“I don’t need to be rich or anything. Just comfortable.”
This sounds like a very reasonable statement. Even an admirable one. You don’t need skads of cash, right? What would you do with so much money, anyway? You just need enough to be comfortable without worrying about anything.
I used to say this myself.
Then I read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Author T. Harv Eker comes out strongly against aiming for comfort instead of riches.
Now, anytime I hear someone voice that sentiment, I cringe inside.
You know that saying, “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars,”? You remember that particular slice of cheese, right?
Well, that can be applied to the comfort and riches thing, too. “Shoot for riches. Even if you don’t make millions of dollars, you’ll wind up mighty comfortable.”
However, if you shoot for “comfortable” and fall short of your goal, then you don’t land among the stars. You land in discomfort. Maybe even poverty.
What’s keeping us from shooting for the moon? Why do we aim so low?
I think there are a lot of reasons in play. Here are a few popular reasons why we shoot for the middle of the sky instead of the stars:
- We don’t think we’re worth great wealth.
- We don’t believe we’re skilled enough to accumulate it.
- We have bad opinions of rich people.
- We believe the universe has limited resources.
- We don’t believe in our purpose, or that people will appreciate it.
- We are afraid that if we try to build wealth, we’ll fail.
- We don’t know what it would take to earn a fortune.
“I don’t need that much money,” implies that those who have it are taking more than they need–more than their fair share–or that they have frivolous definitions of what constitutes a need. I could go on and on about this. So . . . yeah, I’m actually going to go on and on about this!
- Do you think that, compared to someone in a third world country, you have more than you need?
- Why do you believe that everyone should only have what they need and no more? Is it because you’re resentful that you barely have what you need, with none left over or for life’s little luxuries? Is it because you believe the universe’s resources are limited? Seriously, what’s wrong with having more than you need? Spend some time with this question, and you’ll uncover a lot of your personal blocks to wealth.
- So you don’t know what you would do with that much money? How about talking to a financial planner? How about getting a massage every week? How about taking a group of friends on vacation every year? How about traveling for a year? How about saving it, or paying some kid’s way through college, or donating to a charity, or paying for someone’s medical bills, or sponsoring a starving artist for a year? The problem isn’t being poor; it’s lack of imagination!
Suffice to say, I don’t buy into the whole “there are limited resources and everyone should only have so much” way of thinking. I believe the universe is an abundant place. I believe everything I need and want is within reach. But I also believe that, if I want to reach it, I might have to stretch a little. How high? Oh, maybe high as the moon. I might not reach it, but I’ll probably reach a star or two.
I think many of us who are shooting for “comfortable” instead of “sexy rich” are underestimating ourselves. We are underestimating what we’re capable of, the value we have, the work we can do, and how much others might appreciate that work.
I also think there’s more than a little self-denial going on here. We “just want to be comfortable?” Really?
So we don’t want to travel, have an awesome gym membership, send our kids to the best school, and have enough money in savings to never worry again? We don’t want a job we love, a spouse that hits all our high notes, and friends who make our lives sparkle?
Nah, screw all that. Comfortable is much more . . . believable.
We’ve been taught to think this way, usually by our low or middle class parents. They were just trying to protect us. To set us up for happiness in a world where great wealth was unlikely. On one hand they were telling us that we could be and do whatever we wanted–astronauts, ballerinas, President of the United States! But on the other hand, they were silently educating us to settle for less, work hard to make ends meet, and be grateful for what we got.
No wonder so many of us lead lives of quiet despair with unfulfilled dreams.
Getting rich means getting uncomfortable.
If we’ve had “comfortable” levels of money for awhile, and we want to expand to “rich,” we’re going to have to change the way we’ve been working. We’re going to need a more expansive vision, which means changing the way we’ve been thinking and approaching our lives. We’ll need new skills to support our more expansive vision, and learning new skills takes time, humility, and persistence.
In short, we have to get out of our comfort zones. Sometimes we might feel unsafe. We might feel like we’re taking risks, or going out on a limb, or looking like a fool. We might fail for awhile before we succeed. A lot of trial and error will probably take place.
That’s okay. We’re growing. We’re growing ourselves, and we’re growing our net worth. Growth is often uncomfortable, but it’s exciting. And as T. Harv Eker (and countless others, I’m sure) have said, “Your wealth can only grow to the extent that you do.”
That’s why I’m not interested in comfortable. I want happy sexy rich, and I’m willing to stretch for it.
L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.