Getting older definitely isn’t making me better-looking, but at least it’s making me wiser. Here’s what I’ve learned about money that you should, too.
I recently celebrated my 57th birthday, and have arrived at a common conclusion about getting older: It sucks. But there’s one good thing that comes with age — the wisdom that can come only from experience.
Experience helps you understand how life actually works, and how remarkably different it is from the version you see in commercials, movies and daydreams.
Prime example? Money. The myths surrounding money are numerous and widely held, especially among the young. It’s a shame, because pursuing myths will lead you astray, waste your time and, taken to extremes, ruin your life.
Here are 10 popular misconceptions about money that experience has taught me are more fiction than fact:
1. The more money I have, the happier I’ll be.
Let’s ask Howard Hughes, Anna Nicole Smith, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Elvis about this one. OK, guys, show of hands: Did fame and fortune make you happy?
Happiness comes from liking yourself, something completely unrelated to money. Riches buy recognition, often confused with validation. But respect, especially self-respect, isn’t for sale.
When you’re on your deathbed, will you be thinking about money? Unlikely. Rather than obsessing about money, think about what really makes you happy. Then make only enough money to take part in those activities. Making more is a waste of the only nonrenewable resource you have — your time on the planet.
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