What makes wealthy people unhappy
21 billionaires say wealth isn't what makes them happy
Simon Cooper - PA Images / Getty Images
- Rafael Badziag interviewed 21 billionaires for his book "The Billion Dollar Secret".
- According to him, billionaires are happier than the average person, but not because they have more money.
- Billionaires have choices, future prospects, and strong relationships - these three factors make them happy.
- You can find more articles from Business Insider here.
Over half a decade ago, I embarked on a journey to meet the best entrepreneurs in the world and find out the secrets of their exceptional business achievements. It took six years of my life, 21 self-made billionaires, several trips around the world and the involvement of 80 people to achieve my goal.
It is not wealth that makes billionaires happy
In the end, I found 20 principles that all billionaires have in common that enable them to be so tremendously successful in the business world. I describe them in the book "The Billion Dollar Secret". But perhaps the most common question I was asked while writing this book was, "Are billionaires happy?"
As a rule, people tend to take one of the two extreme opinions. The first is, "Money makes you happy," the other is, "These poor billionaires, they are so rich, but unhappy."
What I've found in my research is that being rich in itself doesn't change much in your ability to be happy - it just strengthens your personality. Happy people get happier and unhappy people get more unhappy when they get rich.
Money doesn't give you joy. It gives you a way. And with a lot of money you have many options - but not everyone can handle them.
So are billionaires happy? The short version is, "Yes, but not for the reasons you might believe."
The same personality traits that billionaires use to make money also help them build happy relationships.
There are several disadvantages to achieving this level of success. Becoming a billionaire is an enormous investment of time, energy, and labor. You invest decades of your own life and work around the clock at the expense of private and family life. It also means not being able to take vacation or having free time. Billionaires face an enormous burden of responsibility and stress. And yes, being a billionaire is lonely with problems. There is no one who can help you with the extensive problems.
Despite the high price billionaires pay, some of their personality traits are helpful in both making money and being happy. Billionaires are experts in human psychology, this skill enables them to build harmonious long-term relationships that add to their happiness.
Contrary to popular opinion about the rich, the self-made billionaires I have met and interviewed have simple, even uneventful private lives. They choose a tolerant partner who will have their backs and support them in their work. The traditional family gives them stability, which has a positive impact on both business performance and self-confidence.
Frank Hasenfratz, a Canadian self-made billionaire and founder of Linamar, sees a supporting partner as an essential prerequisite for business success.
Billionaires love what they do and the opportunities it offers.
Billionaires love what they do. They enjoy their company and the industry in which they operate. Of course, that makes you happier than doing what you don't like. And billionaires are free in the sense that they don't work because they have to, but because they like to and care about it.
More money also means more control over your own life and the environment. With their skills and wealth, billionaires have more opportunities to respond to negative situations in their life and get positive results. What makes Jack Cowin, an Australian self-made billionaire, happy is "being able to control your own agenda".
Billionaires are very happy with their lives and proud of what they have achieved. And they can be themselves, a luxury that many of us cannot afford.
Billionaires are doers. You create things. Seeing their thoughts actualize, develop, and successfully have a positive impact on the lives of others gives them fulfillment. They also get a lot of recognition and respect for their work. Of course, that adds to their happiness. Michał Sołowow, the richest person in Poland, explained to me: “What makes me happy is when I see that the people I have reached are happy. That makes me incredibly happy and emotional. "
Billionaires have regular habits that make them happy.
Contrary to popular belief, billionaires really appreciate the simple things in life. After all, they tried everything. One of the greatest pleasures for Peter Hargreaves, an English self-made billionaire and founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, is "getting vegetables out of the garden for lunch on a Sunday morning."
And let's not forget that there are other billionaire traits and habits that support happiness too. For example, it helps to have faith, optimism, trust, a goal, and a mission. In addition, they take care of their own health and can be independent and themselves without having to bend over. Personal integrity and the ability to give something back to society also help to be happy.
Of course, none of this protects the billionaires from personal tragedies such as illness or grief after losing loved ones. And of course, not all billionaires are happy. But given all of the factors, rich people are, on average, happier than the rest of us for the reasons listed above.
This text was translated from English by Franziska Heck.
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