I am currently reading three separate books, all audiobooks; part of my Reading Intentions 2011 plan.
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
- Thou Shall Prosper
- Stop Acting Rich And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire
A couple times a thought so strong came to me that I had to tweet, or post on facebook.
If you automatically think of wealth/money as evil, you will either do evil or be poor.
Not directly related to any one book, Thou Shall Prosper addresses a very similar topics but this also came to be due to the discourse and media coverage recently, including Wisconsin, Tennessee, and a few other locations. Wealth Envy is very powerful and a strong issue, but another one is the silly idea that to have wealth you must have done something “wrong”.
Granted, one could do something illegal (fraud or theft) or oppressive to acquire some money, even in great sums, but that discredits the way almost all wealth is generated in the USA, if not the world.
When you work, when you provide value and in trade receive something you value; you have not done anything evil, you have done good. Now, there are only two fundamental steps to amassing wealth:
1. earn money
2. don’t spend all of it
Ideally once you have the money, you invest – or allow someone to use the money at a price – the money, thus doing more good. You have enabled other people to pursue their goals.
At the same time, if you believe wealth or money is evil … you will have to either reject it, or embrace evil.
I want to thank my parents (and theirs) for emphasizing travel, camps & life experiences and provided me with much of each while growing up.
This was more directly caused by Stop Acting Rich And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.
Within the first chapter, Thomas Stanley talked about what the millionaires he has surveyed over the years said they spent their money on, especially in regard to their children. The book really breaks the millionaires into two ends of a continuum, basically how glamorous they seem.
The children of millionaires who become millionaires had a common element in their childhood:
an emphasis on travel & life experiences; not stuff
Thinking back on my childhood, we were not a glamorous family at all. I have four siblings, all younger then I, and for most of my life the income was my father’s government engineer salary, a little above the median family income. In addition to that, we did not live extravagantly. As far as I know my family always budgeted & used an envelope system to keep tabs on spending.
One thing that was pretty constant, either due to my parents or my Grandmother, is that we traveled. Not to far off exotic places, but around the Southeast USA.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been to most of the Tennessee State Parks. I have seen lots of old log cabins, so much so I can say — they pretty much all look the same inside.
Growing up, I also went to a Sailing Camp, Boy Scout Camp, Vacation Bible Schools, lots of National Parks, and major cities. The times I went to the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) for a week at a major college university was great. Family camping trips to a different state each spring break for years allowed us to see sites, learn about cultures, and meet new people.
It had a major impact on who I am. Not I am very grateful and thankful.
At the time there were points of wealth envy, not understanding why I did not have the cool stuff, but at this point … a point where no matter what it is, given enough time I could buy most items, I have other priorities.
I hope I do as good a job with my children.
Now off to plan the next adventure.