Saturday, August 8, 2015

How I Learned $100 Million Wouldn't Make Me Happier

Let's talk about money. There are a lot of people who think that if they are happier when they make $20,000 a year than when they make $10,000 that making $40,000 will make them happier yet. They might be right. The problem falls down when people who are making $100,000 a year think they would be 1,000 times happier if they had $100,000,000 . I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be happier at all.

We had an experiment of sorts last week when the whole family stayed at the Copacabana Palace. Ronda had asked if we were coming to Brazil, and after hesitating a bit - because when you found a start-up, especially in a competitive field like video games, you do try to conserve funds, I said, yes, Julia and I would come. It is important to support your children, even if it takes some sacrifices. It was only then I found out that someone else was picking up our expenses for the sort of vacation God would go on if he had the money. The moral of this story is either a) always support your children or b) I am very lucky.

Rio was lovely. We had terrific food at both a Michelin star restaurant and at some small local place that served traditional Brazilian food, fed monkeys that came down from trees to take fruit from us, sunbathed at beautiful beaches.

About 100 times each, we told Ronda,

This is all very appreciated, but not necessary.

We all agreed at the end, that it was fun but we were very glad to return to our respective homes. I think we all had a very liberating revelation of something we had always suspected. That is, that we really don't need a lot to be happy. We can enjoy outstanding service, but we are not dependent on it. That is a very, very good thing because I have seen too many people sacrifice what matters in life for money.

You don't need diamonds or special treatment to make you happy. Most people know that, but they see a thousand ads a day that try to convince them otherwise. If you start believing the hype, then you are willing to work at a job you hate, spend too much time away from your family, tolerate indignities from your boss or customers, make unethical choices, all so you can maintain a certain lifestyle.

As with many things in life, what at first glance seems like a disadvantage is really in our favor. Since, in our family, we have all had times when we had to do without, not fly first class, find our way around without guides, greeters, drivers and a hundred other accommodations, we know not only that we can but that sometimes it can be quite nice.

Freud was right. The only two things you really need to be happy are this; to love and to work.

Everything else is just frosting on the cake.

Speaking of work - I have a day job, making video games that make you smarter. Download Spirit Lake or Fish Lake. Improve your math skills and learn some Native American history. Good stuff !

If you're already too smart for your own good, feel free to sponsor a game license for a classroom or school.


Matty Ashton said...

This is a blog of yours that, wait that's what this is right?? LoL. I'm still not big on social media jargon...Anyways...I may have jumped the gun on the other one you wrote about "My Exciting Life" and I do apologize...I am a VERY emotional writer and individual...This post is very,how can I put this,'ve always seen you as a humble, fun loving, hard working individual...It's extremely hard to balance the two of those...I myself feel that too much money corrupts too many things..In such a naturally beautiful world where the best things in life are taken in free, I have found that it has become human nature unfortunately to not be able to see the forest through the trees...Money has done this to many people I cherish in life...I grew up around money...My father is a millionaire and when I grew up it was material things that he thought would gain my love for him...He never cared or even knew I was a "star" athlete at my school..He never took the time to just say "Hey bud let's go shoot the ball around" The bittersweet irony was that I got into basketball because of my father..I pushed myself to be just as good as he was when he was growing up...I did this with nobody to coach or inspire me along the way..My father thought instead that buying me things would be a means to justify..One day we Actually played each other one on one and he was shocked to see his son dominate him..He looked at me afterwards with an arrogant grin and said "You know who taught you like that right?" I said "Yeah, Me" It was a temporary wake up call for him but it didn't last long...My father has gotten better when it comes to caring about his children without having to use materialism...It's very hard though, when you have the money, to not let it poison you..Money is the key to easy street but I choose the road with a bunch of giant potholes because that road leads to, as you said, appreciating the small things that truly make us happy..It's also the reason I have such a cold exterior, a soul of steel, and a strong outlook on life...I had to work for every reward I have ever received..Whether it be All State in basketball, 5-0 in MMA, writing, being a great father, and fighting for the job I love..Once again,you nailed it, not the job that makes me more money, but the job that I love...Thank you for your awesome insight Dr.Ann.
P.S. Tell Ronda she has a lot of love in Northeast PA..And I hope she has the same opinion on money that her mother does.
With Lotta Luv,
Matt A.

Ana Paula Araujo said...

I am the public school geography teacher in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro and reflection today is so … how to describe, how to talk, how to try to say what Ronda Rousey inspires ?! ; actually I woke up one day (today) and after watching this video I said “need to know, see that person in the live” (and looks that would not be one of the easiest missions …); knew more than an Olympic athlete a UFC champion is MMA same, Ronda Rousey is a human being spectacular fact is the essence of a human being and carries in her beautiful eyes the teachings of a lifetime and looks that were not few; meet her was not merely an encounter with an artist, but a life lesson at every turn, whether in her shirt with the phrase “do not allow the eye to fool the mind” or behind that mega smile showing the meetings and divergences of a life … in fact Ronda is a symbol, or more … it taught me something that only on days you can see the result … and roots that both appreciate it shows when your mother says “I wanted to show my daughter that the world is full of people who have not lived their potential because he was afraid …” and when it shows the video of your secrets “you learn a lot more like your opponents behave in the fight if you Watch how they behave throughout his life .. .the way you fight is the extension as you are … “and at the end I get the same quentionamento the host in question” how many Ronda’s “fit the octagon? and I still ask how we can Ronda’s inpirar us in life? and one of the conclusions is that the struggle for a new day is just beginning and that was possible and more beautiful with you next to dear friends …my email:
intagran: @anapaula_apdas
twitter: @anapaula_apdas

LsP said...

So Freud thought we were animal slaves.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how the smallest move will change the direction of your life...and not always in a goid direcyion. The same goes for money. My mother and I were talking about this the other night...with your superstar daughter being the subject matter. Early in her career her future plans seemed to be different. Based on interviews over the past four years it seemed that Ronda would fight for four years max...beat everybody...find a mate and settle down to raise a large family. But even though your daughter seems to be a down to earth, far from materialistic person...the money and the fame continue to pull at her with wreckless abandon, narrowing her personal choices and opportunities. The future she once envisioned might be a bit more difficult to realize (unless she wants to start a family at 40, which could be sketchy, biologically speaking) Truckloads of money have opened up many doors for Ronda, and will continue to open many more...but some, sadly to say, will close with time.
I sincerely hope her life after fighting will be as fulfilling for her as she envisioned it.

Sudeep Das said...

"tolerate indignities from your boss or customers" - absolutely spot on for any labourer from the Indian sub-continent who works in the rich Middle Eastern countries.
I am an Indian from Kolkata and I accidentally stumbled on your post while following the exploits of your famous daughter #3.
Having spent close to two decades in Dubai, U.A.E. I had seen discrimination that has made me cringe with anger and frustration. Just because of this attitude towards people from the sub-continent I gave up my job and then spent close to a decade working there as a freelance architect and 3d visualizer / animator. At least I dealt with everyone on my own terms.

Kirsty said...

I absolutely love this. I'm a huge fan of your blogs but I think this is my favourite. I don't have a lot, but I have family that loves me, and I in return. All you really need (but money certainly helps haha)

Matty Ashton said...

First and foremost, let me apologize for my outburst on your blog "My Exciting Life"...I tend to get a little bit too emotional when I write LoL. Now this story is completely up my alley. This is so dead on accurate with how people in society perceive money to be the end all be all of happiness..I myself have felt the poison of growing up with higher class parents...My father is a successful and rich man and people always thought that I was spoiled growing up...What upset me wasn't the fact they thought that, but more the fact that it was far from the truth..I always thank my father in a joking manner these days for making me into the stone cold, happy to take life head on person I am today..When I was growing up my parents always thought that materialistic things equaled love..They were very much in the wrong..I was an extremely good basketball player in high school, not because my father (Whom, himself was a great player) taught me, no, it was because I taught myself...I would ask him everyday if he would wanna go up the hill and shoot around..He would just respond by looking over my shoulder at the TV and saying "Not now, I'm watching something" Interesting story for you..One day I came home in my Jersey after two years of being on the team and as I walked up the stairs my father looks at me and says "Who did you steal that from?!" My jaw dropped, I thought he at least knew I played..To get to the point here Dr Ann, I would trade every single material item they ever handed me as their gesture of love for just one "Good job son" or one 1on1 or even for my old man to see me fight and how far I've come in that arena...Your absolutely right on the button, humanity's perception on money is far too overrated...Now as a parent I always tell my babies I love them and encourage them...I don't want another asshole like me running around!! LoL. That is one thing I admire about you, one of my idols, Dr Ann, is your undying commitment to supporting your kids in every way even with a huge work load...Your Amazing Doc!
With Luv
Matt A.

Matty Ashton said...

First let me apologize for my outburst in your "My Exciting Life" blog...I went overboard and I get a tiny bit too emotional when I this article though..I was a "victim" of materialistic parents who tried to buy me things to express their love...I would give it all back for just one ounce of moral support..One 1on1 with my father on the basketball court..One "Nice fight Matt" or "Wow, I'm impressed with your skill" One anything! LoL. I say thank you to them all the time for making me the stone cold prick that I am..It helps you take on life a lot easier..And I also learned to encourage my babies no matter what their interests.
Thank you,
Your number 1 fan,
Matt A.

Aira Bongco said...

I learned this the hard way. I found that no amount of money can make you happy. Happiness really comes from the inside.

Ventus said...

This is such a rare thing these days. And it was probably always rare.

In my work (it involves a lot of people coming and going) i almost never meet people like that, and you would think i would, atleast from time to time. Many would say they think like that, but reality is completely different.
One of the saddest things i see often is families, people, couples that, when they are left alone with each other, momentarily away from the usual daily chores and problems and necessities and work... turn out to be people who shouldn't be together at all.

So this is such a treat to read for me.... it really feels refreshing.
Same as when im reading or listening to miss Ronda talk about things.
And i guess it wouldnt be a surprise to get a similar effect from your other daughters too, mrs De Mars.

Obviously this is where miss Ronda rapport towards her own fame and money comes from too. Which is a great boon for an athlete like she is. For me it was great reading or listening to her talking about how she doesnt really need more then an ordinary house/apartment and a car, for example. Seeing that she wont turn into one of those people that lose it.

And its true, those other things cannot really make you happy, or peaceful with yourself and people around you. Except maybe give you some kind of excitement high for the short time while its all a novelty and that wears off really quickly.
Too many people are basically just jumping from one such short high to another.
One superficial feel good thing to another.

Then again, we all tend to notice negative examples much more and our whole media is built around shilling and selling negativity (because it gets us all so easily) so its easy to start thinking that the whole humanity has turned into "fun addicts" in a sea of negativity... but the actual truth is not that simple.

So its double as good for me and us all to have this kind of real, true example of the opposite kind of not just thinking but living.

Not just to watch, guys. To emulate and be inspired by.