Stop Following the Routines of Billionaires

Imitate people with meaningful lives

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

I’m sure being a billionaire is nice.

Plenty of freedom, influence, and status.

If a healthy bank account and good relationships don’t fill your cup, I promise, a billion dollars won’t do it either.

But there is nothing about becoming a billionaire that should appeal to us. And as far as I can tell, the reward is not worth the pressure, obsession, and sheer luck involved.

The question we should ask ourselves is not, “what does it take to become a billionaire?” it’s “What is wrong with someone that they would become a billionaire?”

Seriously, there has to be a god-sized hole in your heart to devote that much of your life to the game of money.

Happiness is progress

If you think that you will finally be happy when you get on top, many, many, people have some bad news for you.

The good news is that there is fulfillment, money, and meaning everywhere — ready to be taken. There is nothing wrong with wanting, achieving, and growing, but those things can be had in balance and as a part of a whole, healthy life.


If a healthy bank account and good relationships don’t fill your cup, I promise, a billion dollars won’t do it either.

For most of us, a dream of being a billionaire is a way to cover the wounds that we don’t want to address. We place an impossible dream at the height of human experience and decide that we won’t be happy unless we reach that goal.

Unfortunately, that goal is for the lucky and the mentally unwell (and, occasionally, the revolutionary saint). The first is so unlikely that it might as well be impossible, the second is that, plus a curse on top of it, and the third might be you, but I doubt it. Plus, you don’t really get to control that, anyway.

You can be fulfilled without a billion dollars. It’s a lot easier and more likely, too.

To me, fulfilled means plenty of money. Plenty of money doesn’t mean a billion.

Money is all over the place. A very slim few will become rich, but there is endless opportunity for wealth and meaning.

When looking for fulfillment, you don’t want to assign it to a goal you can’t control. Wanting to be a billionaire is almost like claiming you want to be Oprah. That’s nice, but the spot is already taken. How are you going to bring value to the world?

When you prioritize extravagance over wealth, you subconsciously block your ability to earn. Wealthy people don’t worry about being “rich.” Usually, they read a lot a hang out with friends.


Money is information. It is portable work. It has the ability to give you freedom.

It can’t give you meaning, or fulfillment, or a reason to live.

Once you have enough to keep the bill collectors away, more doesn’t make you any happier. We all know it, but we all have the secret belief that it might fill the hole in our hearts.

Well, it won’t. And there are plenty of miserable billionaires to prove it. You know what’s way easier than working yourself to death to prove you matter? Sort the shit out internally. Figure out how to be happy without a billion dollars.

Then, who knows, you might stumble upon it.


Our nervous systems are designed to reward progress toward a goal, not achieving the goal.

Happiness is progress.

Getting a billion dollars would make you happy for a week — many a month, but that’s it. Instead, figure out exactly where you are, set a reasonable goal, move toward it, reward progress, repeat.

Besides, the money game is only one of the meaning-producers in life. And it isn’t even the most important one — it just helps make all the other ones possible.

More important ones are family, friendship, community, giving, etc. Make enough money to make all of these possible, and then stop playing the money game.

If you sacrifice all other meaning-games for the chase of money, something is clearly wrong with you. I don’t mean to be an armchair shrink, but someone needs to atone with daddy.

We don’t billionaires’ routines. We need to think like people who have their damn lives in order.

If all your role models are billionaires, you need to ask yourself what hole you’re trying to fill. Fill it with love instead, which is abundant and free.

Life is too short to be Smaug the Dragon.

Written by

Lost southern boy learning to be a storyteller in Los Angeles. Interested in writing together?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store