Why do people want to be rich?
The question of why do people want to be rich is a pretty simple question. One which I’m sure most people would have no trouble answering in a matter of seconds. A nice house (mansion), car, clothes, mountains of shoes, jewelry, a yacht or maybe even a jet are some of the things people (in my experience) seem to think of first when they think of being rich.
All the wonderful THINGS
You’ll notice from the list above, or chances are from just your ‘want’ list when you think of being rich, most of it is stuff. People want to be rich so they can have STUFF! Lots of stuff, pretty stuff, shiny stuff, new stuff, stuff that’s more expensive than their neighbor’s stuff, stuff that makes other people stare at them with envy. STUFF.
It’s true, most of the time, when people think of being rich and the motivations for being rich, it boils down to stuff. Whether you want a huge house, with 5 bedrooms, hardwood floors, granite counters, indoor AND outdoor pool, or you want a pair of shoes that cost a ridiculous $2000USD, at the end of the day it’s all just stuff!
Maybe I should have started here instead
I know somebody is going to point out to me that the idea of ‘rich’ is relative. This is true. Maybe I should have started this post by explaining what ‘rich’ means to me. Being “rich” is very relative. So for the purpose of this article, I’ll consider rich to be someone who can quite easily buy a 3million USD apartment without second thought. Or for further illustration, someone who can do this:
Good, so now you have an understanding of what ‘rich’ means for the purposes of this article. Let us carry on!
We have been brainwashed!
I honestly believe that for the most part we’ve been brainwashed through clever marketing
and corporate controlled media to believe that “stuff” is they key to happiness. Just watch the ad below and you’ll see what I mean.
Own a house with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms? Well that’s not enough, you need STUFF, fancy stuff, expensive stuff to put in there. Drive a Rav 4? That simply won’t cut it! To be truly happy you need a Porsche Cayenne SUV. Certainly those Steve Madden shoes on your feet aren’t good enough, next time, spend 5 times the amount on a pair of Manolo Blahniks!
Music, movies, advertising, magazines, online blogs and almost everything tells us that we need expensive stuff, and lots of it in order to be happy. The result is that we feel we need to be rich in order to afford all this expensive stuff. We end up with a society that’s absolutely hypnotized with celebrities, how much money they make, and all the stuff they buy! Just watch the video above again if you want more proof! We end up with people willing to pay $1000USD for a pair of jeans simply because of brand name and the fact that ‘vintage’ is in now (and because nobody else has them).
Theres more to it
Ok, so maybe some people want more than just stuff, they want comfort. They want to live ‘comfortably’. Never mind that their idea of ‘comfortable’ usually involves having a nice car, big (enough) house and being able to travel anywhere, anytime in style. I can definitely understand that.
A conversation I had a few weeks ago with a friend of mine about how much money HE would need to retire got me thinking. Do you really need to be rich in order to enjoy all that? Do you need to to be rich in order to enjoy a trip to Europe, Brasil, China or the sweet Caribbean? My guess would be no, you don’t. Sure if you want the ‘nicest stuff’ in your hotel room, and you want the most expensive airline seats you can find you may need to have a little (or a lot) additional, but the fact is you don’t need to be anywhere near ‘rich’ in order to travel the world in comfort.
The funny this is
What I find a particularly funny is that people (particularly in ‘developed’ countries) work all their lives trying to accumulate money in order to live a relaxed life near the beach where they don’t have a worry in the world. Where they’ll spend their days sipping a delicious natural fruit juice right before enjoying relaxing swim in the ocean. Yet, those of us who are far from ‘rich’ who are in that very same position now, don’t seem to realized what it is we have. We spend our days working like good corporate slaves, or trying all sorts of barely legal scams in order to get ‘rich’ to buy a bunch of useless things, shiny stones, or any and all manner of other stuff in order to be the envy of the crowd.
I’m willing to bet almost no one, when asked the question “Why do you want to be rich?” thinks at first, I want to be rich so I can build a hospital for my country/state/city. Or, I want to be rich so I can fund the development of water new purification systems. Even less will think, I want to be rich so I can give it all away to help people who never even had a chance of living till the age of 10, much less 20, 30, or even 40. Very few ever think initially about using their wealth to help elderly people who can’t help themselves. The truth is most people, when they think about why they want to be rich, will simply think about all the “stuff” they could buy, and very little else.
So, if you disagree, let me know. What was/is the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re faced with the question “Why do YOU want to be rich?”