Sunday, April 17, 2005

Does making more money make you rich ?.

Kevin Kelly, one of the unschooled, irreverent authors I admire has this site I discovered recently. Here are excerpts from some books he enjoys. Fits in pretty well with my
personal philosophy of life, work and fun.

Too many people approach being a giver from the wrong perspective. They look at the resources they possess and invariably fail to see any 'extra' they can part with. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Remember: If you don’t feel secure enough to give, you’ll never feel wealthy at the
deepest level.

You are not a corporation - you are a human being. Your money shouldn't outlive you. You should exit life as you came into it: penniless. Your assets are resources to be used, for your own benefit and for the benefit of those you love. Every dollar that's left in your bank
account after you die is a dollar you wasted. Use your resources to help people now when you know they need it, when it will do the most good, rather than hoping they'll be helped when you're dead. The last check you write should be to your undertaker and it should bounce.

The biggest lie people tell themselves about wealth is that if you make more money, you’ll be rich.

You need to shift to a more flexible view of work and career, one that abandons the ultimatum of retirement - a false choice between full-time and no time. Similarly you need to shift to a less rigid approach to earned income. No longer can you look at your earned income as continually increasing up until age sixty-five, at which point it will stop entirely. From now on you need to approach earned income as you do unearned income. It may grow, it may be stagnant, or it may decrease, all depending on market conditions and your own choices.

The best metaphor I can think of for today's pursuit of retirement is of a mass of lemmings busily struggling up a steep cliff and then jumping off the cliff into the abyss.

The only sane antidote to massive wealth is massive philanthropy. But giving is a habit that is best begun before you are loaded.

Get in touch with yourself. That was repeated by many of the people we spoke with. Decide what motivates you: joy of work, love of wealth, the satisfaction of getting further than anyone expected, and so on. And decide what failure means to you, as a person, as a company leader. Can you look at failure with a wry smile and say "I really goofed up" or does it devastate your self-worth ?


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