Previously, I wrote a post titled “Not Everyone Wants To Be A Millionaire”.
Today I am continuing the discussion by exploring the question: “Is wanting to be rich a pointless ambition?” and comparing the mindset of two not too dissimilar groups of people.
Those who have little money and desire more.
And those who already possess more than they can chew.
Here is an overview of what you will learn:
- Is Getting Rich Worth It? – Opinions and direct experience from people who have acquired large amounts of money, and how having access to large assets has influenced their lives.
- Spanx owner Sara Blakely $1 Billion strong – her opinions on money and how her interpretation of it has helped her succeed.
- The difference in mindset between those who are rich, those who desire to be rich, and those who have rich lives.
Lower income earners have it perfectly in their heads that more money brings about more happiness.
“If you earn more, you have the potential to be consistently happier, purely because you can afford to invest in experiences that enrich your body and mind.”
This is true to some extent.
However it only tells half the story.
They are on the outside looking in.
This approach to looking at a problem, situation or reason is illustrated clearly in our relationships, more specifically, in the vague solutions our friends and family provide to us about our relationship problems.
They give us perfect action-oriented steps to solve our problems, yet they fail to align their advice to one specific variable, and the degree to which said variable has an effect on us.
I’m referring to our emotions and in particular, our feelings towards an individual or party.
Let’s ask some ‘rich’ people how having access to a huge amount of money has impacted their lives.
Is Getting Rich Worth It?
An anonymous poster on Quora answered the above question with his personal experience of having extreme wealth. Below are a couple of excerpts of what he had to say:
“In my experience, for an entrepreneur at least – getting enough money to have freedom is worth it and a glorious thing.”
“Made $2M on first start-up. This was the best experience ever. The good feeling lasted four years — the good feeling — every single day, until Lehman Brothers and lost half of it (until the market came back). This was the happiest time of my life, from here until Lehman.”
Ahh, so he was happy during the process of working on his start-up. Look closely at what happened next.
“Made $20M on second start-up. Finally, real f’you money. I feel no better. Yes, I bought a better house. I didn’t even bother to buy nicer cars. Who cares. I just bought some more jeans. Look, I am intellectually proud and gratified to have this money. But it didn’t buy my freedom, which I had from before. It didn’t improve the quality of my life.”
Interesting, but certainly not surprising.
Having 10x the amount of money that he did beforehand brought about no extra mental or emotional benefits.
Of course the initial $2 million dollars he made was the best of his life, but it wasn’t the money that made him happy.
It was the kind of work he was doing that led him to freedom.
Read his final message, and try to take in the key points he’s trying to convey.
“So for me at least, the learning is the one thing that matters money can buy you is freedom. Some may call this f’you money, but it’s not about that for entrepreneurs. It’s about having freedom from the man, freedom to just go for it.”
You can read the entire conversation with all 98 answers to the question “Is getting rich worth it?”, here.
Of course, this will sound like an incredibly biased argument if I don’t show the other side of the coin.
Let’s take a look at someone who has a copious amount of money, and loves every single penny.
No horses will be held, here is an interview with the Founding CEO of Spanx.
$1 Billion Dollars Strong – Sara Blakely
- The youngest self-made woman on the FORBES Billionaires list.
- Turned $5,000 in savings aged 29, to 41, running a company worth $1,000,000,000
- Has always had a positive outlook on what money can do.
- Doesn’t believe in the adage: “Money is the root of all evil.”
- Believes money is a wonderful thing, that it is great to share, fun to spend and to make.
Let’s ask eachother a question.
Was it the drive to acquire money that led to her success? Or was it how she interpreted money as a concept, that propelled her to riches?
She is happy because she has interpreted the concept to benefit and work for her.
This is what separates her from many others.
She believes in abundance, not scarcity.
Individuals like Sara, have set out to create a service of value.
Your Mindset Makes All The Difference
Those Who Desire To Be Rich
- Believe that money is the root of all evil.
- Believes that if you take money from them – then it has been lost, forever.
- Dedicated to complaining about their current position, and lack of riches.
- Believes that acquiring money will eliminate all of the problems they have in their lives.
Those Who Have Rich Lives
- Believe that money has the potential to change the lives of others.
- Believe that if you take money from them – it will be returned onto them in one form or another.
- Dedicated to creating solutions to prevalent/complex problems.
- Understands that acquiring money will open up more opportunities to invest and create positive change in the lives of others.
Whilst the statements above hold some truth, stark generalisations will always be generalisations.
However, people aren’t made in factories to be shipped to retailers, we’re actually a lot more unique than we let on.
So after exploring the opinions and experiences of real people, I find myself still pondering to the main question of this article.
Is It A Pointless Ambition To Want To Become Rich and Famous?
Here’s my answer:
It depends entirely on what your motivational factors are to acquire large sums of money, and what you intend to do with it.
Not all rich people lead rich lives.
And not all poor people lack the skills to acquire huge sums of cash.
I believe that money, if properly utilised, can be a very good thing. But this depends on the individual. His or her interpretation of money as a concept, what it can bring to their life and what they intend to do with it.