If I were a rich man …

Here is the classic song from Fiddler on the Roof for our ongoing Video on Sundays series:


I like this version because it has the incomparable Topol singing the role of Tevye (now, those are two names that I could just as easily have swapped and nobody would have noticed!) …

… but, I also like it because it has subtitles, even though Topol sings in Y’english (English with a Russian/Yiddish accent).

I couldn’t help but think that here is a guy who wants all the trappings of wealth, but had no ‘driving emotive reason’ to get there … until the very end, where you can see the real reason why he wants to be rich: so that he can study and debate the ancient Hebrew texts with other idle academics!

He needs to buy time with money … a very common reason for aiming for wealth (actually, this was my reason).

You see, I believe that without that driving emotive reason, there will be no wealth!


Well, as Tevye says:

If I were a biddy biddy rich… I wouldn’t have to work hard diddy diddy dum

He doesn’t get the point: you have to work 10 times as hard NOW in order to become rich LATER … so that you don’t have to work hard diddy diddy dum … get it?!

That’s why you need that driving emotive reason … without it, you will never have the passion and stamina to push a very big rock up a very big hill … or, in Tevye’s case, pull a cart without a donkey!

Well that’s enough work for today … diddy diddy dum 😉 



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4 thoughts on “If I were a rich man …

  1. AJC,

    Agree, totally. The reason why there are only few people who are rich is because the majority of them does not feel to get rich. They want to be rich, but they don’t feel compelled enough to get rich. Not having to work is a direct result from the financial freedom that person wealth brings back, not because not having to work means you are rich.

    From the lyrics, “I wouldn’t have to work hard diddy diddy dum”. One doesn’t have to if s/he doesn’t want to. Live small and don’t spend anything so he doesn’t have to work. This are people whom others would call “homeless” or a bum. However, they do find their own utopia and the exotic 1000-star, outdoor hotels and never have to work, again (society as a whole picks up the tab for these people since they are not producing, i.e. slaving to the system)

    I talked to many people about my goals and dreams. Most of them responded with some kind of surprise and get back to their work. Some even admits that they have NO desire to be rich one day. All he wants is to have food for his wife and the baby. Talking about the fisherman and the investment banker :).

    Going to Startup School 2008 and listened to DHH (David, the Rails guy) gave me such inspiration and the more reasons to go forward with my plans.

    …If I were a biddy biddy rich… I would still play harder than I am now…

  2. @ Alex – Thanks for your comment. As you say, people who think in terms of life milestones (e.g. your ‘wife + baby’ and/or ‘exotic hotels’ examples) miss the point … your life is about what you DO not what you HAVE.

    … the DO part is about legacy: what, if anything, do you want to be remembered for? The financial part of this is simply asking: how much will it COST (time and/or money) and by WHEN?

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