Fortune Friday: “You will spend many years in comfort and material wealth.”

Many years in comfort and material wealth? Um…yes please! Actually, I am really happy to be able to write about this—specifically about our culture’s preoccupation with comfort and ease. Which comfort we typically tie directly to financial prosperity. As a whole, we try to avoid discomfort of any kind at all costs. We would rather remain in bad jobs and in bad relationships—living unfulfilled lives—than be uncomfortable for any length of time.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my comfort and wealth as much as the next person. The simple fact is that our world functions around money. It is our medium of exchange. And money can be a means of facilitating tremendous learning, growth, and personal experiences.

However, I think we need a lot less of it than we think. People, particularly us Americans, have managed to turn a lot of wants and niceties into needs. Multiple vehicles, endless electronics and gadgets, rock star level vacations. But I believe we could get by just as well with a lot less.

Understand, this is not an argument in favor of mediocrity or laziness. I believe it becomes every person to make the absolute most of themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically. But that does not always equate to financial success. Sometimes it does, but not always. Financial success can create a positive ripple effect that benefits many. It can also ruin people.

Speaking for myself, I am drawn to stories about the Spartans, and the Shaolin Warrior Monks, and the frontiersman of the American West. For me there is something romantic and honorable about a man, traveling light and unencumbered, who is able to do so much with so little. It is self reliance at its core.

And that is precisely what I believe every person truly wants. Not mere comfort and ease, but the knowing—at a deep inner level—that we have what it takes. That we can take care of business when the crap comes down.

We don’t necessarily crave money itself. We crave the safety and protection we believe money will provide us with.

If you had to choose one, would you rather be rich or would you rather be competent?

To your good fortune!

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