How to Think and Feel Like a Billionaire, Without Actually Being One
Photo by Priss Enri on Unsplash
She had blue hair and the attitude that goes with it.
She waited tables for rent. She spent the rest of her time drawing or reading art history. In a world where everyone was trying to get somewhere, she was interested in staying put.
She liked waiting tables because she liked people, even when they sent food back or complained about their drink. She knew she wouldn’t be here forever, so she savored each minute.
Now she lives in a national park. It’s a rustic life, but she loves it. Nobody tells her what to do. Her coworkers are coyotes.
Some of us would kill for that, but we don’t have to
We’re obsessed with billionaires.
This year had a theme, and it was wealth. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what makes billionaires tick. We wanted to know when they woke up, and what they had for breakfast. We wanted to know their last thought before falling asleep on their silk sheets.
We wanted to know how often they called their parents.
We slurped up every piece of advice billionaires had to offer, even when it was the same stuff you can find inside any self-help book. In reality, there’s no news about what makes someone a billionaire.
It’s easy to understand why we pretend. Look at the world. Reading about billionaires has been a welcome distraction.
Honestly, I don’t think many people actually want to be billionaires. Not really. They want to feel like billionaires.
Here’s how you can do that:
Put money last.
It’s funny how many people get life backward. They put money first when they should put it last.
Money is just an Uber.
We don’t need piles of cash to get where we want in life. That’s just what we’re taught. Putting money first guarantees you’ll never have enough because you’ll always need more to catch that warm but fleeting buzz we mistake for happiness. Chasing money doesn’t just make you miserable. It also makes everyone around you miserable.
Figure out what you really want. Put that first. It’ll save you all the trouble of having to become a billionaire.
Own your appearance.
We equate wealth and attraction all the time. Rich people are supposed to be beautiful or surround themselves with beauty.
One of the best feelings isn’t achieving some external standard of attractiveness. It’s looking and dressing how you want, regardless of what the world has to say about it.
Decide how you want the world to see you.
Show them that person.
Own your life.
You can learn to cook an amazing meal for a small slice of what it costs to eat it in some fancy restaurant.
You’ll enjoy it more.
You don’t have to buy a meaningful experience. You just have to learn how to find meaning — it’s everywhere. When you own your life, and all the decisions that go into it, you don’t have to own anything else.
Work on owning yourself, not things.
Give up the quest for status.
The differences between first class and coach are trivial at best. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It won’t make the airplane go any faster, or land any sooner.
Like most things money buys, you’re paying for status. It’s nothing more than the need to feel more special than everyone else. The kind of respect you get with status ends when you turn around. Everything feels nicer when you stop caring about how special it makes you.
You’re worth more than any status symbol.
Do what fulfills you.
Most of us don’t actually want to spend all day sunbathing on a yacht in the middle of the ocean. That’s just a toxic fantasy.
Most of us want to do something.
We want a sense of meaning and purpose. That could be anything. It could be singing and dancing. It could be photography. It could be solving math problems for hours on end.
Everyone has a thing that fulfills them. No amount of money will ever change your internal wiring. Humans are meant to do things and solve problems. That’s how we evolved. That’s where we thrive.
Screw what other people think.
We’re burdened with the constant need for approval. Liberate yourself from that, and you’ve done the same thing a billionaire has. You no longer need to worry about every single opinion on the planet.
Only a handful of opinions matter.
You get to decide which.
You could make straight A’s all the way up through college, and beat every IQ test in the world. That’s not learning.
Real learning is about screwing up and making mistakes. You keep trying to make something work. You get fed up. You take a break. You come back later with fresh eyes. You see something that was right in front of you the whole time. Your brain tingles.
It doesn’t happen just in classrooms. It happens in gymnasiums. It happens on tracks and fields. It happens on your laptop. It happens in your garage, or when you’re out for a walk.
The world is always teaching you something.
Appreciate art and music.
The right song at the right moment can make you feel better than owning a dozen mansions, or traveling the world on a private jet.
It’s also a lot cheaper.
You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get away from yourself. You can go for a walk in the woods.
Stare out your window.
Nobody ever stops daydreaming. Your imagination is the best thing you have, and it’s free. You just have to use it.
That’s how you power your imagination.
Learn to be quiet.
You don’t need to be the loudest voice at the meeting, or the most gregarious face at lunch. You don’t have to be the life of the party. You don’t have to be the center of everyone’s world.
What people want is someone who listens. Be that. Talk when you’re ready, not when you feel a need for attention.
Enjoy your own company.
Money will always help you get away from yourself. It rarely teaches you how to like yourself more. There’s only one way to do that, and it’s spending time alone with your thoughts.
Be good at something.
Everyone has a talent they can develop. They have a certain kind of intelligence. If you’re lucky, someone will see it and point it out to you. Sometimes, you have to find it yourself.
Doing what you’re good at brings all kinds of rewards that beat having a giant house full of precious junk.
You don’t have to be a billionaire.
Acquiring vast wealth doesn’t make most people happy. You could even say it’s driving us all insane.
We keep telling each other money doesn’t matter, then we turn right around and start eating up Steve Jobs quotes and Jeff Bezos listicles. Why? We know we’re collectively ushering forth a new dark age, one where the only path to a decent life is hoarding wealth.
We could stop fulfilling this prophecy anytime.
See the recipe above.
Our obsession with billionaires is distracting us from the kind of life we could enjoy if we just slowed down. So slow down. Stop trying to learn the secrets of billionaires. They don’t have any worth knowing.
Focus on living.