The greatest irony of becoming wealthy, is that you no longer need those relationships the way you did when you were struggling for survival. If you devalue those relationships, and define happiness in terms of acquiring even greater wealth, that is a recipe for misery.
Based off the handful of encounters I’ve had with relatively wealthy individuals, the above quote is spot on.
You see, ever since adolescence, we all fantasize about “the ways of the wealthy.”
Movies like the Wolf of Wall Street dominate the entertainment industry.
Famous artists and rappers continue to exemplify all of the “bandz” they’re counting till this day.
Whether through visual or auditory stimuli, we are bombarded with reminders of what we don’t have.
Thus, it’s not uncommon for one to prioritize the amount of 0’s in their bank account over everything else in life.
Most people are determined to join the almighty 1%.
The “top” of the ladder.
We all are.
Not too long ago, I had my life all “planned” out.
I was going to work on wall street, then go to a top business school, and then retire early.
Everything was set.
I had my career trajectory selected for strictly financial gains, nothing else. I completely ignored my own values, work preferences, and innate abilities.
The main things one should focus on when choosing a career…
Because I was ignorant enough to think that more money equals greater happiness.
“Mannnnn, if X just happens, or when I get X, I’ll finally be content with my life.”
We delay the enjoyment of our lives to acquire materials, money, and status. But it’s only a matter of time for when one discovers that meaning can’t be derived from objects.
It just can’t.
We’re sentient beings requiring feelings of responsibility, belonging, and purpose—and dollar bills check none of those boxes.
Take Sam for example.
After graduating college, Sam strives to go to law school, become a lawyer, and work at an elite firm. Not because of his infatuation with politics, but strictly for money.
Growing up in poverty, Sam became determined to eventually live the “good life.”
He wants the giant mansion with a pool, the luxury car, the designer clothes, all the fun stuff.
He’s extrinsically motivated, and it’s doomed to bite him in the behind later.
So off goes Sam on his journey.
Fast forward 10–20 years, and Sam is now partner at his law firm.
He makes millions a year, and has all of the materials he ever desired.
He even retired early, and owns multiple side businesses to make him even more rich.
From the outside, he’s got it all.
He’s made it.
What you don’t know is that Sam secretly hates his life.
He works 80 hour weeks, doesn’t even like being a lawyer, nor even uses all of the goodies he bought.
He’s constantly stressed, abuses alcohol and drugs, and even has thoughts of suicide sometimes.
But he’s a millionaire…
That’s all that matters, no?
From an outsider’s perspective, Sam is the man.
We idolize Sam.
We want to be Sam.
Sam inspires us all because he has a BMW and a Rolex.
Deep down, Sam is just as empty as the rest of us.
In the end all, he wasted a decade of his life chasing literal paper, and now he has no true meaning nor fulfillment in his life.
On his deathbed, he won’t be rejoicing all of the “riches” he accumulated, but will be regretting the time he lost amidst the process.
And sadly, there’s a tiny Sam in all of us.
The greatest paradox of becoming wealthy is the lack of fulfillment with it.
Never chase money, pursue love.
Don’t waste another second doing something you don’t enjoy doing.
Live your life to the fullest, regardless of money, and truly enjoy the essence of being alive.
After all, we could’ve easily been made a bird, or an ant.
Now that wouldn’t be that fun, wouldn’t it? And it even gets worse when families break apart. Falling out of love sparks a heart wrenching process of splitting assets.
And when those assets add up to millions, the break up is doubly bitter. These spouses are suffering a BANKRUPT HEART. And in most cases the only way to cut their losses is to kill. Thus the numerous cases of murder being witnessed worldwide as result.