Ineffective Aspirations

Don't make the mistake of targeting fortune, fame and power directly. There is a different path that leads to true wealth.

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” — Benjamin Franklin

Being financially independent removes certain barriers to happiness and well being. You no longer have to work at a job you dislike. You no longer stress over putting food on the table, a roof over your head and a whole host of other basic wants and needs.

However, being financially independent does not bring happiness. Archbishop LeRoy Bailey Jr. explains it this way:

“Money can buy you a house, but can't buy you a home; Money can buy you food to put on your table, but can't buy an appetite; Money can buy you one of the most finest mattresses in the world, but can't buy you sleep.”

What is the real problem beyond meeting basic needs?

When thinking of aspirations, many people make the mistake of obsessing over material outcomes. Some of the most common ineffective aspirations are likely familiar to you:

  • “I want to get rich.” You will never have enough money.

  • “I want to be famous.” You will never have enough fame.

  • “I want to be powerful.” You will never have enough power.

You are biologically wired to seek out these ancient desires for the purpose of survival, but without meaning and purpose in your life, they will seduce you and utterly consume you.

Being a slave to fortune, fame and power in particular is all too common. The happiness you think these outcomes will bring is a mirage — always visible in the distance but never within reach.

They won't make you a happier, more fulfilled person. In a healthy human being, they are side effects or byproducts from the pursuit of a greater cause. They ensue.

The fundamental problem rests with your target. Aim for fortune, fame and power, and you will fall short. Aim for what is meaningful, and one or more will find you in the form of wealth.