Wanting More Money

I like to check out Derek Siver’s blog – I enjoy his contrarian ideas, even though he doesn’t post all that often.

Here’s his 10 second self-description: 
“I’ve been a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher. Monomaniac, introvert, slow thinker, and love finding a different point of view. California native, I now live in New Zealand.”

In any case – Derek recently pre-sold some of his new books to his private email list and made $250,000.

He wrote about how he gave it all away to charity because he doesn’t want more money.

I thought this statement is quite remarkable: “I don’t want more money“.

It seems to be an oddity to say “I have enough” in this world of excess that we live in. It’s a world of “more”, not “enough” – more houses, more cars, more vacations and fancy dinners. Capitalism is the religion of infinite growth, there is no “enough”. 

I’d say it’s pretty brave to say “I’ve had enough” in terms of money and material possessions, but also when it comes to vacations, friends or romantic partners, because everybody tells us we don’t live right if we don’t have too much of everything. And ultimately, the same goes for our time on this earth and saying “I’ve lived long enough, I’m okay with dying now”.

You might argue that this is a first-world problem, and I don’t disagree: If you’re barely making ends meet, you will want to make more money, and that’s totally fine. But being rich doesn’t seem to solve that hunger for more. On the contrary: The more money people make, the more they seem to care about making even more, and the more anxious they’ll be about losing it again. My impression is that you’re more likely to see relatively poor people stating “I don’t need more money” than millionaires and billionaires.  

I don’t blame people for wanting more, though. 
Our greed for more is deeply engrained into our reptilian brains – amassing resources ensured our survival.  
But we should evolve past that “amassing stuff” stage, if we can – because our greed tends to result in egoism, exploitation, destruction of the environment, and it’s detrimental to your own happiness and peace of mind.

I’m convinced that the “never enough” phenomenon essentially stems from our inability to acknowledge our own mortality (it would make sense to own 5 houses and 5 cars if we lived forever. But we don’t, our lives are really really short).

Even if you don’t agree with what I’m saying – I think it’s a worthwhile exercise to think about what “enough money” means to you. This is common practice in the FIRE community where people calculate their net worth threshold (considering life expectancy, living expenses, expected stock returns, “withdrawal rate” and so on) – once they reach that number, they plan to stop working and focus on passion projects, their families or whatever they want. 
Not everything has to make money.

Note: I talk about this topic in more depth in my Bretagne VLOG I uploaded today, in the forest of Huelgoat, which you can check out here.

😴 What might help you find calm

My favorite Unintentional ASMR moment this week

Intentional ASMR Picks:

Unintentional ASMR Picks: