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Playing Life with a Different Zero

It is often true that people are in different situations in different conditions, therefore their ability to participate in opportunities exists on different levels and is often justified by a line like “You don’t know what that’s like?” or perhaps “You’ve never been through this…” We all understand that success can be defined differently and that we can all attain the same level of success through different paths but it is also true that success as a whole has common denominators no matter what the circumstance or situation. One can agree that most successful people persevere, think outside the box, hold a higher level of self-awareness, and pay close attention to their environment. Even though all of these traits are not present in all successful people, the majority share many.

A man sees things differently at different times in his life and this often is attributed to his means changing with time. The car we admired as a child is often different than the one we dream of owning today even though we may never have attained the one we used to admire. The home we once wished to live in is no longer the one we work hard to attain. These changes a person goes through are what we define as experience, and is often disregarded until we are in a position of it rather than told by others of their experiences.

How we think of money is also very different with time, age, and experience but money certainly holds very different weight based on the person, aspirations, and past experiences. Today we discuss the way our perception of money changes from the time we are young to the time we graduate from our chase of it.

We all hold a number close to our heart, we call this our exit number or our magic number. It is the number that we believe will be enough to free us from our daily obligation and rather allow us to live for ourselves rather than for the sake of making money.  If that number exists and universally can be said that 10 million dollars is enough money to live a lavish lifetime on, then we ask why people continue to make money past their special number. Why does Warren Buffet who owns billions, not millions, continue to work to make more money through investments, venture capitalism, and angel investing? Why doesn’t he just go away and enjoy the fruits of his earlier actions? This level of muti-generational wealth is not needed for any person on earth to find happiness, as even a 5% fraction of that would bring happiness across multiple generations so WHY does he continue?

Once you reach a certain number, money no longer becomes a means to an end but rather becomes a means to keep track of yourself as it compares to others in society; it’s a means to keep score. The one with the most takes the prize but ultimately takes nothing more than an ego boost. At this point, you might agree with me that it holds no relevance to hold score as it’s a never ending battle and will continue to cause stress rather than bring happiness but yet again despite not being there ourselves, we do the exact same thing. We are in the constant pursuit of more, more things, more money and more recognition for our money and despite playing life with a different zero, we play the exact same game.

Despite attaining different things at different levels, we are in the constant pursuit of money. Warren Buffet might purchase a Rolls Royce, and you might seek a better BMW but you are seeking the same. You might invest a $100,000 and make $6000 day trading and he invests $100,000,000 and earns $6,000,000 day trading. Neither one of you needed the additional 6 regardless of how many zeroes are behind it. There comes a time when we must STOP and realize that we want to play a different game, one that involves innovation, a greater good, and benefits more than just our wallets.

If you are still in the pursuit of money, I encourage you to rethink your strategy and rethink your outlook as you might be playing with a different zero until its too late to play another game.