The million dollars ...
I read a book on the plane to Sydney this weekend past. it was called 'Richistan' - an it was a interesting look at the newly emergent 'nation' of millionaires and billionaires and how this impacts on the rest of the global economy. A bit dry, perhaps, but a few interesting things came out of the read; notable, this one fact: A study was done in America, where average 'working class' people were asked just how much money they thought they would need to be happy and worry-free - the answer came back: ONE MILLION DOLLARS! (Sounds like something Doctor Evil would say!) The really interesting thing though, was then the study went to those who had that million dollars and asked the same question; the answer came back: two and a half million dollars. And so then they went to those who had two to three million dollars and again posed the question; and the answer - you guessed it - six million dollars. And so it went - no matter how much money people had, they pretty much always thought they need twice as much to be worry-free and content. Even people with half a billion dollars had trouble with the fact that they were seen as failures by the billionaire club - and had to push on to the magic 'billion' mark. These people also had private jets, crews to man them, household staff, etc - all this cost so much to keep running, that they needed to keep working and earning to keep the whole thing afloat. That says a lot about the human condition.
Now, it certainly may be argues, that those who don't want a million dollars, may very well never get a million dollars; and only those who are not content with a million possess the drive and ambition to get the million in the first place. So what's the answer ...
For me, money is just a means to an end. I have never been driven by money, or the need for it. I am driven by other things - passion, wanting to see what's over the next hill, challenge, love, friendship, purpose, etc. I get money for doing things that I am good at doing - but I am not driven or motivated much by it. And I consider myself a very happy person. I love my life and do not feel 'torn' for not having my two and a half million dollars.In fact, I know quite a few millionaires that say they would love to be able to do the things I do every year. An interesting question to ask - is what stops them from doing just that? Greed can work, as a motivational tool to get you moving - but to let it control your existence is in some ways as crippling as poverty.
Human beings were not created to 'make money' - we are put here to 'experience', to 'live life in a state of excellence' - these and the other truly important things have nothing to do with the number at the bottom of our bank statement.