I know you. You have a pretty good job, but it doesn’t pay enough, and it takes more of your time than it should. You have some debt—more than than you’re comfortable with—and even though it limits what you can do with your money, it’s manageable. You have a place to live, but it isn’t the house you plan on living in for the rest of your life. You do better than many of your friends, but not as well as a few of them. You live a good life, but even an extra $1000 per month would make a ginormous difference in your lifestyle.
So what if, suddenly, you inherited 100 million dollars?
How would your lifestyle change then?
You’ve probably told yourself that if you had that kind of money, you’d be different than the other people that have that kind of money. Sure, you’d move to a nicer house, but one you could buy with only a smallish chunk of your huge pile of cash. You wouldn’t get caught up shopping for mansions priced at a quarter or more of your entire net worth.
No, you’re that type of person that would buy cars for your friends. You’d pay off your sister’s house. You’d purchase land and invest in a couple of cool startups.
You’d spend your money in ways that brighten the lives of others and you’d spend more of your time working on things that really mattered to you because you don’t need a job anymore.
And you’d travel.
No doubt you’d do things that would allow you to feel alive; allow you to feel generous; allow you to feel free.
So, let me ask you, if you were to make all that money, and if you really were able to avoid living the same lifestyle of others with comparable wealth, what keeps you from doing that at your current level of wealth?
In other words, what keeps you from living below your means—below the lifestyle of your current economic peers—right now?
I’m guessing it has something to do with maintaining a similar standard of living to the one you were raised in.
Sure, it’s one thing to live at a sub-average lifestyle when the new “average” is $100 mil, but it’s an entirely different thing to be raised middle class American and to then somehow voluntarily reduce your expenses and expectations to the levels of the lower middle class.
But even at lower middle class levels,
you’re still richer than a large majority of the world.
Yeah, yeah, you kind of knew that already, but the truth is you’re much richer.
In fact, if you net $33k or more per year, you are among the richest 1% of the global economy.
You are the 1%.
You greedy bastard.
Don’t believe me? Check out: http://www.globalrichlist.com/
Now don’t you feel just a little bit selfish and entitled? Or at least…affluent?
No? Ok, maybe it takes a minute for it to sink in.
Ok, so how about now?
No? Is that because your statistically-high income doesn’t count because the opinions that matter to you belong to people as rich as or richer than you?
You’re so rich that you can fly on a freaking plane from one side of the world to the other in less than a day for less than a week’s — or even a day’s — wages.
You are so rich that you actually own a car. Probably two.
You are so rich that you have refrigerated food in your kitchen and access to the finest restaurants in the world.
And yet you complain that your car isn’t new enough. Or that your house isn’t big enough.
Remind me again how you are different than the kids of multi-millionaires that complain about not getting a Ferrari for their birthday.
So again, Scrooge McDuck, while Mitt Romney is busy worrying about getting a car elevator into his new beach house, how is it that you’re going to be different than the other millionaires once you reach an even more exclusive level of the 1% you’re already in?
But I digress. This isn’t a rant about entitlement.
This is a post to make you rich.
And the point is,
rich is relative.
No matter how wealthy you get in this life, there will always be someone with more.
And even if you somehow became the wealthiest person in the world, you’d have a whole new set of limitations and stressors. How would you know who to trust? What if the people you like don’t like you? What if people can’t see you as anything other than a guy or girl with a shit-ton of money? What if your kids are only waiting for you to die so they can get their inheritance? What if every accomplishment you made were followed up by someone saying that what you did was easy because you have so much money.
And when you hear about people with hundreds of millions of dollars that complain because they don’t have billions, I know what you’re thinking;
You’re thinking what I’m thinking: Boo hoo. Stupid, entitled, ungrateful, millionaires.
I’d be happy being a hundred-thousandaire.
Just having a simple house in a nice neighborhood and having it paid off. And having some money in the bank. And my family.
And my dog. And that’s all.
And maybe a thermos.
But that’s all.
That’s all I need to be happy.
Just a little. bit. more.
Of course, now I realize there are billions of people in the world that would look at me just like I look at those whiny millionaires.
You and I already have all the wealth required to be among the richest people on the planet.
But in order to enjoy it, we have to allow ourselves to feel rich.
Question: So how do you start feeling rich?
Answer: Start living like the wealthy asshole you are.
Have more fun with your money more often. Spend less on the big things and more on the little things.
Give away more – to causes, to charities, to waitresses, to lemonade stands, and to random things that most people would never “waste” their money on.
Start spending your money on what develops you and what makes you happy. Spend it on what frees you.
Sure, you can’t buy cars for strangers, but you could buy, say, a Starbucks gift card for a friend. Just out of the blue. For no reason at all. Just because you’re among the 1% wealthiest people in the world.
Stop measuring your riches by comparing your wealth to those who are wealthier. Measure it, instead, by how much living you infuse into your life; by the number of dreams you actively pursue; by the amount of courage you have to exercise and the number of stories you get to tell and by the number of moments you make yourself or others just a little bit happier again, and again, and again.
And don’t forget to travel.
The only thing holding you back is you.
So, now that you know you’re objectively affluent,
go let yourself be rich.