How do I overcome the belief that I have to be a millionaire or billionaire to enjoy life?

Sometimes I write answers to financial questions on sites like Quora.

Someone there asked the above question. They specified that while they have hobbies that they enjoy, they can’t shake the feeling that in order to truly enjoy life, they would need a significant net worth to allow them to try new things and experiences.

Here’s how I answered:

This is Keppel Island, where some of the richest people in Singapore stay.

Keppel Island

They stay on an island separate from the main island. Okay, it used to be separate until a bridge was made to join it to the main island. (I later found out that the buildings were not on the island.)

On this island are moored yachts. Small yachts like you see in this photo, and multi-storey super yachts.

A millionaire owner of a small yacht looks enviously as a billionaire owner takes his super yacht out to sea. The millionaire thinks, “If only I were as rich as he is, then I can truly enjoy myself.”

Being rich doesn’t mean you suddenly stop feeling envy of those who have more than you. In fact, being rich exposes you to those who have way more than you. It may even increase the feeling of envy and discontent in your life.

Clearly then, having more does not take away the feeling that you don’t have enough. Because at the heart of it, our money worries don’t stem from not having enough money; they stem from a deeper underlying feeling.

This article was taken from Lumina Planners, the fee-based financial planning arm of Elpis Financial.

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