Are experiences an investment?

In today’s fast-paced age, where technology, globalization, and raging causes seem to leave us with little time for ourselves – would we ever want to consider investing in experiences?

This thought came to me while I was eating lunch in my office cafeteria and was watching someone flip through various news channels. The lunch hour buzz was drowning out the news reader’s voice, but the pithy lines of “breaking news” always hold fort in times, where a human voice doesn’t. They leave much more of a lasting impression than many a panels of debate where the lines between for and against crash into each other, blur, separate, and then go and lick their wounds in a corner.

There have been ample discussions, critical analyses in articles, and opinion leaders voicing their views on the “clutter” that we face through myriad forms of communication. Back in the early 90s, when the advent of Internet was almost an other-worldly phenomenon, the radio and television held their own comfortable niche in people’s lives. You wouldn’t hear an almost deafening clamor that you now can hear with the internet in the fray, and giving you one option too many.

I am someone who loves scouring the internet for interesting stuff to read. Interesting articles, interesting blogs, interesting websites. But off late, I have begun to realize that time constraints due to ever increasing job demands and work pressure – have made me begin to loathe the reams and reams of interesting information that would be passing me by every day – and I would not even get the opportunity to read most of it. Only because there is an information overload at every step of one’s life nowadays.

I was reading Vogue the other day and a line from the fashion designer Michael Kors left me thinking about the state of our lives. He said something on the lines of him wanting to explore the idea of not having to go to a monastery, to cut out the noise.

If one comes to think of it, its quite a potent line. Potent because atleast for me, it kicked off a series of thoughts and lines of introspection. And while pondering and introspecting, this question began to formulate in my head – are experiences an investment?

Literature, art, music, dance, fashion – at a primary level, all these provide a stimulating aesthetic experience. Often at the end of a tiring day, many of us like to unwind by listening to music of our choice, read a book before sleep, or watch something light on television – or just do something that we do not get time enough to do. Something that we do not feel obligated to, but feel naturally attracted towards, because of its simplistic undemanding tug on our lives.

What if keeping aside a certain amount of money as ‘savings’ every month was not mandatory for a financially secure life, but investing in experiences was? What if, one of our key responsibility areas, was to indulge in one experience per week which had the power to make us feel content with our current state of being. Being content could do wonders for a secure life in the future.

What if there were alternative institutions (to banks) in the world which could offer attractive schemes for investing in experiences that would not symbolize a burden that needs to be paid off in a certain time period?

And going back to the Michael Kors statement, such an experience need not be a meditative or a spiritual one – for it to qualify as a good investment.

So the question still remains then – what kind of experience would qualify as a good investment? Well, I think, the answer is quite simple. Anything that does not feel like an obligation, is not laden with expectations, and does not have a time limit to it – would be a good investment! How about that? 🙂


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