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What Millionaires Want, Other Than Money

What Millionaires Want, Other Than Money

Some millionaires are missing out on some of life’s great treats. Money, it seems, cannot buy them contentment, health or real friendships. There are, of course, lots of happy millionaires but a fair number of them are not really happy or connected.

The ideal income is only $75,000 a year, according to a Princeton University study. Anything beyond that is no guarantee of emotional well-being!

According to the Hurun report on China’s Rich List, the top five have as much wealth as Microsoft. But this has not automatically brought them happiness. For example, 35% of female Chinese millionaires are either divorced or unmarried. This is twice the number of their male counterparts.

Wondering what millionaires want? Here are some of their wishes:

1. They want genuine human contact

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    Karl Rabeder used to be a millionaire but gave away all his money because it was making him unhappy. He sold everything, gave the money to charity and now lives in a modest mountain chalet in Austria. He has also kept a mini apartment in Innsbruck.

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    He decided to do this because he felt that the high lifestyle was false and it was impossible to connect with real people. He also felt guilty when he witnessed poverty. He could not help thinking that he was somehow complicit in the world’s inequality. Now, he is much happier.

     2. They want their lives to have meaning and purpose

     I’ve got all the money I could ever dream of, but have nothing in my life that really excites me.

    – Anonymous Australian millionaire

    This millionaire wanted psychotherapy because his life lacked meaning and purpose. He was no longer able to become passionate about his relationships, hobbies or community involvement. After a few months of therapy, he felt happier. He had learned how to regain contact with nature, value his family time and become involved in community work. He felt less disconnected than before and that his life had some pleasure and purpose again.

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      3. They cannot enjoy any privacy

      Juan Rodriguez regrets winning the lottery because he now cannot go out without meeting people who either owe him money or want to owe him money! He cannot enjoy any privacy when he goes out and his life is very boring because he only has dogs for company and he no longer trusts even his own family.

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      Financial consultants say that with sudden wealth, the winners are very likely to ruin their lives in trying to cope with it. There seems to be high burnout rate among lottery winners.

      4. They wish they had looked after loved ones better

      Money will not change how healthy you are or how many people love you.

      – Warren Buffett

      Many self-made millionaires wonder what went wrong. They seem to have dropped the ball while they were so busy making all that money. They forgot to live life to the full and cherish their loved ones. When they ended up as super rich celebs, they suddenly found their lives were rather empty.

      As Warren Buffett says, the most important assets we own are our families, friends and partners.

      5. They wish they could trust people more

      Millionaires have plenty to worry about. They are always worried about who they can trust. They are concerned that friends may turn into sharks because of their wealth. They worry that their children may squander their fortune.

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      Alan Nunn won the Texas lottery and is generally fairly happy with his active and meaningful life. But one thing really worries him all the time: he doesn’t know whom to trust. He loves his sister but feels he cannot trust her.

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        6. They worry about their safety

        Many millionaires have to lay out considerable sums to protect themselves, all their properties and their loved ones. They live in fear and worry about robbery, violence and burglary, not to mention kidnappings.

        A Sicilian woman was very happy when she won £79m in the Italian lottery. But consumer groups made such a fuss that her identity was revealed. She had to go into hiding because she feared that the Mafia would come calling.

        7. They want to work

        It becomes an illness because you don’t have to support yourself, you don’t have to decide on a career, and you don’t have to worry about whether you can afford to do something, and it can become incredibly disempowering. It’s very bad for your self-esteem. You don’t feel as if you’re succeeding. You feel like a fraud, in fact.

        – Sara Robin, ex millionaire.

        Sara Robin inherited a huge fortune. She had a car at university and found that she gave lifts to everybody as a sort of penance. But the quote above reveals her unease with not having to really work for a living. She was missing out on so many things. She solved the problem by reinventing herself and set up a bike co-op. She also decided that her fortune was an encumbrance and she gave it all away to charity.

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          8. They wish they could savor the present moment

          Johnson2

            Did you know that 15.5% of the people in Singapore are millionaires? In the USA, that figure is only 4.5% while Switzerland is 9.9%. The interesting thing is that the Singaporeans are among the unhappiest people of the world and they come further down the list than people in Iraq, North Korea and Afghanistan.

            The problem many millionaires face is that they cannot step back from their rush to invest and save their money or give it to charity. They are thinking that this is the path to happiness and that there will be a long journey ahead. They become so absorbed in this that they can never savor the pleasures of life now.

            Let us know in the comments whether wealth could really change your life for the better and how you would cope with all the problems money might bring.

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            Featured photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg Keynote – SXSW 2008 /kris krug via flickr.com

            More by this author

            Robert Locke

            Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2020

            When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

            When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

            Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

            In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

            How to Listen to Your Gut

            The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

            Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

            1. Tune Into Your Body

            Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

            However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

            Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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            Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

            In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

            2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

            Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

            There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

            3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

            Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

            As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

            This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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            4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

            As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

            Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

            5. Challenge Your Assumptions

            When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

            In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

            A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

            6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

            Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

            There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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            Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

            Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

            Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

            We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

            The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

            We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

            7. Trust Yourself

            It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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            Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

            If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

            The Bottom Line

            The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

            Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

            More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

            Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
            [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
            [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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