People are like containers. Sometimes, they are literally too small to absorb true success.
Even if they tried, things would spill over and create a mess.
This is why lottery ticket winners often experience terrible upheaval in their lives, blowing all their money in a few years as they watch their lives disintegrate.
This is why young athletes, music artists, and rock stars find themselves bankrupt and depressed only a few years after signing their $40 million dollar contract.
If you are not ready for the money, it can destroy you.
The weight of success is heavy. This may be surprising, but most people actually don’t have the strength to carry it.
Not winning the lottery is actually a blessing for most people. The money would destroy them.
Most of society does not have the poise, self-control, or brutal self-discipline required to remain the master of money. Most would became slaves to their own wealth — either quickly losing all of it on frivolous expenses, or hoarding it all in a dark dungeon of paranoia and Gollum-like greed.
Are you like most people?
Would Money Change You?
Many sports fans and commentators give Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs a hard time, because despite his $94 million dollar contract, he still drives his refurbished ’97 Chevy Tahoe.
“It runs and it’s paid off,” he told the media simply.
This is the rare voice of someone who is master of their money.
Fortune, wealth, and international success had no bearing on who they were. They’re the same person before and after the money. Just because they can spend $1 million on a car doesn’t mean they will.
But for most of society, it does mean that.
Even a small bit of fortune has the innate ability to corrupt you. I can use myself as an example.
Back at my old corporate job, I was awarded a raise I had asked for. It was only a few more dollars per hour.
After that raise, my spending habits changed. Before, I was brewing my own coffee every morning and bringing a sack lunch every day. But after the raise, I began buying expensive coffees at work and going out to eat most of the week. I would spontaneously offer to buy drinks for random coworkers.
I might’ve been getting paid more, but I was spending just as much, if not more.
The result? A financial situation even more out of control than before.
My spending behaviors matched however much I could spend. The more money, the more spending.
This is how money becomes your master.
Becoming Someone Who Can Handle Success
Sounds silly, right? “Handle” success?
“Of course I can handle success,” someone might scoff. “That’s the whole point! The problem isn’t handling success, it’s actually getting it!”
Most of society spends their lives chasing “success.” Trying to save enough money for a grand house, a flashy car, retire early, and blend in at a yacht club.
What might surprise most of society is that the successful people they idolize actually live very different lives than the stereotypical “millionaire.”
In Thomas Stanley’s book The Millionaire Next Door, he describes the actual lives of many millionaires. In short, most financially successful individuals live simple, disciplined lives.
Their money doesn’t own them. In fact, most of these individuals lead such simple lives their neighbors would probably be shocked to hear how much money they have.
Successful, wealthy people who can sustain their finances lead disciplined, self-controlled lives. Their money didn’t affect their lifestyles, and you probably couldn’t see any signs of flashy symbols of “rich people” like excessive cars or needlessly expensive clothes.
This is the life you must master before you “strike it rich.” If you are not prepared for the money, the money could destroy you.
Money Isn’t That Important to Successful People
Benjamin P. Hardy has some wise insights on how to become someone who can “handle” success and fortune:
“If you know what you want and why you’re doing it, you’re not worried about the “gold.” Your security is internal. You aren’t worried about the outcomes because you already know they are coming.”
“For you it’s never actually been about the rewards. It’s only and always been about seeing how far you can go. About achieving the impossible. About never stopping.”
“Take everything external away and you’re still going to continue with the same intensity you always have. Give you everything — fame, money, whatever else — and it wont derail you.”
The principle here is simple:
“Money” isn’t that important. It’s not even about the money.
It’s only about you and your growth.
Once you reach the point where a sudden injection of money wouldn’t phase you, you’ll have mastered money. It will no longer have any power to corrupt you. Everything you do will be for you — not for “more money” or becoming “richer.” The money is the byproduct of a life lived with purpose and discipline.
Everything can be taken away from you in a moment. But after you master money, you’ll be in a rare position to survive a potential loss of fortune without worrying.
True good fortune is what you make for yourself.
Of course, money matters. But what’s more important is the person behind the money.
If you lost it all, would you lose your identity as well?
For most people, the answer is yes.
“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.” -Ben Foley
Your outer conditions are a reflection of your internal reality.
Would you be ready for a enormous influx of money? Would it derail you? Would it control you?
Would it destroy you?
Or would it not phase you? Would you be able to continue on your journey without skipping a beat, taking the next step in the evolution to become the best version of yourself?
You must be ready. You must be prepared. Because if you do the work every day, your empire will soon be built. And when it is…
Will you be ready for the weight of success?