An older friend I know told me of the struggles he endured to reach his dreams. Ever since he was a little boy he spent his whole life pursuing wealth. He was born in a poor background and didn’t have much growing up. By the time he finished elementary school he was fixated on becoming wealthy in order to satisfy the things in his life that were lacking. He put all his effort into high school and was recognized as an academic scholar, putting his best foot forward for any opportunity and eventually got accepted into a prestigious college. While in college he worked part time while studying. If he wasn’t studying he was working and if he wasn’t working he was studying. He went on to attend law school and graduated as one of the top students in his class. After graduation he quickly got an internship at a law firm, all while still working part time. After a few years he gets the job and starts making starting salary. As he became more experienced he started to make more money, money he always pictured himself making. After many years he has amassed himself a fortune, more than he could imagine let alone spend. But what then? In all reality he lives below his means. He spends less than he intends to and told me that when he dies he is donating most of his money to charity. It took him around 50 years to realize the simple truth to wealth, one he could have learned a long time ago.
The Secret to Wealth
That’s the big secret. That’s all there is to it. There are two ways to become wealthy: make more or desire less. In terms of ease the latter is easier to come by. You can work all your life to become wealthy and sacrifice your time and health in the process of doing so. OR you can want less starting now and save yourself the trouble.
To be wealthy is to have all you need. Instead of wanting more you realize the abundance in your life already and feel satisfied with yourself. Instead of struggling through life you take it in stride and create a reality full of wealth. Being grateful for the things you already have creates abundance. Your life shouldn’t be about pursuing money and material possessions. It should be about pursuing purpose. Purpose is the greatest source of wealth and a fulfilling life. It is important to have money but it is equally important to know when to draw the line. Constant wanting creates scarcity in your life and the feeling of inadequacy.
Is being driven to afford a luxury car really meaningful? Is being driven to have a million in the bank mean anything? Does it really create wealth in your life or create more things to desire? We live in an overly materialistic world and it’s hard to not want things but does wanting things create more abundance in one’s life or more reasons to pursue material possessions? What does it feel like to be rich? You might feel secure for a little while, you might gain some friends with ulterior motives, and you might feel a sense of worth but it won’t buy happiness, love, health, or purpose.
It seems people always want what they can’t have. People with less want more while people with more want less. People without much always want the easy life. They want luxury items and things to come to them. They want to live in splendor and to have anything they want. On the other hand a lot of wealthy people live below their means. There are several billionaires and a multitude of millionaires who live frugally. They lead simple lives and don’t indulge themselves in big ticket items. Warren Buffett for example with a net worth of $47 billion lives in a $31,500 home. He doesn’t own a yacht stating “Most toys are just a pain in the neck.” Aside from the “Hollywood millionaires” most millionaires don’t like the glam of having money. There are an estimated 1,138,070 millionaires with households valued under $300,000.
Wealthy people are smart. They create wealth by spending less than they should and limiting their purchases. They don’t spend money like a rich person should and understand proper money management skills. You probably wouldn’t recognize a millionaire if you saw one on the street. Wealthy people are grateful for the things they already have and appreciate the value of their possessions longer than other people. Wealthy people don’t waste, don’t care about their status, and use things to its fullest.
In a world full of consuming the wisest people take only what’s needed. The people that lack discipline usually pursue high end products. The people that spend the most are the ones without much. It’s easy to spend when you have money but it’s extremely hard to limit yourself when you have it. In all reality most people are not free. They are tied down to money and what it promises. There is a constant cycle of earning and spending. You earn to spend to earn to spend. It’s a self-perpetuating wheel of want. Wanting is a form of self-destructive behavior. It will eventually deteriorate your health and waste your time in the pursuance of your desires. A large number of people are drowning in debt because of excessive spending. Those who are doing well usually don’t have much to show for it.
Creating wealth requires frugality and self-discipline. Money doesn’t equal wealth, money equals freedom. Money isn’t the end it’s the means to an end. Having money creates freedom for you to do what you want. It’s a chance to break away from the cycle. Those with wealth know when to spend and when to save. Spending more than you earn will cause your life to spiral out of control.
In no way does “wanting less” mean “achieving less”. Limiting your desires allows you to become more free to achieve your most meaningful goals. It allows you to spend more time doing the things you want and less time doing the things you don’t. If you pursue your passions and dreams money will naturally come on its own. Most wealthy people are self-made. They are people who followed their dreams and passions and unwittingly money followed. Most wealthy people come from humble beginnings. Through the process of frugality and self-discipline most wealthy people realize the role money plays in their lives. It is to ensure financial security and allow freedom.
To look at it in perspective life is about purpose. Finding purpose. Wealth does not bring about purpose but purpose can bring wealth. There are people who have changed the world who couldn’t hold onto money for very long and there are people who have done nothing to benefit others but benefited from a thick wallet. Wealth is defined by one’s sense of worth and values. Having a sense of purpose paves way to a sense of wealth. For example just who is Nikola Tesla? He is perhaps one of the most influential people in the world and yet one of the most unknown. Tesla gave way to many revolutionary inventions that changed the world and received virtually nothing in return. Tesla helped bring about the light bulb, radio, the first hydroelectric power plant, and many other inventions he wasn’t accredited for. His held over 700 patents at the time of his death. But he didn’t want anything. He didn’t want the fame or money of it all. It was his purpose of improving the world and fascination in science that drove him to do these things. Through science Tesla found purpose and created wealth in his life and he didn’t need anything else.
In essence don’t “get rich”.
Wealth is not a destination, it is a state of being. Anyone can be wealthy if they choose to be. The less you want the more you have. Recognize the abundance in your life and create happiness through it. Create freedom in your life and follow your passions and goals and inevitably it will pay off. The people we remember the most are the ones that followed their dreams. It is your dreams and actions that define you. Don’t base your life around money and wealth. Manifest wealth by pursuing what matters.
Want less. It sounds so simple but life is like that. Life is really quite simple when you look at it but can be easily overcomplicated. What will matter to you in the end? It won’t be money and fame. It will be purpose. It will be meaning. Give yourself a head start and find out what your purpose is now instead of filling yourself with false illusions. Life is about the simple things. Pursue them for they are the most meaningful.