No B.S Friday: Old uncle Jon gives you some advice for relating to money.
Ok, there’s a lot of young ‘uns making some good money right now.
Some of those guys on the early side of the Gamestop trade have made a killing. Like millions overnight.
And then there’s crypto, or other stocks or property deals. Whatever.
(There is always good money to be made).
So I thought I’d stroke my long grey beard and offer some advice to these newly-minted millionaires.
And I thought I’d share it with you, because even if that doesn’t describe you exactly, you are still one of the richest humans to ever walk the face of the earth. Maybe not relative to your cohort, but definitely in an absolute sense.
Anyway, my advice to you is that you have build your life around something other than money.
This is not because it’s a righteous thing to do and the angels will give you a pat on the head when you get to heaven. This is about preserving your sanity and being able to enjoy life.
You have to find something to build your life around that you can control. This is why the stoics focused on creating a virtuous life.
If you’re focused on wealth, well, you just can’t control that. It’s a question for fate. Whether you win or lose. Whether your city state collapses under the onslaught of the barbarians. Whether you lose your fortune in a fire.
It’s just not up to you.
There are things you can do, yes, to maximise the chances of hanging on to your wealth. But you can’t control it.
And if you have made it the purpose of your being, then your mind is constantly looking for a way to defend your wealth (and “accumulating even more wealth” seems to be the most common strategy.)
And with our mind, grinding away in the background, always thinking about how to defend our wealth, you are always on your guard. To some degree.
Because you are living in a fear state. Afraid that the universe might just come along and take it all away. Because it always can.
The result is that we start to slow-boil in paranoia. Not a shaking on the floor and yelling at windows kinda paranoia. Just a steady, slow-boil paranoia that starts to flavour everything we do.
It’s just kinda there. It’s in everything, though you can’t even see it.
You just start to wonder why your kid’s smile doesn’t light you up like it used to. You realise you can’t remember the last time you actually laughed out loud. Everyone and everything feels boring.
Trust me, you don’t want to go there.
And this is why, I think, we need to build our lives around something other than money – something we can control.
Find something to give your life mission. Be a virtuous being. Give as much as you can to a cause you love. Be an awesome member of the surf club.
And that’s not to say that money can’t be important to you, or you can’t give it energy.
But train your mind to focus on something it can control, so it stops scanning the forest’s edge for wolves.
Choose your focus, defuse your fear, and let the colour come back into your life.