More money doesn’t always make us happier.
The problem is that we always end up wanting more money. We see someone else who has more money and end up envying them. We want what they have and end up unhappy.
If money were the solution to every desire, a rich man wouldn’t actually envy anyone, would he?
He would be so content with all his riches that nothing else would matter. He wouldn’t need love or companionship. He wouldn’t need good friends. He wouldn’t care about his health. He would be tickled pink to sit around and count his money while stuffing his face with Twinkies and Pop Tarts.
Thinking about this brought me back to something I read in Laurence Leamer’s book “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace” about members of Trump’s Golf Club:
“Those with the misfortune of not being wealthy enough to join the club look enviously at their social betters and their glittering evenings. Yet joy proves elusive, even for the country club members, because there is always someone richer or better socially connected. Joy is driving out of your 25,000-square foot mansion in your Bentley and tooling up to the entrance of Mar-a-Lago for your tenth ball of the season, the valet parkers salivating at the chance to take your car and the prospect of a twenty-dollar tip. Joy is having a wife wearing a diamond necklace once owned by the Aga Khan, or it is said. Joy is having a wife younger and thinner than any of other wives
at your table.”
Teddy Roosevelt once said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and he seems to be correct – when comparing to those who have more than we do.
Eliminate this comparison, and we’ll be much happier.
A rich man envies far more than most people realize. In addition to fitness, family life, friendships and free time, the rich also envy people who have more money and larger homes than they do.
The majority of ultra-rich people rarely seem satisfied or content with what they’ve accomplished. In fact, they’re downright miserable, as noted in Leamer’s book.
He shared another story from a round of golf he played at the beautiful Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach:
“While my friend and his son-in-law warmed up hitting balls at the driving range I started talking to the caddy, a garrulous, entertaining man who had been hauling golf bags for years. Like his associates, he did not work for the club but was paid directly by each golfer. He had seen it all, and in some measure he had seen too much.
It was beyond him why so many of the members were so intensely dissatisfied. Nothing pleased them. They fought over tee times. They complained about the food. The hot water wasn’t hot enough or it was too hot, and the cold water was lukewarm. They whined about the pathetic, meandering foursome in front of them, and raged about the belligerent, threatening foursome behind.”
More money doesn’t provide more happiness unless we can learn appreciation and gratitude… unless we can slow down and enjoy things exactly as they are… unless we can learn to look for things that are going right instead of always looking for things that are going wrong.
In fact, if a person doesn’t learn how to be content, they’ll always be unhappy about something. Trump’s course is arguably one of the nicest courses in the entire world, and these members are still “intensely dissatisfied.”
Happiness is ALL about your perspective, not your bank balance. Improving your perspective is easy and it’s FREE.
No 25,000-square foot mansion required.
All of this opens up a mental battle I’ve been fighting for many years…
On one level it seems that the key to accomplishing BIG goals is to always be dissatisfied. To stay hungry working to do more, create more, make more and have more.
Then I observe these people who are always chasing more and I realize they’re miserable. They don’t enjoy what they have and end up allowing greed to control their lives.
Truth be told, I have a deep respect for people who have the ability to say, ENOUGH. People who follow the basic plan from the Gambler movie that inspired my Cashflownaire Membership!
From the movie…
“People who have the brains to walk when it is time to walk! People who create fortresses of f@#king solitude living in the Glorious Position of F- You.”
These are people who learn to be content with what they have. People who understand deep down that joy comes from within and that more money won’t necessarily make us happier.
Here’s the main question….
Would you want to be ultra rich and constantly miserable, or would you prefer to be in the glorious Position of F- You living with contentment?
The only way you can be ultra rich and content is to eliminate all comparison, which becomes much more difficult as you climb the wealth ladder.
I’d much rather have contentment than envy. I’d much rather see what’s going right in my life than what’s going wrong. I’d much rather live with pronoia.
Money is certainly important; however, it is far from the most important thing, and far too many people devote their lives to chasing more (and more) money.
The challenge seems to be fulfilling our greatest potential without sacrificing what’s truly important.
The challenge seems to be conquering greed so that it doesn’t destroy our lives, our relationships and our health.
The challenge is learning how to be grateful for what we actually have.
Maybe, we should go all in and work our asses off in order to move ourselves into the glorious Position of Fuck You and then we should pause and think about what we really want in our lives. If during this pause, we decide that we really do want more money, or we want to help more people, we should make it a FUN game.
We shouldn’t take things too seriously.
We shouldn’t take any unnecessary risk.
We shouldn’t borrow money in order to make more money. We shouldn’t stress ourselves out.
And above all else, we should always maintain our ability to say: “No Thank You!”
P.S. I’ve actually found that comparison can bring massive amounts of gratitude…. IF… we learn to compare ourselves to those who aren’t as fortunate as we may be.
Yes that was a BIG if.