Why Aren’t You Rich?

First off, money is a choice. We get to choose how much money we have. It's a powerful concept, and once you understand it, you'll see that you get to choose your wealth. It's your responsibility. If you wanted to be rich, you could be. You could figure it out.

People have varying levels of ability and intelligence. I've met some not-so-smart rich people. It happens quite often, honestly. Don't blame external circumstances; the responsibility lies with you. You are the reason you are not rich.

So, I'm telling you that anyone can become rich. If I can do it, then anybody can, because I'm a ding-a-ling. Again, money is a choice in this life. You get to decide how much money you have.

It’s Your Choice

Now, maybe you decided to become a teacher. That was a choice. By deciding to become a teacher, you acknowledged you wouldn't earn a fortune. As far as I know, there are no teaching jobs that pay $1 million a year. Sure, some university-level positions might earn a couple hundred thousand, but there are no seven-figure teaching positions. You knew this going into it, yet you chose the profession anyway. You decided on a certain financial path. Your choice.

I made choices. We all do. I could still be on Wall Street. I would likely have more money than I do now. But I decided to become a writer. My financial situation is my own doing—I chose my current income. I could have opted for more but decided against it. These are the trade-offs we make.

I didn't want the stress of trading or the investment industry. I wanted less stress, so I accepted less pay. We all make such choices. Everything is your responsibility. If you're unemployed, that's on you. There are job openings out there. At certain points in history, jobs might be scarce, but now isn't one of those times. If you're jobless, it's by choice.

No one will hand you a job. You have to seek employment. You can lament your situation, but you're the one who needs to act. Everything in life is attainable if you try.

Strive for More

To me, money signifies freedom: the liberty to do as you please. Building wealth is a slow process, which is why many abandon the pursuit. Some achieve it rapidly, but that's rare.

Consider Warren Buffett: He gained significant traction in his 60s. You need to remain restless and always strive for more. If you're content with less, that's a valid choice. However, if you opt for lesser means, you forfeit the right to complain about financial constraints.

This insatiable hunger for more is called “greed.” It's not restricted to monetary gains but extends to knowledge and experiences. Goalpost shifting is part of human nature, but having evolving goals doesn't equate to unhappiness. I can't fathom a life without aspirations. Many are dissatisfied with their lives due to a lack of vision.

Achieving dreams takes relentless effort. There was a time when I was burning the candle at both ends, juggling two jobs and school, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. It was grueling but is among my proudest achievements.

If you're not industrious, you'll likely feel unfulfilled. Self-esteem is fostered by commendable actions. Coming from humble beginnings, I have little patience for idleness.

Sure, not everyone will become a millionaire, but everyone can strive for a life they're proud of. Never settle for less.

Jared Dillian
Jared Dillian, MFA