The family next door has a brand new Mercedes, gallivants around the world to exotic locations, and flashes the time on their Swiss watches. But does that mean they’re wealthy? And does it mean you should aspire to their levels of extravagance?
No matter the income, people still manage to find ways to live beyond their means. This arrogance leads to blind buying and not making a calculated effort to increase wealth instead of spending it. What happens in an economic downturn? That Rolls Royce isn’t so flashy then.
Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, still lives in the home he purchased in Nebraska 50 years ago. Mark Zuckerburg drives an Acura and famously wears a plain tshirt and jeans. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA and worth $1.3 billion still flies economy. They’ve made quite the name for themselves; people all over the world are inspired by their dedication to creating an empire and reaping its rewards.
These entrepreneurs understand the difference between happiness and status. Most people confuse the two, which can result in dire consequences. This is not to say that when you are making boatloads of cash, you can’t have nice things. It’s finding the thought processes, habits, and entrepreneurial savvy to be happy on your own so that you don’t necessarily need “things” to make you happy or give you “status.”
But what is status? And why do we strive for it? Status can be two different things depending on your perception of wealth. It can mean: 1. An earned social position or 2. A perceived sense of superiority. If you think status is earned, you view happiness as a means to wealth and not the other way around. You work hard and smart to get where you are. You’re a leader amongst your peers and inspire them to create their own success.
But if you feel that the neighbors with the nice car are somehow better than you, or at a place in life you don’t deserve, you’re straying away from your own path to wealth.
It all comes down deciding for yourself what actually makes you happy. That couple you look up to because of their expensive tastes aren’t always happy, and they probably aren’t wealthy. Looks can be deceiving.
A flashy car, vacation home, and gold plated toilets are exciting, but at the end of the day, when you’re reflecting on triggers of genuine happiness, what comes to mind? When you look back at the things in your life that changed you for the better, will you reminisce on the little sports car and the huge mansion that you worked hard every day for long passed retirement? Or will it be the freedom that you had to do the things you wanted to do, regardless of others’ perceptions? Will it be the time you have with the ones you love? Will it be the abundance in every positive aspect of life that you experience?
So, instead finding others’ happiness, others’ status, and others’ riches, instead of keeping up with the Jones’s who are probably in debt, overworked, and unhappy, keep up with your own version of happiness, and discover how nothing else will matter anymore.
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