Can you be wealthy and happy?
The amount of effort people will put in to becoming wealthy would seem to indicate a strong belief that having plenty of money is a prerequisite to happiness.
When I was little we were well off until my dad got seriously injured in an explosive accident. We lost it all and had to move out of the city.
When I was growing up in the bush, we had large income sometimes, and nothing at all at other times. As the oldest son these lean times were filled with chopping firewood, hunting for food, fishing and repairing logging equipment. All enjoyable and fun for any small boy. I was happy.
When we got paid for a completed logging contract, or were able to sell logs straight to the mill, we had large amounts of cash. At these times I could still go hunting or fishing, or hone my wood cutting skills. I was still happy.
The pressure to be successful and bring home a decent meal of game or fish was very real. As a bush kid, it never worried me much. I was a very good shot with the .22 Gevarm and could take a rabbit with a clean head shot at 100 yards, thus getting the skin to sell as well as dinner.
On the occasions when I needed to be certain I got dinner, I used a
twelve gauge Harrington & Richardson shot gun for snap shooting
rabbits that were close and running. Either way, I was happy I could
contribute. Usually my Dad and I would go hunting together, which I
loved, but once he was injured in a logging accident so we lived off
what I could kill with the shotgun and potatoes from surrounding farms.
There were many times when my old 12 gauge or "betsy" fed us. I felt
useful and happy and only noticed our poverty when I got hungry, which was not often.
I left the bush when I grew up and moved to the city where I found earning a living was so much easier. I was happy to be facing a new life. Having tasted business success at an early age when my father had a shop at one time, (another story, another hub) I decided to go in to business. My businesses became as well know to motorcyclists as Coca Cola is to teenagers, and I cleaned up big time!
I went and bought a classy car and still couldn't spend what was coming in! It was wonderful I had plenty of opportunity to mix with the other well off small businessmen. I then hooked up with a mentor who was the first proper millionaire I got to know. He taught me how to delegate and expand. I was very happy and wealthy.
I never tried to get rich, in fact I spent money so fast growing my business that I did not even know my profit margin or how much money I had and I was having far too much fun to be bothered watching my bank balance or thinking about the money in there.
When I opened my third shop In Balwyn I changed management style and decided to step it up a bit by employing two trained retail managers I had met while doing an expensive motivational training course.
I had done the training because a friend was running it locally after having completed the course himself, and talked me in to doing this American based course. I did the training mainly because my mate was a bit broke and needed the commission check which was substantial as I recall. I emerged from all the hype somewhat euphoric and disconnected from reality.
After employing the new managers, my business lost it's amateur look, profit margins moved up, service became regulated by time is money constraints and I was now unhappy! So were my customers.
Not happy with being unhappy I sacked my managers and decided to look closer at myself. By this time I had closed one shop, and had time, money and luck apparently.
I started reading Jung again, and researched post Jungian psychotherapists.
Someone canceled an appointment with the leading Jungian psychologist I wanted to see, and a two year wait was reduced to a week.
I started therapy immediately.
I regained my detachment from money, could see it again as a comodity and renewed the business consultancy I had opened in 1977 after a trip to New York, only this time I decided to go corporate with two trusted associates and charge like a wounded bull for my services like many of my competition did!
I got to travel a lot, got paid in USD (which was very good at the time) and had the time of my life, while my staff kept my one shop going like a rocket again in my absence.
The points I would try to make about money, is that if you have enough money to buy something to eat, somewhere safe to sleep and reasonable health, you can be as happy as you make up your mind to be.
You can have millions of dollars and be happy, you just have to be happy to start with. I found many rich people who are dependant on their wealth for everything. Without their wealth their "friends" would not even bother knowing them, their children hate their guts, the posh school they send them to teaches them to be corporate a*seholes, and they are miserable.
None of this misery has anything to do with their money. It is how they see themselves in relation to wealth that keeps these poor sods miserable while they rob everyone they know, so they can have more money so they can be happy. Illogical I know, but that seems to be the modus operandi
These people may be rich, but they sure are miserable poor buggers! It doesn't have to be like that. I have known two billionaires who were very happy, but neither of them were motivated by money in the first place, and both were generous, kind and caring.
I never had more than a few clients in all the years I ran my consultancy. I chose to work with those who were focussed on the project, not the money. These individuals are great to work for, they are quick, efficient and will always spend when it is needed.
I have seen the very rich lose lucrative contracts because they saw some expense they could not justify. Some of their reasoning was very child like, as are their motives in life, so unless one wants to deal with a board of neurotic little children, give em a big miss, they make their money by other people losing theirs.
If you feel excited by having money, that is not a bad thing if it means you are going to share and enjoy your wealth. If you are making it so fast you can't spend it all like Bill Gates, then it's time to do as he has, and give it away to those who need it most, and rely on the cash flow to keep on coming. What better way to enjoy extreme wealth?
For those who are happy and enjoy having wealth, you are an asset to your family and the world in general if you use it to make others lives bearable. There is definitely a level where a lack of money destroys lives. Take care of some of that first, and enjoy your wealth even more!