The Fit Student – Beaten by the Big Bucks

[t]../articles/images/2320-Fit-web.jpg[et]Have you felt torn by dollars? Have you ever got stuck with so much cash that you lost zest? Well, many have been beaten by the big bucks.

I landed a job that paid handsomely. So handsome, my belly protruded. My brand-new clothes no longer zipped. My face popped with double-layer butter and double-scoop butterscotch cones.

At nightly movies, I crashed. I slept through Bollywood, through Hollywood, through Korean subtitles. I opened my eyes just to fetch refill tubs of coke. Another source of guilt.

With so much cash, I lost my sparkle. New books no longer thrilled. The Steve Martin Masterclass failed to lure. What I once awaited with baited breath, I now got with a dull sigh.

But I’m not alone.

Depression strikes many who win lotteries, who claim inheritances, or who sell businesses, says Shane Snow in his book Smartcuts. In other words, too much cash can choke your mojo.

In a Buddhist audiobook by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the narrator spoke of the worried wealthy. He said the rich panic over threats of theft, over stocks and bonds, over stock prices plunging. The simple life leaves less to lose.

Even MJ DeMarco (author of The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime) argues that problems stem from poverty and from wealth. He prefers the problems wrought from riches.

But sometimes poverty reaps rewards. When my job ended, I lost weight. My size 5 closet once again fit. A single Amazon book delivery felt like Christmas Eve. And, yes, the hunger returned—for the little stuff, not the non-stop buffets.

But we also hunger for pleasures Amazon can’t deliver: goals we failed to achieve. That PhD. That win on the wrestling team. That documentary film project. Yet, they’re all still doable.

But once we achieve our goals, the hunger fades. So, pursue new goals, says Shane Snow. New hobbies. New businesses. New trophies. Snow shares how fame and riches can crush you in his book Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking:

  • The wealthiest own cash that could last ten lifetimes. Yet, many of the wealthiest are depressed. In other words, they lost momentum.
  • Isaac Newton’s law of motion says moving objects stay in motion. And “once you start swinging, it’s easier to keep swinging than to slow down” (p. 144). Yet, many of the wealthiest stagnate at the top.
  • Wealth sparks problems. Even fame can lead to suicide.
  • A former astronaut Buzz Aldrin became a depressed alcoholic. His momentum stalled once he met the moon.
  • We all need momentum—even baby steps. We’re meant to move, to strive, to struggle. If your feet move forward daily, destiny favors you.
  • To tackle depression, the wealthy or famous need to take up new businesses, hobbies, or philanthropic causes.
  • “Momentum isn’t just a powerful ingredient of success. It’s also a powerful predictor of success” (p. 150).
  • Tiny wins turn into trophies. Build up backlogs of tiny wins. They’ll thrust you forward on your big day.

So, make your bed. Brush your teeth. Eat a healthy breakfast. Ah, now you’ve got momentum. What’s next? Burn off more than you can chew.

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