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"Get Rich...But Why?

Who is "Rich"?

Many Asian farmers view Westerners as wealthy, but Westerners themselves do not typically see themselves this way and from their own perspective tend to consider Asian farmers as poor.

These farmers have limited opportunity for growth in their Gardens. We in the Western world are most blessed to have ample opportunities to grow our Assets as we look to the future. Let's talk about our Asset Gardens in some foundational, philosophical sense today as it's important to take time to consider what we truly want out of life, out of our Garden.

The concept of wealth is often relative, with many people considering those 3 rungs up the financial ladder to be rich. Consider: The wealthiest people in the world reside in Western semi-capitalist nations, where they enjoy luxuries that even kings in the past did not have, could not even have dreamed of, such as advanced medical care, high-quality entertainment, and technology. However, despite this wealth, many Westerners still dream of becoming rich.

It's worth noting that perceptions of wealth differ across cultures; for instance, a rural Indian may not aspire to American middle-class wealth but instead to Mumbai middle-class wealth. As such, the idea of being rich is subjective, and people's perceptions of it can vary widely.

"Breaking Down the Myth of Getting Rich: Exploring the Reality of Financial Success"

  1. The majority of people are not able to attain wealth, often due to lack of motivation or effort. Let's just say it: Lazy. There, I said it.

  2. The concept of "rich" is subjective and constantly changing as the economy grows. Personal wealth is often measured relative to those around us, rather than absolute wealth and continually changes.

  3. There is a limited supply of positional goods, which are often the primary indicators of wealth. Attempting to acquire them can create opposition and competition, leading to an unending cycle of trying to outdo one another. For example, if diamonds were as common as backyard rocks, everyone would have one and they would essentially be worthless but in a society where there is scarcity, items of desire become 'positional goods' as identified by the economist Fred Hirsch last century. Consider, even non-physical goods such as social standing by virtue of birth.

  4. Uncertainty, rather than risk, is the main obstacle to achieving wealth. While risk can be insured against, uncertainty cannot be predicted or hedged against with mathematical formulas. Most middle-class folks avoid the 'risk' of additional uncertainty, being more frightened of losing what they already have than desirous of attaining additional wealth. It is the middle class mindset of "I've got Enough, so why risk it".

So where will the middle-class find wealth? What sort of Gardens will most of them seek to grow??? Generally they'll look to the promises of Government. Our educational system has taught this lesson very well over the past half century. "The State is our Savior" is the mantra taught at every level of education in the public sphere. If I can be "certain" the State will care for me I have no need to assume any additional responsibility of starting a business and risking failure. I'll just wait for Uncle Samuel to provide all I need. Rather than take a calculated risk, I'm going to enjoy the Security provided "free" from the State. I'm not going to think about those 'others' who are paying the taxes for my today and future Security.

Fortunately, because of our economic system of invested capital and its steady results of economic growth, the vast majority of the West can count themselves as winners in the economic lottery.

"Let's Define Rich"

The definition of being "rich" may not be what you think.

It's not about how much money you have, but rather, it's about being able to pursue your life's top goal without ever having to work for a paycheck again. Many people can afford to quit their jobs, but they don't. The proof of being truly rich is to be able to give up the golden chains of a high-paying job and walk away.

This may seem difficult, but it's important to consider the value of time - time is running out and we can't accumulate it like we can with money.

A minute spent, is a minute lost, gone....forever.

Every minute spent in one activity negates the possibility of spending that minute in another activity. The Bible speaks to this very clearly:

"As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away." Psalms 90:10 NASB

We need to spend our time wisely and pursue what truly matters to us. Some people, like Mother Teresa, were rich in the sense that they were able to do what they loved without being tied down by financial constraints. She accomplished an enviable legacy with just a manual typewriter running her massive ministry out of a tiny building in India. Ultimately, the central issue of wealth is determining the expected net value of our remaining heartbeats and using that to guide our choices.

On the other side of that spectrum, Warren Buffett, 92 years old, worth over 100 billion dollars. Would he trade the marginal value of his next dollar for the marginal value of his next minute of life? What do you think? What type of Asset would he be wise to plant in his Garden. Another stock purchase? Or maybe something a bit more meaningful? Our Garden will have a tendency to change character as it grows. Its "Fruit" should begin to take different forms as the Asset of Time takes on more importance.

We can't "save" time. We "spend" it, 24 hours a day, every day throughout our life. So my question is "As you consider the remaining minutes, do you have a net value estimate for those remaining heartbeats?" "Do you have in mind what legacy you are leaving?" We will all leave a legacy.

"Do You PLAN To Be Rich?"

What steps can you take to become wealthy? For most people, starting a business and working long hours is the answer. However, statistically speaking, most businesses fail. The next step is to sell the business to someone who wants to make money, not necessarily become wealthy. The amount you ask for should provide enough passive income to finance the rest of your life.

If you plan on spending your time playing golf, then starting a business related to golfing may be a good option. The first step in becoming wealthy is to have a precise plan for how you will use your money after you stop accumulating it. This plan should include a budget for income and expenses, as well as a budget for how you will spend your time. Yes, our 'time' needs budgeting as well.

Increasing your inflow of time can mostly be achieved through adopting a lifestyle that extends life expectancy. However, don't expect to extend your life expectancy by more than 20% as this would be statistically abnormal.

Once you have set your budget, you must plan your life accordingly to achieve your desired level of accumulated wealth. However, achieving this goal is not easy, and it may be challenging to let go of the golden handcuffs that come with earning a high income.

If becoming wealthy seems unattainable, consider finding a balance between earning wages and spending time pursuing your dreams. It takes a conscious effort to reduce your wage-earning time to pursue your dreams, but it may be worth it in the end.


An inflection point: middle age. This is a place where a life altering decision is made, whether conciously or not. Success vs. Significance

If one sees success as intertwined with significance, he may need to consider switching careers, as most professions do not inherently promote significance.

To optimize the pursuit of a significant life, it's beneficial to invest more time in meaningful activities from an early age. Some argue that prioritizing money over significance is necessary to accumulate the resources needed to finance a significant life, but once financial goals are met, it's essential to relinquish those golden handcuffs.

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