More money, more problems

December 17, 2022

Two thoughts that I think are true about the balance of personal wealth:

  1. More money, more problems
  2. Success comes from understanding your balance, not someone else's balance

The first thought does not mean "If more money means more problems, then no money means no problems". No, that's not what it says exactly, at least from how I interpret it. What I think this means is that an individual has their own physical, mental and spiritual limits to what their local minimum wealth and local maximum wealth should be. Should is the fuzzy estimate of what the actual wealth limit is and what the individual feels that it is.

It is difficult to live a life with very little or no wealth, because poverty is suffering. Suffering is anxiety, discomfort and pain. So we as creatures of comfort want to reduce pain and increase comfort. The logic goes something like "If I can reduce my pain and increase my comfort and sustain that comfort in excess, then I win at life". How do we "win" at life? In an economy game that trades money with solutions, we as a culture and ecosystem solidified associating money with wealth. If money can pay for solutions to reduce our pain, then more money means less pain.

Now here's where it gets interesting. We have an individual who gains a lot of money, and therefore is very wealthy. Then we do a survey of people who fit that category and we ask "Are all these very wealthy people pain-free and full of content?" Well it turns out, many are not full of content. A significant percentage seemingly have constant pain but no amount of money that they can afford can ever resolve it. The pain does not have a solution that can be resolved with money.

This is where the second thought comes in - understanding your balance versus someone else's balance. Everyone has a different limit of where their wealth level should be to reduce pain and that assumed level is constantly changing and very seldom close to the actual level. Once self awareness of personal actions and intents becomes more clear to your way of life, you will estimate closer to your actual levels.

Everyone's levels are different. A lot of our levels are predetermined and developed through how we grew up as children and how we perceived wealth and were taught or not taught about. Privilege and timing affects these opportunities which also tips the odds for certain people over others. With this and many other factors that affect chances and opportunities early on, each individual has a different balance, a local minimum and local maximum that they are comfortable with as a way to reduce pain.

If we see another individual's wealth as a goal we want to reach, there is no guarantee that their local maximum is near our local maximum. If we reach that point and we still have not resolved our pain, then going beyond our local maximum seems like a suboptimal way to reduce pain and feel more content.

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The content above contains my personal thoughts only and are not representative of anything I am involved with. The following content may contain financial opinions and these opinions do not reflect any professional advice. Speak to a licensed financial professional for actual financial advice.