Believe it or not, a significant number of people who commit suicide every single year in the United States and elsewhere are individuals who have more than a few bucks to their name. This statistic blows many people’s minds because this is not how the stories supposed to end.
In our culture, we are led to believe that the more stuff you have, the happier you are supposed to be. The idea is that material possessions bring happiness. Keep in mind that there are scientific studies that prove that money does buy happiness, but the full story is it only works for so long. The best way to understand this is to think back to the last time you bought something.
Maybe you had your eye on a new Air Jordans, you’re excited about being able to buy that new pair so when you finally got it, you’re really stoked. You’ll walk around with your new Jordans, your friends would say, “Hey, nice shoes”, “great kicks”. But as time went on, there will just be another pair of shoes.
Given enough time, it’s time for you to buy another pair of Air Jordans and you go through the process again, there’s the sense of anticipation, you buy the item, you feel really good, you use it for a while and then you go back to where you were before. This is the reality of material-based happiness. It doesn’t last.
When you sit down and treat yourself to a heaping pile of fried rice, or mashed potatoes or pasta, you get a nice rush, but afterwards you’re hungry again. The same applies to sourcing your happiness and contentment from stuff. It never ends. You have to buy more and more stuff.
It’s like a heroine addiction, it’s never as good as the first time. You have to keep increasing the dose.
This is the background to why millionaires commit suicide in the United States and Western Europe. They buy more stuff, they have more dollars to their name but they never deliver the same amount of contentment as when they made their first million or they first bought their 20, 000 square foot home.
This is one treadmill that is very hard to exit because it becomes a part of who you are, it changes the way you look at things, the way you define yourself and how other people look at you. It’s like being stuck in a self-referencing mechanism that you just can’t get out from under.
Unfortunately, if the only measurement of success you have for yourself is how much stuff you have, any turbulence in your net worth is enough to bring your life crashing down. That’s precisely why so many millionaires commit suicide. It doesn’t matter how big your house is, it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s all pointless.