First, before we can fully explore wealth from a context of value, we have to do something else. We have to take money out of the equation.
I am not saying that money isn’t important (it is important), or that I hate money (I don’t – money is awesome).
It is just that I need to demolish your money-based view of the world so that you can see a new value-based view of the world. Don’t worry, we will bring money back into the equation later on in a way that will give you more power with money than you ever had before.
So here we go. Let’s get rid of some of the ideas that you currently hold about money.
First, stop trying to make money – you will never, ever make money.
Really. Here is the thing. Nobody makes money. It is a screwed up way of looking at the world. You will never ever make money. The only people who make money work in the central bank. If you do make money, you will likely be put in jail for forgery. It is illegal.
Now, I know this seems obvious, but I want you to understand that we do not talk in these terms by accident. Most of us actually think in terms of trying to make money. It is an incredible waste of energy.
How much money do I make?
How can I make more money?
How can I make more money this year than I did last year?
How can I make more money than the person next door?
All that effort put into trying to do something which is actually impossible. I myself have sat down dozens of times and tried to work out how I can make more money. No wonder it was difficult to come up with a good answer.
This is one of the reasons people get so frustrated when it comes to wealth. It is a screwed up way of thinking.
You do not make money.
When you go to work and your boss pays you at the end of the month, you did not make money.
When your business does really, really well and you end up with $1million more at the end of this year than you did at the end of last year, you did not make any money.
When you pull gold out of the ground at a cost of $200 an ounce and sell it for $1200 per ounce you do not make money.
At any moment there is a fixed amount of money in the world. You can increase your share of it, but that is very different from making it. I am not saying the amount of money in the world never changes. It can fluctuate according to government policy (more about this later), however, at any precise moment, the amount of money in the world is fixed. You can’t make any more of it.
When you acquire money, you did not make it. Something else happened. That something else is what this book is about.
Stop trying to make money.
Money itself has no inherent value.
Most of us think of wealth in terms of money. Wealth is not money and money is not wealth.
Let me elaborate.
Here are two short questions
Your ship has been sunk in the Pacific Ocean and you have been washed up on a small island. You wake up and next to you is a large casket filled with $30 million in bank notes. You have no food, fresh water, or companionship.
Are you wealthy?
Your ship has been sunk in the Pacific Ocean and you have been washed up on a small island. You wake up and realise that a wild goat has been licking your face. You have no money. You can, however, hear the sound of running water. Next to you is a forest of fresh coconut trees, and standing below the trees is an abundance of naked humans of the sex you are most attracted to.
Are you wealthy?
Money is not wealth. It has no more value in this scenario than toilet paper.
Money is not wealth. It is only representative.
I want you to imagine that you go to bed tonight and, overnight, half the money on the planet disappears. Everyone who had two dollars now only has one dollar. Everyone who had two hundred British pounds now has only one hundred British pounds. Every single currency is reduced by half.
What is the impact on the planet? Has the wealth of the planet decreased?
No. It hasn’t. There is absolutely no impact on the wealth of the planet. There may be some chaos while everyone tries to work out what happened but, theoretically, everyone could just half the price of everything and there would be no actual loss to society. There is absolutely no loss in value.
On the other hand…
Imagine you go to bed tonight and overnight, half the oxygen on the planet disappears. What would be the impact?
Imagine you go to bed tonight and overnight, half the drinking water on the planet disappears. What would be the impact?
Imagine you go to bed tonight and overnight, half the food on the planet disappears. What would be the impact?
Imagine you go to bed tonight and overnight, half the people on the planet disappear. What would be the impact?
Can you get the difference? Money is not wealth. Money just represents wealth. Money has a part to play in facilitating the transfer of wealth, however, money itself is not wealth.
The reason I am telling you all this is because you have to understand what money is not.
It is very likely that you have been giving money respect where it is not due.
There is, however, something that has much more power than we realise, and that deserves much more respect than we give it… and that is value.