Like most everyone else, rich people are unhappy. This observation leads many to conclude that money does not buy happiness, although they are only partially right. Money by itself does not buy happiness, but an optimized lifestyle (which costs money) can make you happy.
The problem with money is the habits we acquire while making it. When you have no money, you’ll do anything to make it. You’ll work double or triple shifts. You’ll avoid vacations. You’ll work a job that sucks.
Even if you acquire money, you’ll live those same habits. But having money is a classic case of, “What got you here won’t get you there.” What got you money won’t bring you to happiness.
As an example, a reader writers in:
Your podcast is AMAZING! I have listened to every single episode. Question: I am worth 1 million dollars. I am also in business with someone who does not share my values and who is likely going to cheat me. Do you remain in business with this person knowing you’ll be able to make more money?
That’s a great problem to have and many without money would say, “Must be nice.” Others will say that you need 10 million to be “rich.”
Regardless, I’ve known rich men who committed suicide, gone on drug binges, and lost their minds. We all have the same human problems. Most of these are mindset problems regardless shame, guilt, feelings of self-worth, and a quest for meaning.
Although not rich, I have enough money stashed away that I don’t ever have to work with someone I don’t want to work with. This does cost me money. I turn down deals every week.
Money has a cost. I ask myself these two questions:
- Is making more money worth the cost of watching my back wondering if a business partner is cheating me?
- Is making more money worth the cost of doing something I don’t like?
Working with unethical and sleazy people will take a toll on your mindset. You’ll be devoting energy fighting off bad vibes rather than creating good vibes. You’ll be running defense rather than offense.
Money is a question of values.
What do you value most in life?
I value time freedom and peace of mind. I disdain acrimony in my personal and professional life. If you’re unethical or even a pain in the ass, I won’t work with you.
And I won’t work with a person on a per-project basis. If there’s a bad vibe, it’ll annoy me and only get worse. Business partners are long-term only.
If you can't see yourself working with someone for life, don't work with them for a day.
— Naval Ravikant (@naval) September 16, 2014
That costs me money. People want me involved in their projects and any book I launched or co-authored would be a six figure profit for me.
But if someone is a pain in the ass or if I don’t trust him or her fully, what’s that going to do with my mindset?
My focus will be shifted to protecting myself from a thief and meditating in order to purge myself of their spiritual toxins.
What if I focused on using my mental powers and mindset exercise to visualize my dreams and play offense rather than defend myself from toxic people?
My approach has worked for me, because I have an alignment between my personal values and business.
Making more money would make me sick. I’d be one of those rich guys who hates his life.
As it is, my life is a dream. It’s better than I could have imagined it.
The long story short.
When you NEED the money, do what you gotta do. In fact you’ll have to deal with a lot of drama and negative people in order to start making money, because people without money lack options.
Meditate, relax, and apply Gorilla Mindset to push through those bad times.
When you have financial freedom, stop making choices based around money.
The entire reason to make money is to have the freedom to design a no-compromise lifestyle based on your values.
When you can live a life without compromises or regrets, you’ll approach happiness. If you compromise your values, you’ll be miserable and likely have a psychological breakdown.
Living life on your terms if an offensive game.
Living life on your terms means setting the agenda. Only work with people you want to work with. Only talk to people you want to talk with.
You no longer need to explain yourself to people. If someone bores you, move on. If someone annoys you, why waste your time?
Remember that life is about focus and energy.
Where are you focusing your vision and how are you applying your energy?
Are you focusing your vision on negative people and then using your energy to fight off bad vibes and toxic emotions?
How much more energy would you have if you weren’t always recovering from negative experiences?
Imagine if you focused your vision on positive people and productive habits. You’ll have more energy to get your work done.
Finding more energy is often a matter of focus. If you have to hype yourself up to talk to someone or do something, there’s a misalignment in values.
When you change your focus, more energy will follow.
The devil is in the details, of course, which is why I wrote Gorilla Mindset. You can change every aspect of your life here.