The Problem with Living in a “More” Society
Years ago, I had a client who had a net worth of $5 million. He wanted coaching so that he could build his net worth to $10 million because he believed that with $10 million he would be happy and satisfied.
I explained to him that if he wasn’t happy and satisfied with $5 million, chances were that no matter how much money he had he would feel exactly as he did at that moment. I suggested we work on helping him develop a satisfaction habit. That wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He just wanted $10 million.
In contrast, a friend of mine just returned from Tibet. He described the intense poverty of the people he saw who were happy and generally satisfied with their lives despite lacking what you and I would consider essentials.
In the United States, and I assume in other developed parts of the developed world, we are taught to always want more than we have. Ads for cars, electronic devices, and luxury trips permeate the airwaves – along with endless commercials for antidepressants, pain medications, and a host of other remedies for illnesses often caused by stress.
More of Some Things Can Be Good
Because we have been trained to reach for more than we have, you can use the wanting-more habit to develop peace of mind and prosperity. How?
- You can focus on developing more gratitude, authentic relationships, more patience, and more kindness.
- You can train yourself to meditate more, do more service, give more to those in need.
- You can exercise more, eat more healthy foods, and take better care of yourself.
- You can love, accept, acknowledge, and appreciate yourself more.
- You can learn to the more satisfied with who you are and your place in the world.
More Money Doesn’t Fix It
I often hear, “if only I had more money, everything would be okay and I could feel happy, secure, and free.” Studies show that people who earn more than $50,000 a year are no more happy than those who earn $50,000.
After talking to dozens of financial advisors and people I know who would qualify to be in the 1%, it’s clear that money doesn’t create happiness, security, or freedom. As matter of fact, the more money a person has the more fear they are likely to deal with – because they have so much to lose.
In an interview, Warren Buffett was asked how he defines wealth. His answer was that he measures wealth by how much love a person has in their life. He said he knows a lot of rich people who aren’t wealthy because they’re very alone.
Develop a Satisfaction Habit
People are often afraid to be satisfied with what they have because they fear that if they are okay with what they have, they will never have more. But here’s the paradox: the more satisfied you are with what you have the more likely you are to have more – if you really want it.
In my experience, once people develop a satisfaction habit, they often feel more relaxed and comfortable with who they are and their place in the world. They begin to reevaluate their goals, often with the realization that what they have is really enough or that there’s no reason to try to be like someone else.
Develop More Peace of Mind and Prosperity Will Follow
Giving up wanting more require conscious effort and intention. Here’s a good place to start:
- Every day, take a few moments to think about what you’re grateful for.
- Once a day, meditate for 10 to 20 minutes. In the Free Stuff section, you will find a downloadable e-book with simple instructions for how to meditate.
- When you hear yourself thinking that you need more of something, ask yourself what it is you really need. If you think you need more money, you probably need more people. The craving for money is often a symptom of aloneness.
Also, consider joining the Peace of Mind and Prosperity Program so you can learn the skills you need in order to experience both inner peace and prosperity.
Watch this TED Talk by Shawn Achor who shares this view.