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Tag: money

Divorced from reality – part 2

Twitter has been awash with memes and posts on the recent divorce announcement of a tech mogul.

No more comments on that.

But one thing that did come up was an interesting thread written on the “gradations of the rich”. The premise is that we usually think rich = awesome = same benefits. But one guy has gone into more detail. All ‘rich’ is not equal. Pretty interesting:

  1. Net worth US$ 10m to 30m – all needs met, fly first class, 4/5 star stays, some business stress, not yet ultra HNI
  2. NW US$ 30m to 100m – fly private jet, multiple global residences, own big company, own cool cars, socialize with elite
  3. NW US$ 100m to 1bn – all of above + socialize with movie stars, corporate elite, any car you want. But very hard to find family and friends who love you for who you are, i.e. irrespective of your money
  4. NW US$ 1bn+ – You can literally buy access, influence, experiences, impact, respect and even time (by saying no to things/anyone that were otherwise not possible). But even at this level, one thing you cannot buy is love. Why? Because to love someone means to sacrifice for that person. But all the money you have means you never need to sacrifice anything. Probably explains why the top 10 richest people in the world have 13 divorces amongst them

In any case, it is not easy to be at the top of this list, always having to look over your shoulder. Thoughts?

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How can I face life?

One of funniest and most heart warming TV shows in recent times is the 15-Emmy nominated Schitt’s Creek. If you haven’t heard of this show, then yes you read the name of the show right. The first time I heard it, I thought – what?! And it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to watch. But watch we did. And the lessons learned were pretty amazing.

The premise is simple yet unique. An opulent family of 4 – father, mother and two adult kids – loses all its wealth overnight. Everything, except the title to a tiny nondescript town in the middle of nowhere. They must move there at once and begin a new life. No maids, no butlers, no hors d’oeuvres in bed, no cars and certainly no money.

Suffice it to say, that the underlying messages packed through each of the episodes are pretty amazing. The family quickly finds that ‘friendship’ is redefined now that their bank balance is zero. The entitled and brattish nature of the young adults is quickly questioned, as all entitlements come with a price, to pay which, one needs money. There are also other beautiful lessons around family values, communication, love, compassion and many others.

Probably the most important one for me, was that everyone has their quirks, and the sooner we accept it, the better it is, for us. We can each be the family in Schitts Creek. Nobody knows what life will hit us with and when. This is not about being pessimistic, but being realistic. If you know today that there is a non-zero probability that disaster can strike in the future, what would you do differently today, with the benefit of hindsight?

One answer, according to me, is to live a life ‘mentally’ as though we’ve lost everything, without practically giving anything away. In this approach, we will find that we value even the smallest of things, make the most out of every opportunity, build robust relationships that go well beyond money, and never take anything for granted. Then success and happiness are guaranteed, irrespective of the actual circumstances – losing everything or not!

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Ha ha ha

You are lazing on the beach. Not any beach. Your own private beach. The beach covers most of the eastern part of island’s shoreline. Not any island. Your own private island. In the Carribbean.

You call for some fresh food. All organic, all grown on the island. Or caught fresh from the sea. A barbecue is setup immediately, by the pier. A few of your private yachts are moored there. Calling these luxurious, would be an understatement.

You bought all of this with the US$ 1 billion that you inherited last year, unexpectedly. There is plenty of cash to spare.

You and your partner are close to completing 1 year of this lifestyle. All is well. But you think suddenly, “How long can I sit on the beach, lazing around?” Words that you would have never thought would ever cross you mind, in this dream-like real situation.

You have everything that money can possibly buy, and then some. But still there is something amiss. You realise, that all of these external possessions, have not succeeded in calming your mind.

You look at the old fisherman on his boat. He seems so happy, so calm, and you wave to him. The fisherman waves back. Little do you know, that he is thinking the exact same thing about you. “Oh how calm he is, and how incredible it would be, if I could be rich and own an island.”

Somewhere out there, the Creator laughed to Himself.

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A Pyrrhic victory

If only I had some more money. And then I could step of out this rat race, pay off my debt, retire early, move to a cabin by the sea and live the rest of my life.

Don’t we all have such seemingly simple wishes? Just a little more money. Let my bank account touch US$ [xyz] or US$ [abc]. And that will be it.

In 1999, a Texan man named Billy Bob got divorced, was alienated from his kids and subsequently committed suicide.

The reason? Just two years before, Billy had won US$ 31 million at the Lotto Texas jackpot. Things went downhill from there. What a reason to take one’s life – snatching defeat from the apparent jaws of victory itself!

We are quite dismal at predicting our own futures. Yes I want 50 million dollars, but everything comes at a cost. Will I be able to handle that kind of money? Where will I keep it? Will the attitudes of those around me change once I have it? Will my own mind be at peace? Can I sleep at night? Or stay worried about keeping the money safe? Will people target me / my money? Do I really even need that much money?

We need to honestly answer to ourselves – what do we really need and what do we really want.

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The Prayer

“Dear Lord, please give me a Ferrari, lots of money, a beautiful family, great power in society, top grades in my exams, and while you’re at it, some more money.”

We often synonymize prayer and demands.

How about, “Dear Lord, Good morning! How are you doing today? Hope you rested well. My heartfelt gratitude to you for everything you have given me!”, said with a smile?

If you were God, which would you like to listen to?

Prayer can just be a means to connect to a higher power, aka, the divinity within us.

The more we ask for in life, the greater the chances of us being disappointed.

“I want happiness” said a disciple to the Buddha. The Buddha replied, drop the ‘I’ (ego), drop the ‘want’ (desire), and you have what you seek!

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