Your Big Bank Account Doesn’t Make You Rich

“I would feel SO secure, SO safe if I had $1000 in the bank. […] and 2–3 years out of school I had $1000 in the bank. And then I was like ‘well … maybe I need $2000, because I don’t feel safe.’ And then it became this hedonistic treadmill of OK I’m going to be a squirrel and save every penny I make so that I feel safe. Well here it is 33 years later, and I still don’t feel safe.” — Debbie Millman

Having riches in the bank account is nice. You can buy cool cars, fancy clothes, expensive watches, dine extravagantly, fly to exotic destinations.

But having riches in the bank account does not buy you peace, confidence, security. The lizard brain doesn’t allow for it. It tries to scare the shit out of you. Fearing that the number will go down too far. Fearing that the income won’t come in to keep up with payments. Fearing that it could all go away as fast as it appeared.

Having riches in your mind — when you have the inner confidence that all the riches in the bank can be stripped — because your greatest asset by a thousand times over is your mind.

“If one takes away riches from the wise man, one leaves him still in possession of all that is his; for he lives happy in the present, and without fear for the future.” — Seneca

Being rich in mind recognizes that the big bank account was only a by product of hard work, good decision making, and a confidence in one’s ability to provide value to people.

References:

Design Matters Podcast w/ Tim Ferriss

This post was originally written for www.marcuswong.ninja where I write about lessons from books, and generally anything that helps me kick ass in life.