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I Stopped Chasing Money—Here’s What Happened

By | Tom Bilyeu |

Many people have incredibly noble goals. They see problems in the world and envision solutions. They dream of helping others and providing service for generations to come. Growing up a chubby, middle-class kid in Tacoma, Washington, I was not one of those people. I knew two undisputed truths about my future: One day I was going to be rich, and one day I was going to have six-pack abs. I had no idea how I was going to make either of those dreams come true, but together they were my north star.

I have since achieved those dreams, but getting there required a complete overhaul of my priorities. Oh, and a stupid amount of suffering along the way.

A Fool’s Priorities

I chased money for years. As a child of the ’80s, for me, getting rich was the American Dream. Most people I knew wanted to be rich. Few of them actually made it a priority, but it was there in the back of their minds as something that would be cool. The concept of getting rich is the real-life equivalent of the siren song that seduced sailors to crash into the rocks in Homer’s The Odyssey. It’s a glorious idea, but chasing money for the sake of money is a sure way to become emotionally bankrupt.

Getting rich is hard. There is no shortcut to success. You have to bust your ass. You have to give yourself over to something completely. You have to build something so valuable that people willingly trade their hard-earned money, and that requires blood, sweat and tears. So when that siren calls with promises of big houses, fast cars and yachts, remember the rocks are years of your life overworking for something you might never achieve. At some point, as you’re slogging away in the name of money, you will ask yourself, Is this all worth it? The answer will be no. Because the money isn’t guaranteed, but the pain of trying to get it is.

If countless people have crashed into the rocks of unguaranteed success, why don’t more people follow Odysseus’s example and strap themselves to the mast so they don’t succumb to money’s siren call? The answer is simple: Money is actually that powerful.

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