post written by: Marc Chernoff

What Money Can’t Buy

What Money Can't Buy

You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.
- Garth Brooks

  • A First Kiss from Someone Special – The sweet rush of butterflies in your tummy when you kiss someone special for the very first time.
  • The Realization of True Love – The warm feeling you get many years after your first kiss when you realize you married the right person.
  • Beauty – Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • True Friendship – Through thick and thin, they stood by your side.  They were there when you had nothing but them.
  • Peace of Mind – It can only be acquired with an honest heart.
  • Beginner’s Eyes – You’ll never see it again for the very first time.
  • The Joy of Telling an Interesting True Story – One of the most enticing roles we lead in life is that of a storyteller.  There are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.
  • Happiness – True happiness is achieved by doing what you love and being involved in something you believe in.
  • Success – Success is simply excelling at doing what you love.
  • A Single Moment of Time – Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Don’t miss it.
  • A Baby’s Laughter – Babies don’t care about money.  They care about kindness, love, and living in the moment.
  • Surprise Encounters with Long-Lost Friends – You haven’t seen them in years, and you figured you’d probably never see them again.  Then suddenly, there they are standing right in front of you.
  • The Feeling of Self-Accomplishment – You set your sights on a specific goal and followed through until you achieved it.  Now that’s something to celebrate.
  • The Sound of Raindrops Outside – …as you snuggle up on the couch.  Few sounds are more soothing.
  • A Good, Genuine Conversation – Those moments of verbal bonding when the topic of conversation flows seamlessly and all parties involved gain as much as they put in.
  • An Unexpected Compliment – It seems like just another dreary Monday afternoon, but then she walks into your office and says, “I love your shirt.  That color looks great on you.”
  • The Feeling You Get When Your Idea Works – You’ve been struggling to resolve a complex problem all day, but you just can’t seem to get it right.  Filled with frustration, you decide to try one last idea before calling it a night.  You’ve had many ideas before that failed miserably… but this time it works.
  • Randomly Hearing Your Favorite Song – You’re stuck in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, so you crank on a radio station for a little distraction.  The opening notes to your favorite song instantly chime in.
  • Watching a Live Blooper Unfold in Front of You – As you walk alongside a friend, she trips over her own feet, wobbles erratically, regains her balance, and then tries to play it off like nothing happened.  Hilarious!
  • A Sunny Sunday Afternoon – The birds are chirping, a light breeze in blowing through your hair, and the sun’s rays are warming your cheeks.
  • The Rush of Adolescent Love – Those magical moments of adolescent lust and affection that only you and one other person rightly remember.
  • Being In The Right Place at The Right Time – You’re sitting in the nosebleed seats at a professional baseball game.  The home team batter cranks a monstrous, game-winning home run.  The ball bounces off another fan’s glove two seats in front of you and lands right in your lap.
  • The Recollection of Great Childhood Memories – Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike?  What about wrestling with your dad?  Or climbing trees with your friends?
  • Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Best Friend – Those crazy life experiences only the two of you lived through together.  Like that wild 24 hour road trip to Atlanta, or that drunken night on the 3rd floor balcony of your college apartment.
  • Passion – True wealth comes naturally to those who follow their hearts.  You can’t pay someone to be emotionally passionate about something.  Nor can you pay them to psychologically give-up on their passions.
  • Objects of Sentimental Value – Old family photos, your great grandmother’s music box, that painting your baby brother made for you… some things are priceless.
  • The Comfort of an Old Familiar Smell – You just pulled into your parent’s driveway after being away for a long while.  You smell familiarity in the air, the scent of the pine tree in the neighbor’s yard.  As you head through the front door, more familiar smells consume your senses.  Gosh, it feels good to be home.
  • The Hilarity of an Inside Joke – You’ll never get it unless you were there at its inception.
  • Amazing Talents You Are Born With – Like the mind of a genius or the voice of an angel.
  • The Excitement of Making Someone Else Smile – Because her smile makes you smile back.
  • Exercising Your 5 Senses – Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  Each provides a gateway to rewarding personal experiences.
  • Sharing a Good Laugh with Friends and Family – Some of the most memorable moments in your life will be moments spent in laughter.
  • The Warm Coziness of Your Own Bed – No bed is more comfortable than your own.
  • Watching Wild Animals in Nature – Like a hawk gracefully soaring above the tree line, or a deer prancing across a grassy field.
  • A Home – Money can buy a house, but not a home.  Because home is where the heart is.
  • Waking Up to the Smell of a Home Cooked Meal – You were still asleep, but someone special knew you’d be hungry soon.
  • The Peaceful Sound of Absolute Silence – Shhhhh…
  • Streams of Consciousness and Clarity – You’re ‘in the zone!’  Act while your mind is hot.
  • The Sound of a Light Breeze Through the Trees – It’s the sound of Mother Nature all around you.
  • The Captivating Experience of People Watching – The interesting (and sometimes foolish) things people do never ceases to please.  You can’t buy this quality of entertainment.
  • Watching the Sunrise and Sunset with Your Beloved – Make time for this.  It’s worth it.
  • The Sound and Sight of Ocean Waves – Another phenomenal act of Mother Nature.
  • The ‘Pump’ After a Great Workout – You feel like you can conquer the world.
  • The Blissful Act of Daydreaming – Just being… and thinking… and dreaming.
  • When She Says “I Love You” - …and you know she means it because you can read the sincerity in her eyes.
  • When an Unlikely Someone Remembers Your Birthday – A friend you haven’t seen in over a month calls you at 9AM on your birthday just to say “happy birthday.”
  • Finding Something You Thought You’d Lost Forever – You searched for it for days and finally gave up.  Now, six months later, it basically appears right in front of you.
  • The Inspiration Behind Creative Works of Art – Every piece of art is priceless in the eyes of someone who can relate to it.  The creative inspiration behind these works of art is no different.
  • When Your Pet Snuggles Up Next to You – It’s just soooo cute.
  • A Moment of Eye Contact with an Attractive Stranger – You’ve never seen them before, and you may never see them again.  But a moment was shared.
  • A Long Hug from a Loved One – Those deep, warm hugs you wish you could nestle in forever.
  • Happily Singing at The Top of Your Lungs – Well… You know you make me wanna shout! Kick my heels up and shout! Throw my hands up and shout! Throw my head back and shout! Come on now… Shout!
  • Seeing Your Breath on a Chilly Night – A simple phenomenon that has entertained children since the beginning of mankind.
  • The Feeling of Acceptance – You’re now a part of something greater… and it feels good.
  • Watching the Clouds Form Cool Shapes – Never the same show twice.
  • Cuddling a Newborn Baby – Precious… simply precious.
  • When You Know You Can Trust Someone – You can see it in their eyes and you can feel it in your heart.  They have no ulterior motive.
  • Sitting Around a Bonfire with Your Friends – One of the greatest settings for reminiscing and storytelling with those your care about.
  • Seeing Two Elderly Folks Who are Madly in Love – It’s a sight of love that has surpassed the tests of time.
  • The Beauty of a Moonlit Sky – Few simple pleasures are more satisfying than gazing up into a starry, moonlit sky.
  • The Awesomeness of Skipping Rocks Across Water – It doesn’t matter how old you get, this one never gets old.
  • Watching Lightning in the Distance – Peaceful and powerful at the same time.
  • Slow Dancing in Your Living Room - Dancing is like dreaming with your feet. -Constanze
  • Knowing She’ll Be There When You Get Back – Yes.  There is stability in your life.  And she’s a big part of it.
  • Watching Her Sleep – Just being with her and breathing with her.
  • The Colors of Fall – It’s Mother Nature’s artwork.
  • People Who Make You Smile Just by Thinking of Them – Wherever I am, no matter what I’m doing, just thinking of her makes me smile.
  • The Warm Touch of Your Beloved – It’s the touch no one else has.
  • When You Realize People Are Reading What You Write – Words can’t explain it.  Thank you.
  • The Excitement of a New Comment on Your Blog – We love these.  ;-)

Can you think of anything else money can’t buy?  Leave us a comment and let us know about it.

Additional Inspirational Reading Material and Sources:

Photo by: Mohammadali

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  • Great list. My favorite is the you cannot turn a house into a home.

    Money is needed in life but it is not the important thing in life.

    The most important thing in life is family and friends.

  • Aren’t we glad that money can’t buy these things? Helps put the value of money in perspective.

  • This is a fabulous list! I would add you cannot buy the love of a dog. There’s nothing like the excitement my dog (Copper) expresses when I come home after being out of town for a week. He goes nuts, running in circles and literally smiling (I swear, he smiles!).

  • Great list, thanks. My favorite was the teenage love moments that only the two of you remember.

  • Marc, WOW! That was fantastic! I can’t believe how good this list is. How many ways can I say that? Super job as usual and I’ll have to think of something you left out.

  • Seriously wonderful list! Every one made me smile more and more, and experiencing a lot of those, made me smile even more. They were all wonderful and being reminded of all those special things in life, well that is just priceless too.

  • I love this: “Waking Up to the Smell of a Home Cooked Meal”. I am fervent about making sure that I wake up with someone I love; it sets the tone for the rest of the day, doesn’t it?

    But to have that someone prepare breakfast? Whoa. Outstanding.

  • Exquisite post. I particularly like “a single moment of time”. That is the very thing in my life that brings me true joy. Savoring all experiences - noticing your surroundings, hearing bird calls and sounds all around you, enjoying a friend’s company, watching your children grow. Letting go of everything keeping you from that moment. It brings peace of mind beyond measure.

  • @Jonathan: Yep… which is why there is a big difference between being a millionaire and being rich. Many great things cannot be purchased.

    @Jennifer: Some of happiest people I know live moment to moment. Others I know think they’re crazy. But I don’t. ;-)

  • great post :) i love your blog.

  • there are many listed, but only one would be enough: true love

  • Wonderful list. I was scrolling down expecting to find the bottom and it just kept going!

    Some things from my list

    - crunching fresh snow underfoot
    - kicking the leaves in the Autumn
    - uncontrollable laughter, tears rolling down the face
    - feeling the lips of my loved one on the back of my neck

  • Good list, I like private jokes in public places with someone you love.

  • Great list. I find it very inspiring.
    I’d like to add “the joy of making something yourself, with your own two hands” (even though you can BUY a similar object).

  • These sage words went quite nicely with my morning coffee. Thank you for consistently putting great articles out.

  • What a beautiful list (and a lovely way to start the week)!!

    @ Ron: I once heard it said that, “Money can buy you the finest dog, but only Love will make him wag his tail.” :)

  • Great list. Many of these items circle around one on the list that’s a classic - happiness. I just finished a lengthy analysis of “can money buy happiness” since this is a classic question in our lives.

    To answer it, I defined what happiness is (an emotion that reflects well-being) and then started to look at what brings about happiness. It’s interesting to note a small part of happiness is fulfillment of wishes (like buying things), but most of it centers on the individual taking action to achieve security, prosperity and health, and making decisions to be of good moral character.

    So, only a very small and much less important part of happiness can be purchased, and what you purchase isn’t lasting. I’d like to share the details of my analysis at:

    The bottom line is that we create our own happiness through our decisions and actions, not by acquiring it through spending money. Nevertheless, we’re constantly bombarded by advertising that tries to convince us that we should be less satisfied with our lives because we haven’t spend enough money to have the things that will give us the happiness that we see others have.

    Whoever said the best things in life are free was right on the nose with that comment, and your list of what money can’t buy contains many good examples of this understanding.


  • “A Good, Genuine Conversation”

    I can’t think of anything more under-rated. Great list, and I look at your blog regularly for motivation. Keep up the outstanding work.

  • The best things in life are free!

    Great list, I’m pleased to be able to provide you with the last two.


  • The Hilarity of an inside joke is my favorite. Only my family knows the significance of ‘military man..ha ha!’ Just thinking about it makes me smile!

  • Bravo!! This is a List you might want to review on Sundays. To see how many you have done, seen, experienced this week. In this Economy It’s really Important to try & remember these!

    Thanks & I’m glad to add a Comment to another well thought out Blog.


  • @Ian: “Kicking leaves in Autumn.” Good one.

    @Clair: Excellent article on money and happiness! I truly enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

    @All: Thanks again for keeping the conversation going. ;-)

  • The love of my moody 15 year old (Emo) daughter.

    She has barely spoken to me for weeks and yet she ironed my shirt for me this morning. No one asked her to yet she did it and handed it to me when I came out of the shower with the words, ‘good luck on your first day dad’. I went into my bedroom and cried.

  • What a terrific list! I really enjoyed this post. It made me smile.

  • Thank you for this.

  • Wow, thank you for this great post. This is a great reminder for all of us.

  • A baby’s laughter does it for me every time. That and when the kids are gone so I can actually hear my wife’s laughter over the other kid noises!

  • Awesome post.

    Stuff certainly doesn’t bring us happiness.

    Peace, love and chocolate


  • I love this piece, thanks Marc. You have great clarity. Raindrops outside is one of my favorites.

  • Reading this amazing list made my day. I agree with Ian; each time it seemed like the list had to be coming to the end, I was happy to see it had more items to offer. Posts like this are what keep me coming back to this blog. It gives me a happy, fresh perspective on life.

  • Great list guys - I think we get caught up in the value of the almighty dollar far too often and we lose sight of what’s really important. Love, commitment, trust, friendship, family, the list goes on. No amount of financial success will ever provide the personal fulfillment that raw human emotion can provide.Very inspiring thoughts here - it’s simple things like this that really help to put things into perspective.

  • Awesome post. Rejuvenated my soul, motivated me to be better than i am now.
    Thank you so much.
    (The sunny sunday is one of my favourites…thanks for making me remember that)

  • Wonderful post! Gave me lots to think of. Money can’t buy stumbling upon something to read online that gives you great joy!

  • Good song, good food, good friend.

    I’m printing this and putting it on my wall.

  • Amen on all accounts! Beautiful post!

  • Baby laughter! Joy. Just the thought of it makes me smile.

  • Nice list. Isn’t life grand?

  • such a sweet reminder. :)
    thank you.

  • I was enjoying this lovely list and the last comment inspired me to leave my thanks for this blog. I really enjoy all that you write.

  • […] What Money Can’t Buy. We talk a lot about money here, but this article is a great reminder that there are so many more important things in life that cannot be bought with any amount of money.  (@ Marc and Angel Hack Life) […]

  • Nice. Thanks.

  • What an awe inspiring list! I especially love the sounds and sites of “home” whether it’s my own after a time away, my sister’s in Georgia or my parents house! I even adore the familiarity of my little office when I’ve had a day off.
    Thank you for the reminder that life is priceless in so many ways!

  • I love this list. And I love that how by focusing on this, many of our other troubles can go away. For me, one of the best things is listening to music on my ipod as I walk home. I’m often so caught up in the music that I’ll whistle and sometimes even find myself swaying or bopping along to the music. Amazing and I’m always completely recharged by the time I get home, regardless of how my day at work was.

  • As a poor college kid, I definitely enjoyed this list! My own additions would be… a nap in the sunshine, a peaceful walk, making the grade, homegrown fruits and veggies, and helping others.

    Thanks for your awesome articles! They always keep me going when I need a boost!

  • Laughing. A spontanious haha. Warm, full and happy laugh.

  • Great list! It brought both a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.

    An extra one for me is seeing the joy and satisfaction on the faces of my family as they tuck into a meal I have made them.

  • […] What Money Can’t Buy from Marc and Angel Hack Life. This is one of those posts you will want to print out and also email to all your friends and family. […]

  • […] Marc and Angel Hack Life - "What Money Can’t Buy" […]

  • @Alex - that is SO CUTE (re the ironing)
    LOVE this list. I just had a “right place at the right time” experience - a Tshirt was thrown from a stage at an event and I reached up, up, up - and snagged it while still sitting. And then came down on the picnic table on my back and crushed an…EMPTY cup of beer. And everyone cheered. It was a rush. :-) I’m going to republish this on my blog but hopefully folks will come here to see the comments - that’s the best part. Yours is one of the few blogs I really make the time to read. It’s fantastic. Sandy

  • Simply great! I really like your posts.

  • I love this list!! Money certainly can’t buy happiness, joy and peace!

  • Thanks for the list Marc. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s a list we can be grateful for.

  • Thank you for sharing your gifts during our financial struggles and reminding us that the best things in life are free. Love your blog Brother!

  • Says all the things I have felt and discovered over the last 63 years

  • In short, money can’t buy peace of mind.

  • “Beginner’s Eyes - You’ll never see it again for the very first time. ” I love that - sounds very much like how my husband describes our toddler.

    Danelle Ice /Homemaker Barbi

  • Thanks for this post. It was exactly what I needed to read, at exactly at the right time :)

  • Thank you for making my day better. This’s beautiful.

  • I happened upon this site, quite by accident. You have some great stuff here! I can tell I am going to enjoy reading your work.

    I enjoyed this particular post! It makes you really smile and reflect on those simple things in life, that some forget.

    Thank you!

  • So many awesome experiences to name, but one that I didn’t think other adults enjoyed too: breathing into the cold chilly air :)

  • My Things Money Can’t Buy

    1) The feeling of finishing a painting
    2) The feeling of serenity
    3) The love of family
    4) The love of my beloved when I am frightened
    5) The knowledge that every mistake is forgiven.
    6) The blessing of knowing good people are in the world.

  • What a great topic for an article and superb list too! I love it! :-D

  • […] Marc & Angel Hack Life talk about the things that money cannot buy. […]

  • Lovely list! so glad I tripped upon your site!

  • Awesome list! Reading this list was an awesome way to start off a Monday morning. Here’s the one thing I would add:
    “Doing an activity that makes you feel like a kid again, such as wading through a creek or playing on a slip-n-slide!”

  • Amazing! Simply Amazing! Every article of yours I read touches a different part of my heart and gives me tips on how to better myself and that I can get from my ‘now’ to the person I want to be. Just like this one, it keeps me focused. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You, God Bless you immensely as you have blessed those who have been drawn to your words.
    You will do great things, you have only begun.

  • These words make me want to breathe deeper,love more and smile bigger,thank you for keeping the eye on the prize….”the true,worthy meanings to living free…!” Keep UM” coming…

  • Best words I’ve read all week. Thank you for the thoughts.

  • A very, very enjoyable read. And I hope the excitement lasts until the next comment!

  • ekcho in a Red room
    August 31st, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Wonderful post! Really made me smile when I needed it. I have totally lost hope the last few days and this list helped me remember the beauty of simple things…. I hope that my comment would also help someone else smile… One of the last beautiful things that happened to me was this summer when I spend the whole night with my loveone on the beach gazing at the stars and listening to the waves. I would give anything to go back there and live it again….

  • Wow awesome list! Stumbling it…

    Shun Jian

  • great list
    it’s very inspiring

  • i love your blogs. im 17 and i realised most of it is true. its inspirational n it opens my eyes.some of it, i knew. but seeing someone write what i always think is awesome! keep up! love your blogs!

  • Great list. Put a smile on my face.

  • This made me happy =)
    My favorite one is The Sound of Raindrops Outside =)

  • This actually made me cry, knowing that I wouldn’t feel one or two of these ever again.

    One of my favorites was the Sunday afternoon. . . and the fall colors. And just being and breathing with someone, thinking of him and smiling. . .

    Thank you. For all of your writing on this site. It’s been truly inspirational.

  • Another reader, commenting. Love the blog. Saw a different article on a friend’s twitter, ended up stumbling along your whole site. So many good articles, thank you.

  • These Lists are Amazing! nowadays, people are too occupied with earning money, although ofcourse it is important. But When you really go beyond everything superficial and tangible….You will realize that You are richer than anybody else. I’ve known people who have so much money, but they are always looking for something more, and they’re not happy and fulfilled with life. There are alot of things to appreciate and be thankful for. You just have to find reasons to make your life worth beyond what money can buy.

    The quotation really strucked me
    “You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.”
    - Garth Brooks

    Thanks for this inspiring blog!

  • Awesome man!!!

    I’d like to add one point to it,

    “The feeling of working on Fridays, keeping in mind about the weekend ahead.”

    And, Thanks for this wonderful insights!!!

  • I love skipping rocks!

  • This list almost made me cry from thinking how beautiful life is. Thank you

  • Hi Marc,

    I love reading your beautiful, thoughtful, and wonderful articles =). Keep up the good work you do for many readers and writers! Maybe, one day in the near future we could meet and have a conversation regarding the adventures of life.



  • Beautiful - You’re remembered through the things you share with the world - clearly you won’t be forgotten - all the best for 2011.

    My addition would be:
    The sound of wings - from a skein of swans - close overhead.

  • it is so beautiful. so true.
    this blog really makes you open up your eyes for whats important in life. thank you.

  • I absolutely LOVE this! and all of your other posts. I’m addicted to your website.

  • Wow…
    Beautiful post [:)]
    Stumbling upon this post was another of those wonderful things money could not have bought !!

  • So inspirational… really great. Thanks.

  • I absolutely agree with this. ;) these things are truly priceless.

  • The sheer joy of going for a walk with a young child on a rainy day and jumping in puddles!

  • Thank you for this article. I need it so much. Nowadays too few people can think like what you have written. Only priceless people can do it, people who can’t be buy just by some money.
    Thank you.

  • What a great list!! It totally made me smile :)

  • I love your posts. They inspire me every time I see them. Thanks for posting such positive encouraging messages.

    These are so true. These two are especially relevant to me right now, since I just published a book about my seven year adventure:

    “The Joy of Telling an Interesting True Story – One of the most enticing roles we lead in life is that of a storyteller. There are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.”
    “The Feeling of Self-Accomplishment – You set your sights on a specific goal and followed through until you achieved it. Now that’s something to celebrate.”

    Thanks again for your inspiration.

  • What money can’t buy …. reading a good post like this.

  • I’ve just read you writings. Thank you. Even though I had overcome a rough experience, it makes me realize there is a lot to be thank for. Just remembering a hilarious moment I had long ago, it still can make me laugh. Walking through the snowfall, it’s beautiful indeed. Having love from my family and genuine conversation with them, it’s priceless. Seeing every effort I have made it’s fruitful, it’s success to me. I thank God for every bless given to me which is countless.

  • This post is absolutely beautiful. I smiled with each bullet (and exclaimed “YES!” to some of them) remembering the times I had a certain experience, and envisioning experiencing a few in the future : ) Thank You!

  • Thank you for your words. They have helped me this morning, to get up and face the day ahead. :-)

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