The rich are different from you and me. (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Yes, they have more money. (Ernest Hemingway) “They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, it makes them soft where we are hard and cynical where we are trustful in a way that unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Yes, the rich are different from you and me, they have more problems!
If you are not aware of it Forbes Magazine publishes a list of the 400 richest people in the United States. Rich people are ranked based on their estimated net worth! Just to make the list you need to have a net worth of at least $1.3 billion. People come and go from this list every year. It is not easy to be rich! Thirty (30) people are poorer than year ago, twenty-eight (28) people dropped off the list and six (6) people died. There are still a number of billionaires who qualify and were left off the list.
Don’t feel sorry for the overlooked billionaires! If you did not make the list, doesn’t mean you are not rich. It just means you are not on the list! Do rich people really care that they were excluded? Probably some do, but I imagine most do not. Although I think most rich people prefer anonymity, there is a certain amount of prestige in getting on the list. Rich people are competitive and they want to see how they stack up against other rich people.
The rich are different from you and me. Yes, they have more money. They actually think very differently! They put their money to work earning more money. Debt does not scare them nor is it something they feel an urgency to pay down. They see the advantage of a leverage investment. Yes, they borrow money to buy assets not purchases. They actually understand money and how to use it more effectively. Money is not the answer! It is a byproduct of using it effectively.
Rich people are pitted against the rest of us. Recently, Hilary Clinton was criticized for her choice of words when she said she and her husband Bill Clinton were dead broke when they left the White House. Mitt Romney received criticism when his 2011 tax return revealed he earned $13.7 million and only paid 14.1% in taxes. The Occupy Wall Street protest movement was supposed to raise issues about social economic inequality, greed, corruption and perceived undue influence of corporations on government. Why do some people resent people who are wealthy? Is it jealousy? Usually, it is the people who struggling to survive that are jealous of rich people. It is similar to “keeping up with Jones.” You would like to have a new car, vacation or something else you cannot afford at the moment and you want it now. It is the first step to never reaching your financial goals; if you allow jealousy or your emotions sway you from your goals. Rich people do not lose focus on their goals or allow their emotions prevent them from their goals. Jealousy or envy does not help you reach your goal.
Although I think it is easier to be happy when you are rich, but there are no guarantees. In fact most people who are happy are not necessarily financially secure. According to an article in The Atlantic, the respondents have deep anxieties involving love, work, and family. The respondents were 120 people with a net worth of $25 million or more. Just because you have money does not mean you do not have problems! The contrast is equally true, you can be happy without wealth as long as you earn a reasonable amount of money.
Money is never makes you happy! Some people will marry for money and say they are happy. Others hate their job and think if they are paid more they can tolerate their job. They will still hate their job, but compromise or sellout for the money. Rich or poor, family relationships are important! The busy rich executives, entrepreneurs or work alcoholics do not spend the time to create or nurture those relationships and will not be happy. These are just some of the reasons you should not envy rich people.
Stop being envious and do something about it!
- Love and friends – If you are rich, you think people only want to be your friend because you have money or what you can do for them. You can be rich without broadcasting it to everyone you meet. You do not need to display your wealth in the cars you drive, homes or how you spend your money. At least reserve that information until you determine the relationship is genuine.
- Work – Instead of just being envious of rich people, emulate them. They think differently for a reason! Use debt to buy assets that appreciate just like rich people. Figure out what you enjoy doing and get the skills to do it well and you will be successful.
- Family – Family (spouse and children) like any other relationship does not flourish unless you work on it. You have a responsibility to your family to nurture this relationship. It adds to your happiness!
Don’t be envious of rich people, do something about it. Wealthy people are not necessarily happy people! You can live your life resenting rich people or you can earn more money. I am sure you heard about maids, janitors or barbers becoming millionaires. All it takes is determination and some work. Remember, rich people are willing to take more risk and therefore they get more rewards. More importantly, you control your happiness! Don’t envy the rich, do something!
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