How Much Money Do You Really Need?

This is taken from a book Gary Keller wrote (The Millionaire Investor)  He is talking to a student about building financial wealth and the idea that sometimes you may want money beyond your current needs and necessities.  Here’s how part of the conversation went:

Gary:

Just for argument’s sake, let’s imagine that you have all the money you’ll ever need.  You also have enough to take care of the critical unforeseen needs that might arise for your friends and loved ones.  Now, if you still had an abundance of financial wealth after all those needs had been taken care of, are there other things you might do with your money?

Student:

Sure.  I guess everyone daydreams about what they’d do if they had a lot of money.  My first thought is that I’d love to take my parents on a long trip around the world.  They’ve always wanted to travel, but they’ve never quite been able to.  That would make me feel great.

Gary:

That’s awesome.  I love the idea of your traveling the globe with your folks.  Is there anything else you’d do if money were not object?

Student:

Oh, gosh, that so hard to imagine.  I guess maybe I’d help out a friend of mine.  She’s a single mom, and I know that helping her out a little would be a huge lift for her.

Gary

That’s great, but now I want you to think even beyond your family and friends.  Are there things you’d like to see happen in your community?

Student

Well, of course.  I’d go crazy with this.  I’d fix up the homeless shelter downtown.  I’d donated money to provide meals for the needy; I’d set up an after-school recreation program for kids.   And actually, we need an emergency blood bank, and I’d fund that too.  Honestly, Gary, there is so much that is needed right here in town.

Gary:

Absolutely.  I got it.  But let’s go even bigger than that for a second.  What if you had financial wealth such that even after you did all those things, your reach could extend even beyond this town?  What could you do?

Student:

Wow, that’s even tougher.  Who thinks about that?  I mean, I guess I’d do something huge like support cancer research.  Or maybe I’d want to create an organization to help fund the fight against heart disease.  I might even be able to help put a dent in world hunger.

Gary:

Now listen to yourself.  Earlier you said it felt bad to think about pursuing more money.  Now it sounds a lot like you’re imagining a very exciting life where you’re able to make a difference in the world and in the lives of people.

Student:

I’ve never really thought about it the way we’re talking today.  I guess I’ve always been afraid that money might own me.

Gary:

That’s perfectly normal.  I think a lot of people feel that way.  There’s this idea that having more money or pursuing it will change them or, even worse, corrupt them in some way and make them bad people.  However, it been my personal experience that having more money won’t change you at all.  What it will do is amplify who you already are.

Student:

That makes sense to me.  More money just makes you more of what you already are.

Gary:

Exactly.  Your hypothetical responses just prove the point.  You’re one of the most generous souls I know.  Having more wealth would just amplify your generosity.  So tell me, how does this new view of your financial potential make you feel?

Student:

Honestly, it makes me fell inspired.

Gary:

Inspired?

Student:

Yes, inspired.  Inspired that my life could be so much bigger than I ever thought was possible.

Gary:

You know what?  You’re inspiring me too.  See, this is the kind of thinking that happens when you pursue maximums for your financial life instead of minimums.  Suddenly money can become good for the good it can do.  And the more you have, the more good you can do.

I appreciated the candidness of my student and her willingness to allow me to talk to her in this manner.  What’s fascinating is that she really did get it.  She realized that there are two types of people in the world:  First, there are those who (because they chose not to build financial wealth) have limited opportunities to care for themselves and their loved ones.  Second, there are those who (because to pursue financial wealth as an investor) have much larger opportunities to care not only for themselves and their loved ones but also for so much more. It’s the difference between a focus on the minimums life can require and a focus on the maximums life can offer.  It comes down to what kind of person you want to be and the life you want to lead.

Later, as you might expect, she and I began to talk about how to make more money.  This curiosity is the natural result of imagining how big your wants and needs might become.

You progress from seeing that it might be possible to believing that it should be, and then you realize that you are now motivated to seek financial wealth to your highest potential.

Most people are taught to live within their means, but I was taught differently and encourage you to think differently as well.  Instead of forgetting your dreams and living within your means, try pursuing the means to live your dreams.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/3bmlbrv
About JohnMoran

John Moran is the Team Leader of Keller Williams Realty’s award winning At The Beach Team and a Resort Property Listing Specialist servicing the Destin / South Walton County communities. Call or text John today at 850-217-7618 for more information about real estate at the Beach or email JohnMoran@AtTheBeachTeam.com

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