Losing My Religion

Something strange has been happening to me over the past year or so. I haven’t written much about it because I’m almost in denial that it’s happening.

I’m caring far less about money.

This is scary to admit. A lot of my identity, at least internally, is based around the desire and eventuality that I will become rich. Losing my motivation to be rich is like losing a part of myself. I feel like I’m right on the edge, as if I could just say, “forget it…” and never look back.

I’ve never been super rich, but I’ve owned cars I previously fantasized about, lived in places I dreamed about, and have literally been at the point where I bought everything I wanted and couldn’t think of anything else to buy.

At the other end of the spectrum, I lived in my RV for almost a year. I had only the water I could hold in my tanks and the electricity I could get from the sun. My backyard was the curb of a public street. The fridge broke, and I went through a Texas summer without air conditioning.

Total luxury versus the complete lack of luxury.

And you know what? Niether was more fun that the other. Niether made me happier. Money didn’t affect my life in any measurable way.

And believe me – if anyone wanted to believe that money means something, it was me. I remember talking about this with my friend Hayden.

He laughed and said, “What? You actually thought money mattered?”

I did. People who told me that it didn’t never seemed to believe it themselves, so I didn’t either.

I think some rich people miss out on authentic experiences by being rich. My friends and I rented the cheapest car we could in Panama, we drove through the countryside, and joined the locals in a tiny interior town and celebrated Carnival with them. It was perfect.

After the celebration we slept in the car for a few hours and drove back to the city. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

But would Donald Trump even be able to do that? Would he go to a town that doesn’t have a hotel rated more than one star?

That’s not to say that all great experiences have to be cheap. Another time I was in Vegas with a high roller friend. He won $40k and we celebrated by getting huge hot fudge sundaes sent to our 5000 square foot suite.

After thinking it all out, I guess that what really matters, to me at least, is having as full a range of experiences as possible. I want to hike through a forest and stay in a tent in the middle of nowhere. I want to have a private jet to fly around the world with my friends too, though.

So I want to get rich because doing so will give me a broader range of options, as long as I don’t become a snob and think I’m above any of them.


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