In 2010, Travie McCoy’s song Billionaire soared to number three on the Billboard Hot 100, sharing its aspirational lyrics, “I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad, buy all the things I never had.”
The song shares the dream of fame and fortune.
And, I think on some level we’d all like to experience what that might be like. We believe if we had that much money many of our problems would be solved. And frankly, some of them might be, but not all…
I was watching an interview on television one day with Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Both of these women are billionaires with more than enough money to last a lifetime, yet both admitted at times they fear losing it all. Both still work extremely hard in their respective fields. In fact, at the time of the interview, the final Harry Potter movie had just pushed the franchise past the $7 billion mark. Both women were listed among the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes magazine in 2011.
Yet both fully admitted they were fearful.
Imagine being a billionaire and not feeling like it is enough.
We probably can’t imagine it. Instead we try to imagine what our lives would be like if we were so lucky to have that much money. We’d be set for life. We’d be financially free. Or, would we be?
As I’ve often heard said, money just magnifies what’s already there.
If we’re driven and we work hard to prove our worth, or to make up for something inside of us, that doesn’t go away just because we have more money. In my experience, the more money I made, the more I felt like I had to make, to keep proving myself. Until I healed that fear inside of me. Until I disconnected money from my self worth.
As humans we all still have our “stuff” to deal with. And while money may have the ability to solve some of our problems, it’s certainly not a magic pill. And, as we saw last week with the death of Whitney Houston, sometimes money and fame only magnify the problems and provide access to ways of dealing with them that ultimately hurt us.
Although we call it “cold, hard cash” there’s nothing cold about it.
Money is an emotional substance. We give it power. And in some ways by doing so, we let it take ours.