You’ve likely already found or at least seen the very best things (whether you know it or not). Make them count.
I’ve always wondered about the use of this information. DHH is not the first nor the last, as he himself says, to somehow disseminate this information “through clever or modest-profound” ways. Why do rich people feel the need to inform us the rest that there is no holy grail on the other side of “the curtain”?
If one is poor, as DHH says too, basic needs will trump any idea of buying a Lamborghini. These advice are for us, the well fed, properly clothed, educated, essentially “not rich” people, who apparently already have all the good things in life, but are keen on ignoring them.
But, in my opinion, we, the not rich people, know the best things in life are free. I can hardly find a more touted truism: money can’t buy happiness. Everybody knows that. Its like a huge confusion here: most people on planet Earth are sane, good, nice folk. Sane, good, nice folk do not expect money to define them. Sociopaths, assholes, “those who might contemplate giving up all manners of integrity, dignity, or even humanity to” get rich, are a humble small minority, and most definitely they will not read such information nor be impressed by rich people explaining their self away.
I wonder, is it some form of justification that not everyone is Elon Musk? Is this advice a way of justifying not living up to the opportunity wealth really provides? Otherwise, why would one, an otherwise nice person, who has what so many people want, feel like doing a good thing by taking the magic out of it, with well crafted, modest, assertions? I feel it is like having two good arms and going to someone who only has one and explaining, as good as you can, that having two arms is not as great as they think. And all while being modest about it: describing how it is actually really great, but just not as great as the one armed person thinks it is. Does that help?
Money buys time, time equals freedom, therefore money buys freedom.
This. For a human being, a primate that has no way of explaining why it exists, but who is constantly conscious of its temporary brief and absurd experience, there is not one single more precious thing than freedom. Freedom comes from owning your time. That is why our social punishment is called “doing time”, not so much doing “deprivation of freedom”. As humans, we have intelligence and we have some awareness. These two can take us about anywhere. But we lack time. Because we lack time, freedom is the ability to enjoy every hour of our time, no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways.
Again, this is what money buys: the ability to enjoy every hour of your time, no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways. Money buys your hours from life itself, or from society, or sometimes even from your biology.
Privilege doesn’t replace wealth.
Then there is this form of guilt or pride, depends on the individual, that equates privilege with wealth. They are not the same thing, at all.
Privilege does not beget freedom. Privilege begets benefits. Benefits are nice. That is why it is hard to acknowledge privilege, because the privileged does not feel any more free than the underprivileged. But look at benefits and then it becomes clear!
Wealth does beget freedom. If we’d be eternal beings wealth would not matter. But as limited in time as we are, we should seriously consider getting rich. Getting rich is a good and worthwhile life goal. Just like all other worthwhile life goals, not better, but definitely not worse.
Yet, denying wealth’s power to beget freedom appears as part of a human behavior. Happily married people tell sad single valentines that marriage is not all milk and honey, and that they should enjoy their lonely Christmases more. All while basking in their blessed coupledom, feeling safe in death because their offspring make them feel like the future is ahead. From top CEOs explanations pour down the organization chart of how success is not the pinnacle of personal achievement. All while blushing at the embarrassing disparity between their world recognition and the iron anonymity of the folk doing the actual work.
This is crazy, but still better that trying to wipe off the light around wealth. Even religion had to cope with it, from Rockefeller’s famous “God gave me money”, to the Protestant work ethic which, more or less, reflects accumulation into salvation.
Money do not define yourself. You define yourself. Money do not create happiness, you create happiness. But money do help carving out diverse self defining experiences. Money do help in the endless fine tuning that happiness requests. It is that simple: non particular happiness is enlightenment, non experimental self actualization is transcendence. Enlightenment and transcendence have very little to do with money, but all the same they have very little to do with the social normative imprinted on you, and expected from you.
The day I will become a millionaire I will encourage everyone to become one too. I will explain, first hand, about the opportunity to live life to the fullest for real, not the lobotomized advertising idea of it. I will tell my fellow humans about the true direct visceral experience of being free to reach your beautiful human potential.
The day I will become a millionaire I will not shy away to inform that you’re likely not to have found, nor seen, the very best things (things you know about) and wealth does definitely help in making your life count.