So, the jury is IN: money does buy (at least some) happiness …
… then, why isn’t Will Smith (who has PLENTY of money) completely happy?!
First, let me backtrack a little:
One of the advantages of being rich – well, 7m7y kind of ‘rich’ – is that acquiring technology isn’t an issue.
That’s why we have a Slingbox, which sends live streaming video from our friend’s satellite TV in Atlanta right to my wife’s PC (or, our home theater) in Australia.
This means that she doesn’t need to miss out on the most current episode of Oprah, and neither do I … on the odd occasion that I happen to be in the same room when she’s watching.
As it happened, on this occasion my wife was catching up on some more recent episodes that she missed while we were busy moving house, and it was how I happened to catch a bit of Will Smith’s Oprah interview.
Will said a couple of things that intrigued me:
First, he said that no matter how much money he accumulates, he never stops worrying about money!
Well, that’s actually good news, because I can see that through every stage of my financial journey, I have never stopped worrying about money.
Good news, because if Will Smith – who must be an order of magnitude or two ahead of me, financially speaking – worries about money, then I can stop worrying about worrying about money.
And, so should you!
It appears that worrying about money is a normal part of the human condition 🙂
The second thing that Will said interested me even more: he’s not satisfied with his achievements to date … he can’t believe that he was put on earth merely to entertain people.
It seems that Will hasn’t found his Life’s Purpose!
Confirmation, to me, that fulfilment comes in three parts:
1. Discovering your Life’s Purpose, then
2. Working towards it, using whatever tools/talents you have been given, then
3. Finally, living your Life’s Purpose.
Step 2 is a means to an end (and, there’s no reason why you can’t bypass it if your Life’s Purpose doesn’t require the passing of time, or the accumulation of supporting assets).
But, don’t confuse Step 2. with Step 3. …
… Will Smith might be famous and known for his singing/acting talents, but (for him) it appears they are merely a means to an end.
Discover your ‘end’, and the ‘means’ – even if not as exciting, profitable, and/or high-profile as Will Smith’s – becomes much more palatable.
What do you think?
A couple of points:
1. I find it hard to believe that Will Smith worries about money like most people. Besides the worry is most likely about providing for one’s family. There’s that voice in the back of one’s mind constantly asking what would happen if we had a serious medical problem etc. Again, I doubt that Will Smith spends much time on that. It’s what Oprah’s audience likes to hear. Hollywood knows that it isn’t “cool” to come across as elitist.
2. I can well understand that acting can seem a bit shallow and that the big stars can wonder at why they deserve all the adulation they get. It’s natural then to think that they can do something with a higher purpose. A star like Will Smith has the influence and means to help poor people, young people with education etc. My guess is he looks at Bono and others who are having an impact on a global basis.
I am struggling to remember this correctly since I heard it many years ago.
I believe that J.D. Rockefeller was asked one time what amount of wealth would finally satisfy him. His response: “Just one dollar more.”
Even if it’s only a clever story, I think that it illustrates the point Adrian is making above. Even someone who has reached — or perhaps even defines — the pinnacle of success in a given endeavor still seeks additional success. Moreover, ‘success’ is not analogous to ‘fulfillment’ in all cases, which is the fundamental point of Adrian’s work.
Professional success [DOES NOT EQUAL] Life Success … probably would be a shallow goal, too, unless you happen to be in the ‘helping professions’ 😉
I think that is why so many people aren’t happy. Because they have yet to find their life’s purpose.
You always hear people asking that question, what are we put here on earth for? whats our purpose? I don’t think complete ,and total happiness can be achieved unless and until we find that purpose.