the eye of the beholder. To some success might be having a big house with fancy cars while to others it may be a white picket fence style house with a car the works. Happiness to some might be having $1,000,000 in the bank while to others it might be spending your life with the one you love. Filling your empty with void with materialistic objects will eventually drain out and become empty again. Buying a brand new luxury car will keep you happy for until you get the urge to want something else.

Money Makes the World Go Round

“A man with a briefcase can steal more money than 100 men with handguns.”

– Don Corleone, The Godfather

Like most ideologies, money is a double edged sward capable of doing both good and evil. Money can help a poor man live an average life. Money can help a sick man become healthy again. Money can help a student with journey of a prestige and impeccable education. Money can take a non-astronaut into space! Whether you like it or not, money has the power to do almost anything.

“Life is miserable, no matter what. It is better to be miserable with money than without it.”

-Siva Baba

You have two choices: You can either work hard make enough money so you can live comfortly, enjoy your family, loved ones, and travel or you can continue to tell yourself that money is not a necessity in your life and live paycheck to paycheck. Money is what will pay for those guitar lessons, to donate to your favorite charity, to feed your children, to shelter you from the rain, and almost everything else you do in life. Money truely is the answer to most of the questions you have in life.

How say you?

28 thoughts on “What is the Answer to 99 Out of 100 Questions?

  1. Vladimir Tsvetkov

    What’s your point?

    Work hard to get more money! That’s bull****! Keep repeating this to yourself – it’s definitely the CONCENTRATION mantra, but keep in mind that…

    In a system based on scarcity of resources working your ass off is usually not enough. You need to be unscrupulous in order to attain access to more resources. When you go see the dentist has it occurred to you that the prescribed manipulations may not be necessary and that the dentist’s decisions are solely driven by his desire to buy himself a yacht. Doctor’s ethics, my ass – in a dog eat dog environment every dollar counts.

    The free enterprise system encourages competition and competition is considered to be the engine of all incentives. But this system also encourages corruption – you’ve totally forgotten to mention that tiny fact in your blog post. Corruption leads to having trust nobody. Trust me on that!

    Have you considered a system where incentives are not driven solely by survival instincts?

    1. AJ Kumar Post author


      I am okay with you expressing yourself, but please do not use curse words – this is your only warning.

      The point of this article was show the importance of money. I heard a great quote from a movie I saw and felt like sharing it.

      I am totally for competition…but to use unscrupulous acts, I disagree. If you are really good at what you do, you can do it the right way with out being unethical.

      Sure I do not disagree that there are people who are dishonest, but that does not mean you have to follow that same path.

      To make money you must worker harder and smarter. Bringing in corruption is completely up to you and not required.

      1. Vladimir Tsvetkov

        Totally agree with you on curse words! I apologize to you about that!

        Most of us are raised to disagree and disapprove unethical behavior, but as a psychologist you know better than me, that we react to stimulus (off course lots of other things have it’s impact too – DNA, childhood, education, environment, nutrition, etc.). Certain stimulus make us be unethical (remember the John Q movie).

        Mind-stretcher questions:
        Would you keep the monetary system if you’re designing a social system? Would you keep a 40 hours working week, if you can freely access all resources needed for your survival and self-development? Would you recommend the same thing?

        I think this particular advice is bound to a medieval society with primitive technology. Any good reasons to keep it that way?

        1. AJ Kumar Post author


          If everyone did what John Q did, there would be a tremendous amount of chaos.

          I would not keep a 40 hour work week as there is no ceiling to how many hours you should work to become successful. You work hard, you work smart, you hone your skills, and take advantage on every opportunity you get.

          I am having a bit of trouble understanding what you are trying to prove or show me. Are you saying you should not contribute because resources are scarce?

          Also, please explain what you mean by my advice applying to a medieval society…

          1. Vladimir Tsvetkov

            Right now there is a tremendous amount of chaos, don’t you think? US has the largest population of prisoners, and it’s rising, instead of getting smaller and smaller.

            My point is that we value money, just because we’re raised to value money, and we know nothing else than the monetary system. Money are only important in the current status quo – and this status quo persist back from ancient Persia (where money we’re invented) – medieval times are actually pretty relevant compared to hundreds of years before Christ. So to speak, your advice propagates ancient values, irrelevant and inadequate to the current state of science and technologies – those two have the potential to generate abundance that will turn money into something with no meaning.

            If you think deeper, you’ll realize that money actually do not exist. It’s like a game of Monopoly, where the goal is to expand until you have it all, instead of searching for an equilibrium where all the players win. There is no mutually beneficial ending in such a game.

            How sane is to value most something that doesn’t even exist?

            You can’t create value with money! One creates value with technology, science, knowledge… you need a non-obvious synergies between materials – you need skills and ingenuity. Money are only an excuse for the lack of these.

          2. AJ Kumar Post author

            Hey Vladimir,

            Thanks for the great response, but you are getting too philosophical with this. I explained everything in this blog in a very cut and dry format. If you do not think that you should work hard make money, enjoy life, and contribute, then what should you do?

          3. Vladimir Tsvetkov

            It’s not too philosophical neither too complicated. It’s just us, not seeing farther than our noses.

            My answer is short – never be satisfied with the status quo, work hard to change things for better and try to solve real life problems rather than imaginary. You can call it a contribution, but it’s just a rational and responsible behavior.

  2. tom

    I agree there needs to be some structure to the system and really the few control the many.
    And we need the many to run the system. It would take a lot of time for that to reverse and maybe it was that way a few hundred years ago but somehow people believed this new way was better.

    Its not fair but really why should you fight for someone else who doesnt care, worry about yourself first.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Yes worry about yourself first I agree, and then when you can or if you want, help those who need to be helped.

      You do not have to contribute, but what I am saying in this article is that MONEY IS IMPORTANT and so is contribution.

      I have had too many conversations with people who think just because I am interested in money, I am greedy and selfish which is not true.

      You get what I mean?

      1. Tom

        Of course, i don’t care what you say, money is important. We will always have generous and greedy people, and thats what makes it all interesting.

        I recall watching a short clip online with Suze Orman and she was talking about a situation where she was speaking with someone, a parent who told her that the most important thing to them was their kids and they showed the pic.

        And Suze replies back with, how did you get the clothes on them, how did you get that picture and the wallet.
        Money is the foundation.

  3. tom

    How can you have equilibrium when everyone wants different things?
    Two parties come to the table and negotiate a deal that has a specific value for each other them and they agree what is fair.

    Now when me and you look at this situation, we obviously think its unfair but in reality it probably is because we really don’t know and understand the situation from the point view of both people.

    Lets face it, everything being equal and fair would just suck and life would be boring.

    1. Vladimir Tsvetkov

      You’re asking about game theory – how to act in a conflict situation where all parties are trying to maximize their profit?

      Remember the movie Beautiful Mind and the mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. He got a Nobel Prize in economy for solving this problem – maximizing profits in situations with conflict of interests. The answer is called “Nash Equilibrium” – simply put, in a conflict situation parties need to make compromises in order to get sure profit in the end.

      And I’m not talking about everybody being equal. I’m talking about an abundance of resources, where being equal or not being equal doesn’t matter, cause everyone can have clean air, water and soil, so as food, clothes, place to live, high quality education and high quality healthcare. But in order to generate such an abundance, we need to work out some kind of equilibrium between each other and between us and the environment.

      By equilibrium I mean rational behavior where you make compromises with all irrational desires to be always on top, in favor of sure profit, and in favor of a cleaner and more just world.

  4. Vladimir Tsvetkov

    You know what, AJ?

    There’s nothing wrong with your blog post. It’s just me and my growing discontent with the monetary system. It’s exactly the understanding that money are of such a great importance that made me detest the monetary system.

    This discontent grew inside me with the years… It’s the reason I quit my job and started a new company with the goal of designing more meaningful and more humane stuff.

    And my responses were somewhat driven by the desire to make people more aware of the deficiencies of the monetary system.

    This blog post summarizes in a way my thought and the history behind my growing detest against the monetary system.

    1. tom

      I am very glad you can see the light and want to make something great out of your life and give to others.

      I was upset for a while over how people are treated, how they are paid at these jobs but in the end if my situation sucks, why should I be worrying about changing it for others when they may not care as much as I do.

      Worry about yourself first.

      And I am on the same track you describe, wanting to quit my job and start a business.

      Sure as much as I would want to change the system, and maybe one day i will strive for that but at least for me, my priority is getting myself secured

  5. Bill

    It’s a funny thing though. When you have money, the 99 questions get answered – quickly and efficiently – and then… there’s that one question remaining. That one question that itches the mind like a small patch of dry skin in the middle of your back. And the importance of that question starts to grow and the itch gets worse.

    But, on the other hand, this pile of money I have here? That’s the pile I got by answering other people’s questions. 🙂

  6. Ace

    I like this write-up AJ. One question though; whats the answer to the last question, since money answers 99 out of 100?

  7. John Kooz

    Meh, your site has some great articles, but this one is pretty hackneyed, trite, and lame. Additionally, I totally disagree. I need to make money. Donald Trump style earning is ridiculous but you DO need SOME (like 40k/year minimum) MONEY for happiness. i’m sorry but you need to be earning for a baseline of happiness. I’ve done all the contribution stuff, the believing in happiness stuff, all of that. Frankly, there’s a limit to the amount ofh happiness you can achieve without earning money. Period. Without money, you’ll hit walls. Done. Money provies you with freedom Final. Are the other qualities — contributio, choice, giving, generosity, more imporartant? YES. But will you severely limie yourself without earning? Yes. Simple.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Hi John,
      I don’t think you understood the bottom line message of this post. Read the following paragraph and you’ll see that I claim that “Money Makes the World Go Round”. I never said you can survive without money:

      “Like most ideologies, money is a double edged sward capable of doing both good and evil. Money can help a poor man live an average life. Money can help a sick man become healthy again. Money can help a student with journey of a prestige and impeccable education. Money can take a non-astronaut into space! Whether you like it or not, money has the power to do almost anything.

      You have two choices: You can either work hard make enough money so you can live comfortly, enjoy your family, loved ones, and travel or you can continue to tell yourself that money is not a necessity in your life and live paycheck to paycheck. Money is what will pay for those guitar lessons, to donate to your favorite charity, to feed your children, to shelter you from the rain, and almost everything else you do in life. Money truely is the answer to most of the questions you have in life.”

  8. John Kooz

    yep. you’re right mate. I skimmed the article thinking it was another “money ≠ happiness” bit but after rereading I realized that this is about revealing that yes money ≠ happiness but NOT having money ALSO ≠ happiness!!! nice 1.

  9. briefcase

    Now i’m not positive I completely concur with you on this post. Then again I am always open to new options. Probably will have to think about it. Great site by the way

  10. Lan Varkey

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  11. Jorayx

    Money is Currency
    currency is to society  what  Electric charge is to medium

    Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium

    Money / Currency is a flow of energy through a medium.

    XD I may have completely butchered the thought I was planning to express, but I hope that someone understands and has the presence of thought to put it in more easily understood terms.


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