How much money would it take to make you happy? We might not ask ourselves this question but, maybe we should. When John D Rockefeller, one of America’s richest men of all time was asked this question, he answered, ‘Just a little bit more’.If the super-rich are not content with their wealth, maybe we won’t be content either when we earn ten, twenty or a hundred thousand more. Most Americans are spending their lives chasing after more and more money.
Have you ever dreamed of earning a bigger paycheck or winning a million dollars? Have you used credit cards to buy something today, that you could have saved for?
Consider what influences your desire for greater wealth and more stuff. Here is what drives me at times:
1. To acquire more or better possessions, like a nicer home, nicer car, etc.
2. To gain more independence, so I’m not so dependent on my employer or current job.
3. To gain security, so that I’m not at risk if an emergency occurs or if I lost my job.
4. To gain long term security, so I’ll have a comfortable retirement.
5. To gain more freedom, so that I am free to take more time off to do the things I really want to do.
Most of these are illusions. Do more possessions give you joy or do they leave you a feeling of emptiness after the purchase. Often with greater wealth comes more worries and less independence. You may purchase another home – maybe a vacation home. It will likely come with a mortgage. The worries and cares that come with additional ‘investments’ or instruments of pleasure often require dependence. I know a friend who thought he bought a boat to serve him on weekends. He discovered he often was serving the boat and having to take trips out to justify its cost.
If Rockefeller felt like he always needed more dollars to satisfy himself, maybe more dollars is not the item we should be seeking after.