What Sets Us Apart from the Financially Independent: Money, Perception or Both?
For many of us, it may seem that money is the only thing that sets us apart from the ridiculously wealthy. However, it appears the gap may be filled with more than just wads of cash. Their perception of money may be what makes elevates their efforts, enabling them to maintain their billionaire status even amid economic instability.
1. Money is just money
For many of us, an abundance of money represents power, wealth, and affluence. We may have attached a lot of emotions to the concept of money, from fear to dread to elation. The wealthy, however, view money for what it is—currency. In an article posted to BNet.com entitled “The Secret Meaning of Money,” Mark Jaffe explains what sets the wealthy apart when he says, “They’re not hungrier and I don’t believe they work any harder. Financial independence materializes for them precisely because it is all a big game, because money is just money…and because it doesn’t matter how or where they earn it or what denomination it comes it, as long as it’s more or less honorable and they don’t leave anything on the table when they go home for dinner.”
2. They’re not obsessed with spending it
Some people mistakenly believe that, like Paris Hilton, the rich and famous spend their time spending money while, for many of them, the opposite seems to be the case. In his book, Stop Acting Rich and Start Living like a Real Millionaire, author Thomas J. Stanley claims, “One of the things that set wealthy people apart from others is that they have a wide variety of interests and activities. In fact, there is a substantial correlation between the number of interests and activities that people are involved in and their level of financial wealth.” It appears that the wealthy are too busy working and engaging in these worthwhile activities and interests that they don’t have the time or energy to spend excessive amounts of money.
3. They view profitability as another opportunity to make more money
While there’s no such thing as a money tree, the billionaires of this world know how to invest their money in order to “grow” more money. They look for ways to take what they earn and use it to create even more, exponentially. Consider Donald Trump and Bill Gates. Do they gather all their chips, hoarding their wealth to spend it all, frivolously, on themselves? No! They see how they can reinvest that revenue to make even more.
4. Most give generously
Published by Princeton University Press over 10 years ago, the book, Why the Wealthy Give by Francie Ostrower is still a fascinating view of the rich and their perception of money. Ostrower interviewed nearly 100 donors, asking what motivates them to give so generously of their abundant wealth. These philanthropists come to view money as an opportunity to bless the lives of others who are less fortunate. As if to demonstrate their dedication to these philanthropic ideals, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, respectively number 1 and 3 on Forbes most recent list of richest men in the world, have asked hundreds of American billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity in what they have established as The Giving Pledge. Both men are demonstrating their dedication to this pledge by doing the same themselves. Some might say that their lives exemplify the belief that the selfless giving of one’s wealth to charitable causes only seems to generate more wealth.
Perhaps the one thing standing between you and the success of which you dream is your perception of money. Consider how your views might be working against your efforts to secure greater profitability.
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–. “One Thing that Sets Wealthy People Apart.” FreeMoneyFinance.com
–. “Warren Buffet, Bill Gates to Billionaires: Give Away at Least Half Your Money!” 16 June 2010 Daily News
–. “Why the Wealthy Give.” Press.Princeton.edu
Jaffe, Mark. “The Secret Meaning of Money.” 6 July 2010 BNet.com