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Friday, 11 December 2009

It's not just about the money

A good friend who told me about a man that he had met at a seminar that said that he found making money easy and that his net worth was then just short of £295 million.  This was puzzling since the seminar was about achieving success and since his own net worth was about £28,000 and wanted more money, he considered this man to be successful.  The millionaire worked long hours, was divorced and could not sustain a lasting relationship – he felt unhappy and unfulfilled.  For this man, more money would not solve the problem and he certainly did not consider himself a success.
Part of the seminar had people list things that they were grateful for and my friend saw that he was pretty happy with how his life was – great friends, decent house, loving family etc.
As the seminar progressed, there was an exercise that had people write out all their goals in life – what really mattered to them.  During the assessment, My friend looked at his list which included travel and activities that needed more time than money and suddenly realised that he didn't need to be a millionaire,  he just needed to free up his time and earn outside of a job…  and £2000 – £3000 per month would do it easily.  He didn’t crave expensive cars and houses, he wanted to travel and see more of his friends and family and generally spend his time how he wanted.
Interesting, two people with different situations, at the same seminar, looking for a similar result.  So what’s the commonality?  If there is one it is that money or “abundance of material goods”, by itself, is not the route to fulfilment or happiness.
My friend was already wealthier than the millionaire as he now knew what was missing from his life’s equation and all he needed to do was to start a business in something he loved doing.
The Millionaire had a different issue.  He loved his work but it left no space for him for anything else, or even time or space to satisfy his feelings of emptiness and misery left by his failed relationships… his issues were deeper inside of himself than the case of my friend.

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