Rich people can have anything they want, but they still focus to make more money. Why do such people strive for more wealth?
Hi, that’s an interesting question, one I’ve wondered for a while in the past. Let’s discuss more.
I consider wealth as an intoxicant, which you can build a tolerance toward. In most cases, once someone accumulates sufficient wealth, he/she desires to get more, and the amount they were chasing is no longer enough.
I don’t mean to suggest one shouldn’t desire more money. But, during the chase, one should not ignore the basic things that bring happiness and contentment in life. One of the foremost of those is perspective, the knowledge that little by little, your hard work is paying off and you are making more money than you did in the past. People often forget things like this. It’s a harsh reality, but to get wealthier, people often become selfish, dishonest, unconcerned for friends, family, and so on. Flaws that, in my opinion, stem largely from a refusal to take inventory and maintain perspective.
Largely this is due to human nature, but there’s also a degree of programming involved from society. We are told that being rich is bad, that there is a correlation with having more money and being a bad person, in countless media from an early age. Stories use shortcuts, such as making the protagonist poor and the villain rich. Many people internalize these things, to the point where they assume they must worsen themselves, must put aside things like family life, in order to reach their financial goals. They assume sacrificing what they care about is a prerequisite to wealth.
If we discuss this from another angle, just as a cricketer wants to get better with every match he plays, the same is the case with wealthy people. Why stop here, when being even wealthier is better? In essence, money is linked to their identity. So, they want to keep on improving that identity. By accumulating more wealth, they think they are retaining their position among elites and above the poor or common folk.
In actuality, this doesn’t make them special or unique. Almost everyone covets wealth in this way. Getting something that other people covet isn’t really that special, and focusing so heavily on that achievement shows that such people have insecurity, using what other people want as a focus for their own value as a person.
What’s really unique and special is the type of person who gets rich without sacrificing the things that matter to them the most. Or someone who gets what they want solely because they want it, not out of feeling a need to desire what other people desire. For instance, so many young guys who strike it rich buy an expensive sports car, because that’s just a traditional thing for rich guys to buy. It’s the biggest waste of money I’ve ever seen. These guys think the car will make girls want them, will make them stand out at parties, all kind of marketing lies that they eventually learn were wrong. That’s one expensive education!
The stranger thing is, some people do not flinchat the thought of sacrificing ethics for money. And it’s a bad cost for what you get. After observing the lives of a few rich people closely, I have discovered that they are generally not happy with the wealth they have. At best, they’re neutral, but their focus is usually on what they don’t have yet, or what they could have gotten. Even when they reach a point where more money would just be a waste on them, as they have nothing more to spend money on that they truly care about, they want a bigger number. Bigger numbers make them feel more in control when in reality they are abdicating control of their lives over to money in the process.
Imagine a rich person accumulates $50 million, and then he enters into a new social circle of even richer people, billionaires. He would start feeling he doesn’t have enough wealth. It’s always a matter of perspective. As a result, he would find ways to get more wealth, but going from a millionaire to a billionaire is about as hard as it is to go from poor to the middle class. It’s no small feat.
The difference is: there’s a huge gap in comfort from the poor to a middle class, but there aren’t that many things the average person would want to do with a billion dollars that they wouldn’t do with a million instead. A million dollars is a lot of money. But this person chases billions, just for the way it sounds, just for the number, without realizing that they will never get the social acceptance they want because real billionaires have a culture of old money. They only respect other billionaires who were born into their wealth. So he’s struggling for literally no gain. He’s increasing the dollars in his account, but for all the good it does him, he might as well have printed Monopoly money or Chuck E Cheese bucks instead.
Well, this is a long discussion, so I should wrap it up. In my point of view, being a millionaire means nothing. It’s the emptiest goal anyone could ever achieve. In reality, what matters more is happiness, contentment/financial freedom such that you only work as much as you are comfortable, while still living very well. But, that’s a hard point to analyze, where to stop pursuing more wealth, if considered from the perspective of a person who is already wealthy. I do think that greater wealth can give greater returns, that you can be happier as you make more money, but that only comes from a total alignment with your money and your mission, where you’re spending money on the MOST important thing to you in the entire world. Only in that case are you happier and happier, from having more money to spend.
To complement this answer, I have an interesting article to share. I am hoping you would like it too. My post: “The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle” goes into this topic more, and from the angle of a person who is upper-middle class but wants to be rich.
In conclusion, it’s not wrong to accumulate more wealth. But, in the pursuit, one should not abandon ethics, or ignore the smaller or simpler things that bring more happiness.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions.