Recently, someone I know said "Fuck poverty! I want to be rich!"
The words echoed in my head and haunted me. What is more real, I thought - the perception of wealth or that of poverty? Are they different? These questions swirled around in my head as I grappled for answers.
As millennials (who reached young adulthood around 2000), my tribe seeks rabidly to get rich or die trying. Well, generations before us have sought the same. What is remarkably different though is the timeline in which we deem it possible. I expected to be a millionaire in my 30s, planning my ride into the sunset.
Well, I'm 40 and there is still the matter of my personal millions to deal with. I decided to ride into the sunset without the millions, so I'm not going to tell you how to become an overnight millionaire. So stop reading and get back to the rat race!
But... If you care more about the sunset than the prize, read on...
What Exactly is Wealth?
Is it the first million, the first billion or more? What I'm trying to understand here - is what I define by wealth, and maybe even success because we've conveniently combined the two to mean one and the same. Wealth is a state of abundance, that offers us comfort beyond our needs and necessities.
By that definition, we will never be wealthy, because ours is a generation afflicted by the disease of more. We're addicted to craving compulsively for more money, more knowledge, more time and more passion. So then is wealth a destination or merely an illusory goal that moves further away from us as we edge ever closer?
Poverty Raises its Ugly Head
It's the most important aspect in the hunt for wealth - poverty. Unless one feels utterly impoverished and needy, the pulsating desire to be rich and wealthy doesn't even exist.
The desire to be something more than one's current state is the precursor to growing ambition.
If you are looking to be wealthy, you do not desire to be poor. But there is really nothing to abhor about poverty, would you even care to reach for wealth and abundance?
More than Just Millions
Wealth, while certainly a drool-worthy goal, is just the tip of the iceberg of abundance. While I'm not going to explore other facets of abundance just yet, I will talk about time - a most underplayed asset that rarely features in one's quest for money.
'Time is Money' has been quoted enough times for it to ring 'true', but it is a far more valuable asset since it cannot be earned and can only be lost. All one can do is manage to maximum efficiency that which we already own - we all have the same quota of time to play with every single day - 24 hours!
Studies of millionaires show that efficient and regulated use of these few hours is common among all. So plan your day wisely. But more importantly, once you do have your millions, will you still have the freedom to spend it foolishly or wisely as you deem fit?
Stop Counting Baubles
Yes, I'm referring to money. The overwhelming drive for money and wealth creation maybe nothing more than a perverted manifestation of our repressed innate neanderthal libido.
In a civilisation where sex is glorified and vilified, the domestic shackles of society and culture have diverted that primal desire into ambition. So, get rich, but don't waste your breath trying hard. Money and wealth in your life is not really worth dying for.
Who says a mind blowing orgasm is not a more glorious goal than earning your first million? Breaking into the 1% isn't a matter of counting pennies or penises, but a playful and joyous interaction might get you closer to enlightenment than your carefully conspired plans for world domination.
"Money often costs too much." - Ralph Waldo Emerson