The idea that having money is the same as being successful is probably the most common misunderstanding about success. This leads many to believe that if they accumulate wealth, they will be successful.
But wealth does not bring contentment or success.
John Maxwell said it in “Your Road map for Success”
King Solomon of ancient Israel, said to be not only the wisest but also the richest man who ever lived, asserted, ‘Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
Have a look at the below list that ranks the richest people on the planet, using information from both Forbes’s annual list of 400 Americans, and its tally of the richest billionaires worldwide:
- Jeff Bezos (U.S.); CEO of Amazon, Age: 54, Net worth: $160 billion, Bezos became the first person to top $100 billion on the Forbes list of billionaires in early 2018.
- Bill Gates (U.S.); Co-founder of Microsoft, Age: 62, Net worth: $97 billion
- Warren Buffett (U.S.); CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Age: 88, Net worth: $88.3 billion
- Bernard Arnault (France); Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Age: 69, Net worth: $72 billion
- Amancio Ortega (Spain); Co-founder of Zara, Age: 82, Net worth: $70 billion
It is common for me to define success by how I unconsciously view these individuals as listed above and I am constantly reminded that I shouldn’t try to be like even one of these people, only because it would be a bad imitation. John Maxwell also describes other common misconceptions in his book:
‘most people wrongly equate success with achievement of some sort, such as arriving at some destination or goal. Success is NOT indicated by attainment of wealth’
Wherever I look each day, I am bombarded by billboards on our streets of SLEX and EDSA of the latest must-haves, commercials of what is hot in the market and a countless number of intrusive advertising in social media which lead me to believe that we are developing an incessant desire to acquire material goods in ever greater amounts and I find myself living in a world driven by a culture of consumerism. Its becoming tough, I am beginning to develop a way of life in which the craving to have more, purchase more, and own more gets stronger by the day.
The problem of many of us today is not that we earn less than our need. It is that
we spend more than what we have to.
Pressed against the wall, many of us have even gone to the point of living on credit cards, the trick is to own a few cards from different banks and pay the minimum amount monthly! We are spending money we have yet to hold in our hands and some of us have found ourselves already working for money. The sadder part of the reality is that more and more of us devote the bulk of our time, even sacrificing precious moments with our families, to working longer and earning more.
How can I truly be financially successful? How can I live with the fact that money matters in this life and yet not neglect that there are other things that matter even more?
Give credit to whom credit is due:
- There is a comforting truth that a person can afford not to worry about money or any material thing.
- I must know that I own nothing, I am only a trustee put in charge
Count what truly counts:
- I love to accumulate things
- I see cheating, corruption and exploitation – only to become rich
- We need blessings that makes us rich without pain.
- Blessings multiply
Dare to Share
- A measure of my worth is not calculating how much wealth I have but, how much I share with others
‘ “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ‘ Matthew 6:24
Benjamin Franklin (US President, whose image is printed in US $100 bills) said it very well; “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”
One of the most unfortunates things that have happened to us all is that we mistake the gift for the giver, to put our trust on money instead of the maker.
Related blogs from the past: