What Would You Die For?

Key Takeaways

  • Asking the question, “What would you die for?” can illicit many interesting and serious responses from different people.
  • It’s an interesting dichotomy between saying we’d pay anything to save the life of a loved one, but in our everyday lives, we complain about making the small payments.
  • We tend to lose track of what money really means and can get very myopic about it.

What would you die for? That was a line made famous by Jack Benny, but the question has been asked in many movies, shows, and philosophical conversations throughout time. It’s an interesting and serious question to ask ourselves.

I was with a group of entrepreneurs a few years ago, and we talked about this question in depth. There were of course the simple answers, like you’d die for your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or siblings. Then there were things like dying for your faith, or freedom, or the truth, something that’s very important to you. Going deeper; how about dying for someone you don’t even know? Perhaps rescuing someone from a burning car or jumping on a grenade if you’re in the military in that situation? There’s all kinds of situations and levels.

The point is, if you know that your child could be saved by an operation that cost 1 million, 2 million, even 3 million dollars, and you had the money, you’d pay for it. But on the other hand, what do we do? Well, we take forever to decide on going to a movie we feel is overpriced, or to buy a certain cut of meat if we feel it’s too expensive, or to even do things that are seemingly miniscule in relationship to the money I’ve just been speaking of.

It’s funny how we can get distracted by things that are 5, 10, 15, 20 dollars, and we can spend days frustrated, telling everyone about it, and yet, we’d spend 2 million dollars to save a loved one without batting an eye. It seems somewhat of a dichotomy.

Sometimes I think we lose track of what money really means and get too myopic about it. I don’t think there’s a person out there on their deathbed that would say, “Gee, I wish I had 5 million dollars.” They would probably say something like, “I wish I had more time with my family, or that I had pursued this goal I never accomplished, or that I did things differently.”

So, when you’re looking at your money, and you ask yourself, “What would I die for?”, how would you look at that now, when you start making those simple, everyday decisions? It’s something to keep in context and keep in mind for the future.

Until next time, enjoy.


TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach, is designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. As part of our process, we use mind mapping – one of the most powerful tools available for bridging the communication gap between different generations. Mind mapping is visual and helps all parties gain a clear picture of all aspects of the financial equation. Ask Gary about mind mapping and Coyle’s  TransformingWealth Preview Meeting, and schedule a complimentary consultation to start living the Good Life Managed Well™.

Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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