With money, you can generally use it to consume -- for present enjoyment and immediate benefit -- or to invest -- which will let you have more resources later, and if wisely invested, have higher consumption in the future (if that's your goal).
Time can be looked at the same way. You can use your time to consume, which would be some mix of leisure and enjoyment, or invest your time into gathering more resources, training up your skills, and producing.
But two points make time stand strongly apart from money. The first is, most people are neither really consuming their time, nor investing it. It's just passing, never to return. Time spent really fully engaged, in good company, with great music playing, with some mix of triumphant feelings or tranquility or peace or joy -- this is time well spent.
And likewise, pioneering and enterprising and building, even when it hurts, is time well spent.
But tally up the hours a person normally spends each week… how many of those hours are truly invested, or truly consumed well?
Probably not so many. It's not a tragedy for a person to not be "on"… but it's definitely a tragedy if someone is neither "on" nor "off" very often -- instead stuck in a terrible middle, not enjoyable and recharging, not engaged and producing.
So, that's got to be priority #1 for time -- be "on", or be "off", but for damn sure don't be stuck in between.
Then, there's another thing that sets time apart from money, which is that you can get incredible amounts of enjoyment without sacrifice out of investing your time well; in effect, consuming simultaneously with investing. It's possible with money too, but harder -- with the right choice of activities, it's very possible to get the benefits of production/investment simultaneous with engagement, peace of mind, and joy. It takes some focus and effort to get there, getting there can be painful, but it's so so so so worth it.
If I ate the finest cuisine every meal, every day, for 10 years straight - it still wouldn't be as satisfying as the joy that comes from creating something worthwhile.
Building things that matter. Doing things that matter. This is so much more satisfying than consuming.
I eat plain oatmeal, brown rice with tunafish on it, drink black coffee, eat some fruits and vegetables, and try to eat light. Nutrition, not pleasure. But still - there is quite a lot of pleasure in a simple bit of tuna on rice or pasta. That right there is pretty enjoyable - it gives me fuel, keeps me going, gives me life.
How much better is the finest chef's meal than plain tuna on brown rice? Somewhat better, I guess. I've eaten really, really nice food. My favorite is chutoro nigiri, the slightly fatty part of the tuna. It's a delicacy. I had a $15 piece of chutoro once. It was great.
But was it much better than plain tuna on brown rice? Not so much. Creating, producing, building - that gives so much more satisfaction.
During my second year at college, I thought that investing was easy. I read about options, paper traded for a few months, and then solicited my friends for investments. Many of them invested in my hedge fund - "The H Fund", which I started with a friend. In total we had $26k, which was quite a lot considering how young we were.
The fund survived for a few months, even being profitable for a short amount of time. In the end, though, we lost all of the money. Luckily I have awesome friends who understood the risk, and no one was mad. Still - I learned my lessons and stayed out of the stock market for years.
For some reason or another I started reading about Warren Buffet. For those that don't know, he is the second richest man in the US, with a worth of over 40 billion. What makes him exceptional is that he is the only person on the top 100 richest people list who made his money through investing.