Think Bigger

The hidden hypocrisy of wanting “more”

Here’s a thought experiment: If you had a magic pill that would let you live the life of your dreams, what would your life look like?

Let’s get really specific.

  • When you woke up, what would your schedule be? What time would you wake up? What would your house look like? (Remember, this is a magic pill. Your life can be whatever you want — get creative!)
  • What would you do for work? What would you do after work? How would you get home? Would you even have to go to the office?
  • How much money would you make? What would you do MORE of and what would you do LESS of? What would you do with that money as the ultimate extravagance?

Last week, I asked people on Twitter what THEIR Magic Pill Life would be, and I got some amazing responses:

Twitter response
Twitter response
Twitter response

But here’s what’s really fascinating: I also got a ton of “REASONABLE” responses. These are the kind of responses that sound logical…but made me scratch my head.

For example…

Twitter response

Why just ONE vacation?

Or…

Twitter response

Hmmm…

If you could have anything in this world, THAT is what you would do??

Write a book on millennials? Dude, you could do that in 6 months. What else? THIS IS A MAGIC PILL!!!

2 things I learned:

  1. 100% of people described a life of MORE. More options, more freedom, and more luxury. The ability to walk up to the airport with no bags and get on a plane to anywhere in the world. Awesome.
  2. Lots of people were conservative with their dreams — way too conservative. Remember, this is called the Magic Pill Test. You can have literally anything you want! Yet so many answers were about paying off student loans or going on an extra week of vacation. I mean, those are cool. But that’s it?

Why do we struggle with this question? Why do we feel guilty about what we really want? Why are we hypocrites about wanting more?

Think about it: In the Magic Pill Test, you can have anything you want, instantly. IT’S A MAGIC PILL, PEOPLE. Why is it still so hard to say what we really want?

I know why, because I used to feel this way.

*****

I grew up in a family of 6. My parents were immigrants who moved here from India. We ate out maybe once a month, and only with a coupon.

There were lots of places in our hometown that we would walk past, knowing we would never, ever go inside. For example, we knew we’d never walk inside a fancy Michelin star restaurant or luxury hotel, much less have the chance to experience them.

In my childhood naivete, I didn’t consider the socio-economic ramifications of not being able to afford these things. It wasn’t “unfair” that we didn’t have access to these experiences. I just thought: That’s not for us.

As I got older, I started hearing whispers about those luxury experiences and the people who indulged in them. You read magazines with $500 sweaters, you see TV ads for a Lexus, and you think, “Who buys this stuff?”

But there was always an edge to the luxury ads I saw. The media presents these things as aspirational — but the minute you actually buy one of them, it seems society turns against you. You start feeling the hypocrisy: “A Mercedes is the finest automobile out there.” “Ugh, he drives a Mercedes? What a show-off.”

That’s when I started hearing another kind of message.

First, it was “save 10%.” Then, cut back on coffee. Then it became a moral crusade — and it wasn’t simply about saving.

  • “How dare you eat out twice a week!”
  • “Buying a brand-name yogurt at Whole Foods? RIDICULOUS! I save $0.09 on generics every month!”
  • “$100 for a pair of jeans? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

Turns out there’s an entire group of people who genuinely believe that wanting more is a moral weakness. And they spend their lives telling you all the things you shouldn’t want.

I’m on the front porch of my luxury house, looking over the hundreds of beautiful plants in the front garden, my belly is comfortably full from a breakfast of espresso with frothed organic milk, almonds, mangoes, and avocados. Aren’t I Mr. Fancypants? No, actually I am not. This stuff isn’t anything to brag about. Although I am enjoying it at the moment, it is actually an indulgence of a weakness, and I had better watch myself, lest I start to depend on this sort of pampering all the time.” (source)

I played along for a while. For example, one of my very first products was called Scrooge Strategy. And I was adamant about the fact that bottled water was for idiots.

But I never stopped being curious about this other world — the world of more, not less. Who were these people who spent $50 on brunch without blinking? Why did they spend so much on a meal when they could get double the food for 1/2 the price down the street? I wanted to know what happened at the places I could never go.

Lamb ribs

My old lens: The goal of eating is to make you full. That’s it.

Slowly, I learned there are other reasons people pay for these things.

There are actually lots of lenses to view the world through besides price.

  • Experience: For a 100X better time, reserve a VIP Tour at Disney World. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s the difference between standing in line for 90+ minutes for each ride and skipping the line entirely. And you’ll see the park in a way 99% of visitors never will.
  • Status: Status matters. A Rolex watch or Loro Piana sweater is functionally the same as something 1/100th the cost, but it signifies certain things about who’s wearing it. Don’t laugh — most people scoff at status (which is ironic since every one of us factors in status to other parts of our lives: the college we attend, the neighborhood we live in, the job we take).
  • Convenience: Travel a lot? A personal assistant can handle all the details. You don’t have to worry about logistics, you just go. Or how about never having to shop for groceries again? Pay a little more and get it delivered straight to your door.
  • Better results: Why pay for a trainer or tutor when you could get the same information for free? Because with a good trainer or tutor, all you have to do is show up. I don’t want to figure out the best training plan on my own. I don’t have the time. I just want the results.
  • Affordability: A $5,000 first-class ticket might seem like a lot. But if the person earns $500,000/year, that $5,000 could be equivalent to someone else’s economy-class ticket.
  • Certainty: Taking coworkers to a nice restaurant and knowing we’ll get in, being sure of service, not being embarrassed.
  • Sometimes you just want it!

“Why do you want it?” “Because I want it.”

This was incredibly liberating. It helped explain so much of the world that I couldn’t understand when I was playing the single lens of “price is everything.”

It’s like you’ve got 7 lenses on the table and you just keep picking up the same one every time. Price, price, price. What about using the other ones?

When I was 22, I didn’t understand why you’d ever pay $100 for a shirt. But as I got older, it clicked. There were other lenses to view the world through.

I USED TO THINK: Flying first class is stupid. We’re all getting to the same place, suckers (boy, it felt good to look down on the “stupid” people paying 4x as much as I was).
NOW I REALIZE: I can get my mom a first-class flight to India and she can stretch her legs and arrive rested.

I USED TO THINK: Who cares about buying “nice” clothes? LOL, what a waste of money. I would never pay $300 for a sweater, I can get the same thing for $20 at TJ Maxx. P.S. They should like me for who I am!
NOW I REALIZE: Your clothes send a signal about who you are. There’s also differences in quality. And honestly, I just like a nice cashmere sweater. Ain’t nothin wrong with that.

I USED TO THINK: Why would anyone pay $20 for a salad? That’s like 2 bites of food. I’d still be hungry after that meal!
NOW I REALIZE: Being full is one reason to eat food — but there’s also the texture, taste, the ambiance of the place where you eat. Food can be an experience, not just calories.

I’m also glad that I challenged the messages I received while growing up. If I’d still believed that “wanting less” is virtuous, I would have been missing out on an entire layer of society — one I wanted to understand.

Look, sometimes price really is the only lens that matters. If I’m buying paper clips, you think I care about the service?

But in so many parts of life, price is not the only reason to get something. Or even the primary reason.

The difference is, now I know why I’m making any decision — I no longer just act on autopilot.

Plus, do you really want to follow the same knee-jerk beliefs you formed when you were in your teens? How many of you used to pirate music (“LOL who would ever pay for music??”) until one day, you realized you’d rather just pay for a Spotify subscription?

It’s like a 4th grader saying boys/girls have cooties. You think you’re going to believe that forever? Maybe they have cooties now…but in a few years, they won’t.

Go through the Magic Pill Test. What would your life look like if you could take a magic pill and do anything?

If your answer is “exactly what I’m doing now,” awesome — keep doing it!

But if you have a gnawing desire — something you’d want to try, even once — like splurging on your family for an amazing vacation or buying a Tesla Model 3 because you want it — my suggestion is:

Don’t deny it. Embrace it.

If you want more, let me show you how.

Yes! It takes hard work.

Yes, it’s easier to convince yourself you don’t actually want more.

Yes, it’s easy to listen to people around tell you, “You should be happy!” (Listen, I’m happy — but I’m not satisfied. I want to push myself to see what I can achieve. I want more, not less.)

But most of all, I’m going after more because that’s what I want. I don’t care if that’s weird.

This was an important lesson for me. I hope it will be for you, too.

And I’m curious: After reading this, is there one example of what MORE means to you… that you don’t usually share because it sounds “crazy” or “unrealistic”?

Share yours in the comments below.

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I want to have a massive estate in the Italian Riveria that can accomodate my huge family for giant parties à la Great Gatsby, where I can afford to fly the entire family from wherever they are to said house; where the wine is a super-rare / super-old vintage (or from my own vineyard / winery); the food is made by a team of private chefs; the guests are attended to by staff (butlers, maids, etc.), and the music is played live by a mini orchestra or private band. Oh, and these parties would be once per month.

Very cool. It might cost millions to buy that. But how much would it cost you to start off for a week?

“More” means never having to do menial tasks again (I can pay to delegate it to others who can do it better), and focusing my time on what I deem to be important at the moment. At this minute it’s studying electronics, metallurgy, and software development to build an IronMan suit. Yesterday it was learning law to help improve my view on political policies. Tomorrow it might be something else. :)

As Jason mentioned, cleaning, cooking and logistics takes up a lot of time better spent somewhere else. Other examples would be gathering data for various projects — coming from an office job, I know how that takes long hours of research! I would probably have a flock of VAs at my beck and call 😀

Ramit, I have followed your blog from the beginning, 10 years. I think you are a smart, funny guy and I appreciate most your insights except this one, you might have it wrong. The hidden hypocrisy of wanting “more” should be about that fact that we collect more things that necessarily don’t make us happy. More is not happiness, expensive doesn’t always equal quality. As you said, we need to always answer the question behind the question. The real question here is “Are we happy?”

I am sure you were happy eventhough being one of 6 in a poor immigrant family. I’m glad you are happy that you achieved your goals which brings you more joy than money itself. Wanting more is not the answer, rather figuring out what you want and achieving it is what makes us happy.

I would love to, though it’d likely take a few broken stuff (and probably bones). LOL. But it’s worth the effort… You’ll hear when it happens!

Oh, and I forgot… I should invest in all top-of-the-line security features for the home. That’s rapidly becoming a necessity, especially in my part of the world. XD

In your example responses, I don’t see anything about family. I want to be able to do things with my kids at a moment’s notice, and be able to pay for/go with them anywhere I choose.

Very good. I love this example of family because it’s one of my own, too. Thanks for your comment!

• A BnB somewhere in the Riviera Maya.
• Splitting my time between living at the BnB and the US… maybe even Japan.
• A career as an “Agile & UX” consultant — working on figuring this one out right now.
• “Work” 6 months out of the year.
• Pay off my dad’s houses.
• Take my mom on an African Safari.
• Continue visiting a different country every year. But this time, do it like a real Anthropologist and STAY for a month or two. I’m so over one week vacations.

“What is the smallest possible step I can take in that direction today?”

p.s. I blame you for helping me re-frame my ambitions on a positive light 😉
p.s. 2 read that to say “thank you!”

I want to create a platform where I can reach millions of youth, where I can work through life struggles with them and normalize their lives, offering wisdom, insight, relatability, and a listening ear. I also want to empower youth’s parents and make them feel like they know how to parent and are owning at it. I want to walk down the street and have youth recognize me and come give me a hug and tell me what they are learning in their lives.
I then want to meet people who are struggling and like freaking buy them a house or pay off their car or send them on an all expenses paid vacation to a beach side property that I can share with them. In my after-pill life, I’m bringing joy to people and showing them the awe they can have of our world and the people in it.

If I had a magic pill I would want to be able to own a new planet that can hold all of earth’s industry. I would help all industrialists, celebrities and anybody else willing, to migrate there by tying up with SpaceX and in the process make some moolah myself. It will help save and beautify earth from all the havoc and danger industrialization has wrought. I will have the entire earth to myself. The meek shall inherit the earth.

What about let this magic pill give us the ability to multiply them and make even more people happy with their wishes and dreams :)

This is hard for me. As a card carrying member of Starving Artists Anonymous, I have been programmed to hate/fear money. While I am working to reverse this programming, I have a ways to go. Doing thought experiments like this is an important part of my recovery.

In the order they came to mind:

1) Houses (or apartments) in multiple cities.

2) Lots of international travel.

3) Meet Pope Francis, Dalai Lama, President Obama, and other awesome people (including you, Ramit, but that goes without saying). Getting wealth without getting wisdom would be the biggest waste of all. I want both.

4) I would found a media company to turn my ideas into comics, cartoons, movies, tv shows, etc.

5) I would fund some awesome science shit. Science rules! (((airhorn)))

That’s enough for now. :)

Thanks, Ramit!

I want to have a company that builds GOOD housework robots. I hate doing housework and so do most people, but I love a clean house. I’d be enjoying fully automated luxury robot housework AND making a bazillion dollars because it means everyone can have a clean house without maid services or extra work.

Heck, now that I think about it, part of me wants to be the Elon Musk of automated luxury environmentally friendly domestic living. I want to trick out my new house so it’s zero net emissions, using solar/wind/geothermal energy, automated/smart, but in a useful way for the work that’s usually considered woman’s work so like, can robots do the cleaning? How about prep for cooking? How about AI that helps create a shopping list based on what I usually get from the grocery store and cook? How about an even smarter personal assistant who helps maintain the relationships in your life?

Also my sister and I wanted to run a company that does ethical fashion basics that go from a size 0 to like a size 30 that look like grown-up clothes and are simple/will work for an office job that is “business casual”.

Nicole Oliver

I’d have a house cleaner and someone to take care of the yard. I’d have a personal trainer and someone to do some of my food prep for me.
I’d be able to invest in whatever training I wanted to do – courses, workshops, conferences.
A few international trips a year and multiple national and in province trips.
I’d have a way better wardrobe too!

All of this – yes! This is my more – being able to pay for help to do things that I have to do, but don’t like to – cleaning, food prep, and cooking. Being able to invest in myself (and my family).

Michael McGivern

I…I just don’t care that much about food. If you’re a foodie, great, but I’m not. I enjoy Noodles and Chipotle, why is that a bad thing?

“… if the person earns $500,000/year, that $5,000 could be equivalent to someone else’s economy-class ticket. ”

And, having found and begun learning from Ramit Sethi in 2012, I ONLY fly first class now (with points — but still…). Comfort and pleasure is WHY I earn money (and points).

More for me would be able to treat my parents to a vacation overseas, let them eat, drink, do whatever they desire and not worry about it. Ideally, I would do this while operating a passive income business that did not require me to be tied to any specific location.

PS. I spent $100 a person for me and my girlfriend to eat at a fancy sushi restaurant in Japan last year, my classic “more” (American?) mindset was expecting to be rolled out of the restaurant because I was so full. However, the meal came to an end and there was part of me that was ready for a hamburger, but how often do you get a meal hand crafted right in front of you with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. That is the more I am talking about!

– Annual month long trip to new Country
– Vacation home on lake/ocean
– Freedom of time so I can go on field trips and coach my kids sports teams
– Pilots license (so then I’d also need a plane)
– Pay off my parents mortgage.

I wake up and put the coffee on and enjoy my cup on the veranda overlooking the ocean in a warm climate. The sky is azure and large fluffy white clouds billow on the distance. No bathing suit necessary. I toss off my silk robe and jump in the ocean cleansing my energy. I stroll along the beach for a while and return to my whitewashed stucco house filled with plants and great feng shui. I read the morning news or meditate or read a chapter in a book then hunker down at my easel to paint. My personal assistant writes my emails for me and arranges for any particulars for my upcoming solo exhibition at one of the world’s greatest galleries. My paintings are now selling for 200k+ each. Many buyers desire pieces that haven’t even been painted yet and I am one of the world’s more renowned artists. I am in good health, my family is in good health and I have ample room and space to create bountifully without feeling stressed. My partner and I laugh all the time. Life is fucking great and I don’t take anything for granted. Most evenings, after work and just as twilight is setting, my personal chef makes me pan seared salmon and vegetables and my partner and I crack open a beautiful bottle of red to share on the patio overlooking the ocean. TV is minimal. Expanded minds are maximum.

I love this, Ramit. Just a thought…

I know you knock on vision boards because it’s not an exercise that directly promotes action.

However, it has helped me frame my desires into a visual reference. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy of my dreams or find myself erring on the side of settling out of influence from others.

When this happens, I look at my vision board, and it reminds me that “more” is out there, that I am allowed to want it, that it IS achievable, and with hard work, I really can have it.

Thanks again for this awesome article.

Cameron

I wrote down some ambitious ideas earlier this year. It made me realize that I could have whatever I want, as long as I’m specific and focused on it.

This post was good timing as I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with the new tasks I’m handling in my business. My goals felt like they were being pushed away. In reality? I’m probably going to work through this, and before long it will be no big deal.

Nothing new came up because of this post – it was the right reminder at a good time.

I would help the people that are starving in the Sub-Saharan Africa, I mean help lots of them not just a few. These people are dying on my watch!

Wayne J Werner

My more is also family – If I had that magic pill I wouldn’t be holden to trade my time for dollars. I would be able to spend most of my days helping teach my children different topics. And if we had questions, or wanted to learn about a thing we would just go. For instance, my daughter wants to be “a pop star”. So maybe for a week or two we’d go hang out with Pink or Katy Perry or something and just learn what her life is like – the things that they do behind the scenes that most people don’t get to see.

Or tour a factory.

Or my younger kids love “digger mans”, so we’d just go somewhere and they’d get to ride/drive giant earth movers.

And me? I’d have a network of makerspaces wherever I went, so if I wanted to build something or fix something or hack on something I’d just go to the local makerspace and do it.

And my wife and I would go on cruises and visit everywhere that either of us have ever wanted to visit. I’d have a magical camera that allowed me to take whatever kind of photographs of the places we went (photography being one of my interests).

I need more: time, energy, REAL people connections, fun

So that means:
a nice place in the city (or a fun, walkable town)
a driver to get me places
a schedule of rewarding work
a circle of stimulating and supportive friends and associates
my kids developing into world-class humans, with less need of pressure from mom to reach their potential

I’d want a cleaning lady. I suck at cleaning, and I hate doing it. I’d also want to outsource grocery shopping and laundry.

For travel, I’d want to travel to a new country and hire someone to take me around to all the local places so I wouldn’t have the stress of trying to navigate myself.

And finally, I’d have to add flying first class to the list. My husband is 6’8″ and he can barely walk after a couple hours in coach with his legs cramped up. He insists that we’ll never do it because it’s so expensive, but I’m willing to guess if we made enough that we could afford it I could convince him.

Wanting more for me can mean
1) being the CEO of the most reputable architectural firm in Nigeria, and not limiting its operation I. Nigerian coast.
2) developing the best sustainable housing scheme In Nigeria.
3) visit two new countries In a year.
4) living in banana island, Lagos Nigeria.
5) having dinner with the president of the united states and France

Antonio Trevino

My more. Own four or so medium sized self sufficient vineyards/ranchettes in California, Mendoza, New Zealand, and Spain or France. That way I could avoid hot summers almost entirely.

Then, as I have three kids, I’d hire three nannies that could be trusted to take the kids to different activities without any of the kids having to choose an subject to learn just because the others are doing the same thing. Also being able to send my kids to the best tutors for anything.

Lastly, being able to get involved with high level scientific research. Such as NuCi.

Thanks Ramit for a great post.

More for me would be being able to outsource the mundane things in my life and focus on my tasks and purpose as they have become very clear. I think I have figured out exactly my life’s purpose.

– Focus on my writing career…watch out!!!
– WORK PRODUCTIVELY REMOTELY! I have potential clients all over the world
– Be like Ramit but anonymously… I like the added bonus of being the anonymous gift to people’s lives.
– Travel to attend all these conferences and meetings with clients important to my work.
– I already do all the above but it makes it less interesting as I have to manage it with the mundane things in my life so I am not 100% productive.

This article is right on time. I was having this internal debate the other day. I’m in the process of remolding my bedroom and I’m looking to buy a new bed. I was debating if I should get a King or Queen since I’m newly single. My desire is a King size bed but a voice inside of me was saying, “Do you need to spend all that extra money on a bigger bed when it is just you?”. My answer to myself is no, I don’t need it, but it’s what I want. I notice I have this internal struggle quite often. Thanks for this. Nice to know, I’m not the only one.

I want to find a someone who is boyfriend material AND who’s sexual style is a “shape shifter” like me. I dated someone once like this, and it was heaven! (Didn’t work out bc of kid issue- he wanted kids, I want to be childfree.) I enjoy a varied sex life, and I have a high sex drive for a woman. I literally have a list, but things get vetoed by bfs a lot. Even 3sums. It doesn’t even include BDSM stuff. Maybe I just live in a conservative city? (It’s not my looks, when I put up my dating profile, I got over 200 messages in the first 24 hours, and I didn’t even mention sex once.)

Never have to cook again unless I really want. Chef or restaurants, please. A Victorian house. Own a personal zoo. Work PT instead of FT. This paragraph sums up as have more money. ha ha

WAKE UP AND
HAVE AN ISLAND NEXT TO JOHNNY DEPP.
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE AT THAT ISLAND.
HAVE A CAR THAT NOBODY IN WORLD HAVE.
HAVE OWN PRIVATE PLANE TO TRAVEL.
DOING SOMETHING WONDERFUL FOR THE WORLD.
WORKING AND MAKING WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
AND BE AT THE TOP OF MY PROFESSION.
HAVING A BUSINESS THAT GIVES SO MUCH REVENUE THAT A SINGLE BANK CAN’T EVEN HANDLE
HAVING MY OWN BUSINESS.

**DREAM BUSINESS WOULD BE MAKING THOSE MAGICAL PILLS.

For years I have wanted a robot vacuum.

When I told my friends about it they said I was crazy. A good one can cost a thousand bucks and I do realize it only helps for a small inconvenience.

But robots are cool and I hate vacuuming.

For goodness sake, Antti — DO IT! Buy yourself that robot vacuum! I tell people all the time that my high-suction Roomba is the single best purchase I’ve made for inside the house in the past 5 years. ESPECIALLY if you have a pet(s). Friends with allergies can now spend a few hours at my house without wheezing, because my Roomba collects about a pillow’s worth of cat hair every 3 days.

I know people think of them as rich people toys, but honestly, a robot that vacuums every night while I’m asleep is an investment in the cleanliness and healthiness of my home. So very worth it.

And while you’re at it… don’t cheap out, go ahead and buy a 10-pack of replacement filters, so you won’t feel like you have to make one last a year.

My “MORE” is eliminate from my vocabulary the words: “Can I…?”

– Can I… fly this weekend with my girlfriend in first class to New York?
– Can I… pay my parents for a cruise across the Mediterranean the whole summer?
– Can I… buy a second residence in Barcelona?

I know, I know… the obvious answer to all this is: “Dude, then make more money!”
But you said a Magic Pill, right?
Wait a minute, I’m building my business, could be that my “Magic Pill”?

Thank you, Ramit.
-Fran

Hi Ramit,

While I generally agree with the idea that encouraging people to pursue more and then scorning them once they get it (or even saying they want it) is crazily counterproductive, I disagree with the idea that no moral judgement can be passed.

Many of the things you describe (outsourcing tasks to assistants, eating fancy meals, flying first class,) are either exclusive (that is can never be enjoyed by all) or necessitate that someone else will be leading a life doing things you’d never want to do (with discernibly less freedom and less ability to enjoy the same things).

You’re talking about goods and services that can never be universal or equally enjoyed by all (unless you’re also willing to occasionally be someone else’s assistant, clean their apartment, etc.).

In a capitalist context, wanting more, getting more, and enjoying more makes total sense. It’s a rich life.

But it’s also an unjust life that exacerbates inequality of every kind. And insofar as it does so, it is morally suspect. I get that most people scorn more because they don’t get it, they don’t want to work for it, or have a self-defeating mindset, etc.

But it’s wrong to claim that there’s no moral basis for the judgement. There is.

For instance, the world would be better off as a whole if a lot of the luxury goods you describe weren’t made at all.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on inequality, other than the couple typical responses (I give back, I genuinely care about helping people, etc.). Because the lifestyle you promote is sometimes incredibly awesome and makes a ton of sense. A lot of the mindset things and examples of leading a rich life are totally applicable to everyone and can make life better for all.

But a lot aren’t. Just wondering how much you think about such things.

Thanks,
Steele

Hi Steele,

What you’re saying is based on the assumption that the life that YOU want to lead is the same life that EVERYONE ELSE wants to lead.

Take “outsourcing tasks to assistants” for example. When I worked as an engineer, I worked many late hours and felt too tired to handle certain household tasks. So I hired two people. One person to clean the house and another to prep my meals for the week.

At first, I felt a little guilty for “indulging” in those services. But then I talked to them.

Turns out that the person that I hired to clean the house wanted to start her own cleaning business. She was working at it on the side (of her full-time job) until she could build up her clientele enough to open up her own business. That was her dream.

The meal prepper had recently quit her job to start her own business. She had a blog that she grew to a point where she could take on clients and even cater events. Again, that was her dream.

You never know what paths people are on or what another person’s “rich life” looks like.

So we really shouldn’t be afraid to pursue our own.

Your rich life doesn’t have to keep someone else from achieving theirs.

Heck, I would hire you, Ramit. Fly you over, book a 4star hotel and conference room, together with all different coaches and specialists. Like Tony Robbins, José Rafael Moneo Vallés (architects), best sport trainers and so on. Everybody I need to create a major league think tank. With the goal to build residential areas where all is focused on guiding people to their better self. A life time and overall thorough coaching city (citys). That would be my magic pill. And why not build such a city on the moon.

Let’s see. First I would hire an investment manager so that the riches from the magic pill would be as tax-free as possible and be invested in products that had sustained value. Then I would hire the best personal assistant/manager so I didn’t have to do the work of obtaining what I want. I’d work with the architect on the design of my new home and family compound, location to be determined by the children during the first week of the vacation next on the docket. Then on to a month long family vacation – their choice of location – taken there on a private plane that’s at our disposal 24/7. After that, I’d start with a full health evaluation, plastic surgery, and time at a weight loss spa that also helped me give up smoking. When I finished that my new home would be finished, furnished, and household help in place so I could get up each morning, take a dip in the pool, get a good massage, take a shower, get my hair dressed by my maid and put on a comfortable dress and shoes. Then I would go to my office, the one with lots of windows looking out over the woods and my manicured, landscaped yard. There I would work on my blog, do videos that an assistant would take, edit and prepare for use. I’d complete my sales funnel so products would sell while I sleep. I’d then work on finishing the editing of my first book. I’d check my emails that had already been edited by my staff and take any course that appealed to me at the time. Anytime my back started causing me pain, I’d either take a dip in the pool or have another massage. Meals that I enjoyed and that were healthy would show up at regular times prepared by my in-house cook and I’d eat them in the dining room or breakfast room with my hubby where we would have a chance to catch up on each others day. He’d be able to indulge in his latest interests and buy what he wanted at the time. I’d decide each day what I wanted the day to look like and have my assistant schedule it out and make it happen.
I’d visit Israel, Scotland, France, Italy, Dubai, and India for vacations with the family about every 6 months – short 1-2 week breaks. All travel and accommodations would be first class.
I would also plan time each day for reading, prayer, and meditation, along with a walk in the grounds when the weather allows.
My funeral would be planned out and my will in order so I wouldn’t have to worry about my demise.
And with all that decided, it’s time to go work on my blog so that the magic pill will arrive by my efforts.

Believing in a magic pill is the only part I have an issue with. There is no such thing.

i absolutely struggle with dreaming big – i did once and made it to where i was very comfortable and happy with life. a financial rug was pulled out from under me that led to burnout, and more i wouldnt want to even post publically.

i have purchased your material and found intense value in it. for some reason this exercise doesnt do anything but make me feel worse and even less adequate than before i read the post. not a complaint, just a personal observation of my reaction. any suggestions on changing that mindset?

i would be willing to bet that at least someone out there feels the same way but wont post words like these. i certianly had a hard time even writing this.

any suggestions?

To me more means a lot more than a comfortable, reputable job that pays me well. Granted, I really appreciate where I am – but I want to build my own successful business, define my own hours for myself (yes, even if these hours are longer than work hours) and learn and be more than who I am right now.

My more (that I do share with my wife but she rolls her eyes):

TWO personal planes that I can fly myelf:
– A small one for fun, specifically a REVO trike (goes low and slow) – $100k
– A Pilatus PC-12 or some other single engine-turboprop that I can fly friends and family around on – $2 to $5 million (that’s just acquisition cost)
– Live on or near the airport so I minimize travel to and from the airport
– Every airplane rating that I need and/or want (single engine/multi-engine/IFR/commercial, etc.)

I just want to be able to walk to any place, whether it’s a store, restaurant, hotel etc, and just rock up and pick/buy whatever I want and not have to look at the price tag and worry whether I will be able to afford it or not. In fact, I just want to not have to worry about money at all and have the freedom of choice, knowing that I will be able to afford it. Not having to worry about money really frees up a lot of time for you to actually enjoy the experience.

An example was when my friends and i were planning to go on a Vegas trip. Some friends had to stick to a budget, so we all had to coordinate and make sure we got the best deal for everyone. My bf and I happened to be in a financially ok state then, so we just went with the flow and not stress about it. My other friends spent hours and hours scouring for the best hotel deals, best times to fly, best combinations, hunted for online vouchers, spent a few hours on the phone talking to several hotels (which were international calls for us) trying to cut deals, etc etc. So much time and effort wasted on having to stick to a budget. My Vegas trip was stressful already before it even started. I don’t want any of that anymore. I just want to be able to say, “ok, let’s go to Vegas next week with the gang and stay at the Wynn.” – done.

I like simple things that last.
If I had the magic pill that would allow me to have anything I wanted I’d:
Find a nice, but simple house, in New England on a lake big enough to sail and canoe and furnish it with lovely, high quality antiques and other things I like.
Restore some of my grandmother’s old furniture just because I like it and it has fond memories.
Out source a lot of “menial” tasks that I hate to do including laundry (I already do this) hire a cleaner to keep the house clean, someone to provide meals for me on those days when I don’t feel like cooking and I want to do more than graze and others as they come up.
Completely restore my truck. I love this truck so even though I could afford to buy a brand new one, I don’t like the new trucks, I’d make sure that mine would be able to run for a long, long time and looked as good as new.
Find a home in Ireland that I can visit and that can be shared with family when they want to travel there.
Bespoke clothing that fits!
I love me some cashmere too. (I bought my first cashmere sweater at a recycle clothing store, wore it for 12+ years, till it wore out) I would up the quality of cashmere I bought.
I hate to fly. Maybe I’d hate it less if I could go first class and skip the lines. I’d pay a lot for that! I remember the days of the 747 and actual leg room.
Other things as they come up.

Well I didn’t see the question but would be probably an answer like this.

Having a personal chef who’s going to make me fancy and healthy food daily, going to skydiving monthly and making 3D animation movies. Having a fancy car and bike, and probably a good bug villa that is cleaned up by maid for me and my family. Having an awesome wife who has a sense of humor and a vision of dreams not to get only money but to satisfy the desiere of creating and learning more

I want to teleport everywhere, no more time in a bus, car or a plain.
Sleep just 2-3 hours per day, without affect my health.
And stop the time, I thing I just want more time, and it’s a magic pill, so why not?

Thanks for this article, Ramit. It was a very emotional read for me because I grew up with parents who have a hardcore scarcity mentality. They came to the US during the Lebanese Civil War with very little, so I think everything was about stability, not growth. Unfortunately, it’s taken me many, many years to shed that way of thinking, to want more, and, perhaps most importantly, to be OK with wanting more. We’re not bad people; we’re just unapologetic about our huge aspirations.

I have so many examples to share, including:

College choice: I grew up in a tight-knit ethnic community in LA. For many in the community, attending UCLA is seen as the optimal situation because it’s a great school and close to home. I attended my first two years of college there but decided to transfer because I wanted more: more prestige, a different experience, etc. When I applied to transfer, my parents and others in my community asked questions like, “Why would you want to leave? UCLA is such a great school.” Interestingly, when I decided to enroll at Cornell, the questions turned into, “Are you sure you can make it there academically? You’re not one of THOSE people.” (I graduated with a 3.87 GPA) Clearly, wanting more or something different can make people feel uncomfortable; it challenges what they’ve always known, even their worldview. Interestingly, people now brag about how I graduated from an Ivy League school…

Starting a business and working from home: After I completed graduate school, I got a great job doing something I enjoy. However, I wanted to pursue other professional interests and make more money. Therefore, I decided to found an online business to help students get into top colleges and medical schools. At first, friends and family asked things like, “Who would pay premium prices for support with college and medical admissions?” and “Don’t you already have a job?” Well, I’ve kept my full-time job, and the business has grown very quickly. In fact, we surpassed the $160K mark (and it’s still September!) this year. When I shared this number with a parent, they said, “Wow, so this could become a real thing.” (I think it kinda is already 😉 Plus, I work 100% from my home office, which has always been a dream of mine (I had to negotiate this). People often wonder whether I actually work; I do–a lot, in fact–but things are set up very well for me.

I could go on and on about things like food (I love cooking fancy meals for my friends and going out to nice restaurants even though it costs more) and travel (My wife and I leave the country at least once a year although there’s plenty to see and do nearby for less money), but my hope is that more people not only want more, but allow themselves to be OK with it and achieve it.

I would wake up in the morning to see my Business run with automated systems and my efficient team. My son would be studying in a Good school with the subjects he I would love to learn. I would be discussing about my next world tour with my family.

You’re right – it’s so difficult for me to let go of the pre-conceived notions I’ve learned since childhood, back when I saw what we couldn’t have or what my parents thought was ridiculous and too expensive and “you can get something similar here instead with a coupon and for this much cheaper.” In fact, I didn’t apply to one of the colleges I wanted to apply for because the application fee was too expensive and my parents wouldn’t go for it. I’ve always wondered what direction my life would have taken if I’d gone to that school.

On the one hand, I appreciate the lessons of not being selfish, to give more than you receive, and to be smart and careful with your money. That’s pretty important. But having money or wanting to do better and make more is not a crime or a sign of arrogance, if you handle it right. At least I hope that’s true.

It’s a challenge for me to allow myself to think this way, but… If I had that magic pill…

I’d love to own a beautiful home. It doesn’t have to be a giant fancy home (I’d want it to be decorated in a comfortable fashion, where people feel cozy and at home in it, not feel like it’s a museum), but I’d love for it to have enough rooms for friends or family to visit, have an office for my work (and for my side fun gig writing novels – don’t laugh!), have a fantastic TV room where I can put up my movie and TV show posters and watch movies on a giant screen with great sound, and have a place to sit outside and relax and maybe do yoga, with a walking trail nearby for zesty or relaxing walks. And I’d be able to hire someone to clean the place every couple of weeks, and someone do all the landscaping because I’m really bad at mowing the lawn (apparently I can’t mow in a straight line, LOL) and have no green thumb for taking care of plants.

If I could, I would be able to afford to travel every so often – I’d go to NYC to see all the Broadway shows with my sister and brother; I’d go on yoga retreats, or writing retreats, or just visit all the places I’ve never been. (For example, I’ve never been out of the U.S. I’d love to see Europe, I’d love to visit my online friends in Australia, I’d love to go to Scotland and Ireland and so many other places.)

I’d love to be able to pay my parents back for all the times they’ve helped me when I needed it. I’d love to be able to take my family (parents, siblings, beloved relatives and friends) on trips, or be able to help them out financially if they needed or wanted something.

I’d love to have enough to be able to make donations to all the charities and organizations that mean the most to me (rather than having to just pick one and give them a small donation because it’s all I can afford).

I’d love to be able to make enough that I never sweat monthly bills ever again. I’d love to be able to make enough that I don’t have to choose whether or not I can afford digital TV or if I should cancel it and just go with the bare necessities. I’d love to make enough that I never have to pause and wonder if I can really afford to make this purchase.

And on a minor ‘selfish’ level, I’d love to be able to afford to get regular manicures and pedicures. I know it’s a small thing, but I used to answer the phones for a spa and I envied those women who would come in once a week or every other week and get their nails done, or get spa services like massages. The massages are very relaxing and make you feel good in your own skin, and getting your nails done makes you feel good about yourself and your appearance. It would be nice to be able to do that if I wanted to.

Just some of my “magic pill” thoughts… :) It’s hard to believe I can get to that point, though.

I would start with a house on an island in Greece…maybe Santorini, there are some beautiful homes made right in the mountain, to get to them you walk from up top…It would have to be bigger though or super duper–stand-on-thin-air veranda where I can do Tango VIP nights and festivals… with an amazing view of the sea in combination of the roughness of mountain.
But that is not all, because I want to visit other places in the world as well, so a private jet would come in very handy…! That way any time I want I can take friends and/or family and go anywhere around the world!

With a magic pill I wouldn’t own anything other than the perfect-for-me clothes on my back. I would rent everything I wanted. Beach house, yup; Paris Pied a terre, of course, sailing yacht, yes please.

I would drive the car I want or be driven.

Eat where, when and how I felt like and based on the place I am.

Access, not ownership. Freedom to choose. That’s the life for me!

“Access, not ownership. Freedom to choose.” Love that line of thinking! Perhaps connections, batering, etc would work one didnt have access to a lot of money.

Have a multiple online business that generates minimum $50,000 usd a month so I can travel anywhere I want any time, get to any city and live there few months, and then move to another city and live there few months, learn the language, the culture, the food, meet new people make new friends and keep doing it until I die.
Eat on the best restaurants their best meals, visit most popular landmarks.
Take my kids, one by one ( only have 3) and show them the world.

Nicolas ochoa

I want to own enough real estate and have enough income coming in to treat my family and friends often to dinners, education and private vacations (in no particular order).

TBH, I know you said to dream big, but my dream life is really very small:
Wake up at 8:30am, relax and read on my deck or by a crackling wood fire,
Have healthy, tasty breakfast with my husband and kids,
Take a workout/yoga class,
Go to work but only ~4 hours or so depending on how I feel (or go to school),
Do a fun activity with my kids,
Eat a healthy, delicious dinner (dare to dream: my kids actually eat said dinner without complaining)
Read to the kids before bed,
Spend some quality time with my husband + a good book/tv show,
Get 9 hours uninterrupted sleep.

What you don’t see is the stuff I left out – I would like someone else to take care of cooking (and planning the healthy meals) & cleaning, ideally I don’t sit in DC traffic on the way to work, and of course my kids are mini adults/angels.

This actually doesn’t look so far off from my current life except for the energy-draining logistics of getting to these high points. If I could afford maid service, a chef/nutritionist, a driver, a private yoga teacher, and a fancy house while going part-time at my current job (I actually DO like working, just not 40+ hours per week + commute), that would be just about ideal.

I want the ability to get away from the office to do something with family (or ALONE) whenever the hell I want.

I want to be spending about a day a week running the company I’ve taken from being a small, local concern, to contributing massively to saving water globally. Read: leveraging the hell out of other peoples’ awesomeness.

I want to be able to swing ressources around to benefit great initiatives that pop up, whether it’s for teaching kids actually useful life skills or figuring out how to make water from Martian soil in a sustainable way.

I want to have the financial freedom to be where I want to be whenever he hell I want to: fly around the world at a moment’s notice, take off and go meditate in the woods for a week.

I want to be able to free myself up to do more: have someone figure out what I’m eating, do the shopping, cooking and dishes. Have someone drive me where I’m going so I can either chill out, do some reading, watch some interesting video, or otherwise make better use of that time. Some way to not even have to bother packing my own suitcase when I’m heading out on vacation or on a business trip.

I want to be able to spend at least 4 hours one-on-one with my kids every week. Probably until I die, and especially when they tell me they don’t want to hang out with me any more.

I want to be able to pay my employees WAY above market rates because they’re awesome and because we demolish our objectives every year.

I would want two homes: a sprawling, mostly self-sufficient commune for my friends, most of whom are too disabled to work, and a penthouse apartment in NYC or LA. I’d want to be able to donate 95% of my income to the needy, even on top of these expenses. I’d want bespoke clothing to my stylistic specifications, and people who cook and clean for me when I need them to. I’d want the money to fund films, or buy DC Entertainment from Time Warner, or the rights to the X-Men movies from Fox. And the ability to fund both deep sea and outer space exploration missions. I would want the money to buy governments to MAKE them do the right thing and listen to their constituents.

Basically, I want “supervillain in a comic book” level riches and the lifestyle to go with it.

You said Magic Pill, so, here’s mine.

My more would be to hire other people to clean and cook for me so I can spend one half of my time wandering the playgrounds of my imagination and whipping it all out on canvas, paper, and paint the walls with murals of my favorite scenes from my favorite books and walk through my house playing pretend. The other half of my time would be spent frolicking out in the woods with family and friends, hiking fishing, swimming, hunting, eating all the delicious yumminess we catch and find, and sleeping under the stars next to toasty bonfire. The other half of my time (that’s right, I’d have three halves of time. ;p) would be spent in my small house of a library diving into other peoples’ imaginations and reading everything that catches my interest… which I kind of do anyway.

It’s sweet and simple, but that’s the life I’d want. To live in my imagination and bring into real life, and in the end on my deathbed, gasping my last, be as wise as a sage, yet drill keep that childlike wonder.

(P.S. my real magic pill life would be to have a pocket I could pull ANYTHING out of. Since there’s no such pocket, I’ll be perfectly satisfied with the above dream. -^,..,^-)

My “More” is owning a valley with lucious greenery that has an airstrip, food producing farm, multiple houses for business and family to utilize and enjoy. I will accomplish this by having a cash flow of more than $2M per month or more. I don’t tell anyone this because the few people I’ve told that I don’t work with think I’m absolutely crazy. I just say that I want to own some property.

If I found a magic pill that could grant anything, it would be a magic room where I can go inside and time slows down and I essentially become ageless… (For direct reference, see Dragon Ball’s training room) a room where I can read, write and learn agelessly and then come out in the world filled with this knowledge… Which in the end is not so far from how I do things everyday : I read, write and create and spread out to the world what I have learned through my art.

Might as well add it would be great to use this room as an instant vacation hotspot holo-deck where we freeze time (essentially… it is a place where time moves quicker but without the aging bit) with my wife so we can freeze time and take a full week off together and cozy up together all without neglecting our children.

What does that tell about me? I’d like to have some of the perks of losing myself in things I love without the consequences (social, financial, responsibilities) that they entail. I want to be a balanced individual BUT some things I love doing to the point that I could do them to the brink of utter “unproductivity”.

Another way that could all work out is if I become ageless and can live forever. However that sucks out the urgency of doing whatever I need to do right now and could end up procrastinating for centuries.

As such, my thought on such magic solutions end up showing me what I love and would love doing more.

Since I am striving for a balanced life where I take good care of myself (corporally and spiritually), my family life, my friendships, as well as my finances, business… such a machine would be great to excessively indulge in ONE or SEVERAL things but would not make of me a balanced individual who has great habits and a life style.

More means building an exercise barn on my property. I love endurance running and trail running. I’ve already put a dirt track in my front yard (it’s rudimentary but able to start with a shovel, hoe, and weedwhacker). More means having a tractor to speed up that process.
More means building my own exercise barn because I love working out but I hate the gym. It helps my running and mood too. The process of driving to the gym from my home is enough of a deterrent. I live 6 miles outside of town on a dirt road, but even if I was only 1 mile away I’d still struggle to go. Having it on my property and being able to do my own thing with my dogs out there with me would be amazing.
More for me starts with exercise because when I have that in order everything else seems to fall into place in my life (such as healthy eating, happy attitude and mood, happy wife, and overall just positive lifestyle). So that is what more is for me.

I want a beautiful house in the desert in an arty community, AND a beautiful house in a tropical place, Bali maybe, where I can hear the rain everyday and always have my doors and windows open. I want to be able to take classes and workshops in everything that interests me, be able to get a degree in something completely frivolous. I want to collect gorgeous art, and buy beautiful handmade things for my homes. Definitely want a personal chef. I want to have an organization that helps artists and other creatives be able to fund projects or take time off to work on their art, and arts organizations in areas with poverty.

I’d hire a personal fun high diving trainer.
I’d hire a personal fun windsurfing trainer.
I’d call the impressive people I want to help with my “conflict management practice”.
I’d continue to help a charity on conflict management.
I’d work 2.5 days per week instead of 4.5 days per week.
I’d gather an amount of money that lets me be financially safe in the next 50 years whatever happens: 50 years x 100k/year = 5 M€ to be gathered.

Hey Louis, I love your post (I think it was the high diving that got me!). Apart from the last 2 points which take a bit more work, why can’t you start with the others now? High diving trainer is prob only $60-100/hr? Just do 1 session and see what happens? Similar approach with the rest…

Sorry to pick on you, I’m sure you could give me a bunch of ideas/feedback on my own journey too.

I HAVE THE MAGIC PILL. I just need to figure out how to distribute it which is where YOU come in. I’m paying attention!

Mitchell Deshazer

My magic pill would make my two boys autism go away. After that I really don’t care what else happens.

I wonder if this counts but I’ve been getting super serious about my fitness routine and diet to get way more attractive.

Not only because I’ve always wanted to get 6 pack abs, but because I want more credibility in my business and be more marketable.

To me, health/being strong is a nice side effect (whereas for most people, they will lead with getting in shape for health reasons and have being hotter as a nice bonus).

I found that by being honest with what I really want, I’ve been able to stick to my training more consistently than I ever had in the past. Of course, if I were to tell most people “I’m working out to get hotter” they’d cry vain and superficial.

I back you with this 100%. I’m doing the same by lifting 4x a week and eating in a calorie deficit. People say “Oh you’re already skinny, you don’t need to lose weight” and I can feel them judging me. But it doesn’t change how happy I am when I look in the mirror, and how strong I am. Being comfortable in my own body is one of the best feelings! Keep at it :)

I wonder if that’ll help me stick to my goals too, Peter. Thanks for framing it like that – I want to be strong and healthy, of course, but I agree with you. My primary motivation is looking hot and I’m okay with that. Thanks again!

Thank you for this post. It’s so refreshing to know that “Because I want it” is enough! Wanting and having nice things is okay. It’s not shameful.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live in Scotland and own a horse. I remember in Spanish class every year we’d go around and say in Spanish what we’d want our future to be like: “Quiero vivar en Escocia con un caballo”. Back then, people would tousle my hair and go “Oh that’s cute… You’ll grow up and change your mind soon.” I would fake a smile but inside, I knew it wouldn’t change. Now, I live in Scotland. I still need that horse, but my goal hasn’t changed since I was that little kid. “Why do you want a horse? It’s a material object, it won’t make you happy.” Well, why can’t I just want a horse? Why can’t I just want to live in Scotland? I love it in Scotland and I know that I’ll love having a horse. That’s it, end of story!

Awesome. And a great example that your Rich Life is almost certainly completely different than others — and that’s a good thing. I have zero interest in a horse. But you want it. And I’m confident you’ll get it.

I would love to have a private island (like Richard Branson) and own a beautiful beachfront hotel on it. Anytime that my husband and I wanted to get away (or if family/friends needed a vacation), we could jetset to our island and enjoy a few days (or weeks) relaxing there.

Every year we would hold a marriage retreat there and invite other couples to join us, giving them a place to reconnect…

Wow, this Magic Pill has me feeling very motivated. I need to go out and make this happen!

M0RE means taking my child to a Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy, never mind that his age hasn’t yet reached double digits. People tell me it’s crazy to even consider spending so much money on a meal, especially for one so young, but we are definitely talking about viewing this experience from a cultural and multi-sensory perspective. Put down that eat-to-get-full lens! I’d also take my meat-loving husband to the top ten steakhouses in Buenos Aires and let him decide which is best! Hey, I know that’s more than one thing, but I want M0RE! 😉

Scrupulously clean marble floors. My current villa has marble tiled floors and while I sweep and vacuum regularly, and have a maid who does the same, they dirty so quickly. I visited a mosque with Italian marble floors, and they were cool and so so clean.

Ability to travel with family. This is less about money and more about a lack of a sense of adventure with my travel mates. While I can understand being anxious about “overly exotic” locales like Thailand or Cambodia, there’s nothing wrong with Europe or any of the countries where you can communicate in English. I realize I could travel alone with the children, which is easy in the US but more difficult when international movements are concerned.

Owning a rooftop apartment with french accents in Tokyo, a small intimate dive/restaurant in Italy (where I can eat anytime and explore the alleys, crooks and nannies and get inside knowledge from my staff just cause haha), and a condo with a balcony in Waikiki.

And create a gamify hub that sends people on challenges across the globe solving real-world problems or discovering new art or culturally significant insights around the globe…and making it relevant to the everyday. Fun stuff like ‘how to make a game of learning Chinese so even 20 min a day becomes flirting with the waiter by the end of the year’ or researching fandoms in japan and figuring more about ‘how artists can really make money in the 21st century beyond book sales or art prints’. Or levitating boots. Cause, hello, Hermes! And make learning fun and relevant from high school on through games – when you got no one, no money and no skills at first to creating challenges and gamifying life skills.

And drawing manga. Because I want to.

(writing in a rush, so apologies for rambles!)

“More” would be able to change your mind and your lifestyle without worry. I’ve been going at this a long time and I still don’t know what I want to do. Some days I want to pack up and go into the mountains for a month. Other days I just want to sit by the beach and read. Why can’t I take a flight to Italy and work remotely for a few weeks? I hate the constant feeling of needing to be somewhere and doing something at all times. I’d love to be able to live a life free of worry. I’d love to be able to pay for whatever I need or want. i’d love to not have to think about college educations and weddings and such. That’s more.

I want a architect and design company and a great creative office like Paul Smiths. I would lead a team that makes quirky, lovable and great designed city housing, urban spaces, womans jackets (!), and make publications about design /architecture / entrepreneurs just as great as monocle. I want to take my husband and children to south africa, victoria falls, japan, california, australia, and more.

I would be a BILLIONAIRE! Every business I have started and will start will produce millions of dollars. I would still get up at the same time (4:30-5:00am). Walk to the office in my house. My house would be on 2 acres in Gunter, Texas. I will get up, read for an hour, workout with my trainer, meet with my business managers and family foundation managers to make sure the businesses are on track and making money and that the foundation managers are taking care of the needs of the charities we support. Then I would meet with friends and potential business partners for lunch.
The afternoon would be for learning. Learning how to play the guitar. Learning a new language. Improving my public speaking. Improve my writing ability. Time would also be spent “just thinking”. The evenings would be for my faith, my family and for helping those in need.

Carolynn Ananian

Your email last week’s been haunting me since I received it. I didn’t realize how small my thinking’s been.

Get a big raise? Sure. Find my dream job? Sure. Meet VIPs? Sure. I’ve done all that. Once you know how to do those things, it seems like it was always a part of your life. But what’s been missing is the sense of WHY, and an ability to dream.

I thought my thinking was already big until you asked this magic pill question, and I saw how much I was struggling to answer. It took me a full week to figure it out, and by listening to the little voice inside that I’ve learned to ignore since I was a kid. You get into a habit of denying yourself, mistaking it for responsibility. I also started paying attention to where and when I was feeling jealousy at what other people were doing, as I’ve noticed jealousy sometimes crops up when you want something but feel you shouldn’t be allowed to have it.

Here are a few things I’ve realized I’d love to do:

-Write bestselling horror fiction.
-Write movie scripts and work with legends like Brian Koppelman and Neil Gaiman. I’m still jealous I didn’t write the script for James Cameron’s “Aliens.” Such a flawlessly told story, the kind of work I aspire to.
-Become a painter on the magnitude of Sam Spratt. (Phenomenal pop culture artist with an absolutely crazy client list like Warner Brothers, MSNBC, Gawker, Cinemax, the Tomb Raider series, and celebrities like Janelle Monáe and Dave Grohl.)
-Teach business and creative writing at the university level. They’re 2 of my favorite topics, and things I’m good at.

These sound like crazy dreams … but once I wrote them down, I started connecting a lot of dots. I realized one of my mentors is BFFs with a bestselling sci-fi author. I remembered I have quite a few friends in Hollywood, who graduated from the highest ranking MFA programs, who have written bestsellers themselves, who’ve worked in the publishing industry. I called an artist/illustrator I know who happens to have a ton of connections in this field, and what do you know, she’s currently accepting apprentices.

I **KNOW** how to strategize. It’s the ideation that’s historically tripped me up, because I’ve had a mental block regarding possibilities. But as I get clear on what I want, the strategies on even the “impossible” stuff suddenly seems more than possible.

Magnus Smith

If there are magic pills available, I’d like to end slavery. You know, the illegal kind. Both children and adults.

For me I would wake up in my home on a nice king size bed (with a chilly pad beneath me to help my human torch heat levels). I’d down some water and meditate on a private space with a nice scent from Juniper Ridge wafting in the back ground.

After that a nice meal with my lady with fresh eggs and sausage and the time to indulge in it. From there i’d either make an amazing pour over with a coffee of my choosing (Maybe Sump, maybe Reykjavik Roasters) or if i’m going out for the day i’ll get a high quality brew while i’m out.

The afternoon would be attended to in my Taylor Stitch outfit, take notes, read as I want. Lunch would be a brisk but casual affair with flavor forward food over quantity.

Then i’d drive for a hike. If i’m with my partner we’ll jazz about whatever, if i’m alone I plug in to a playlist and let my mind wander.

I return home and clean up using Ursa Major in my Japanese tub. That night would bring entertainment, maybe a concert, maybe a show at the far away art house theater. After that a late night bottle of wine on the patio.

Or i’d love to jet set off a couple more times a year out of country. Currently I leave for about a month total between two places. I’d love to make it four times a year and buy my girl a business class seat because her back gets bad on long flights. It’d be even better sitting next to her so she wouldn’t feel alone.

I’d take private guided tours (like I did today with Extreme Iceland to Thorsmork), have reservations at an amazing restaurants, and a chilled bottle waiting for us back at the hotel.

I would be happy with $50,000 job that I really enjoy, so for my magic pill i’m upping it to $100,000 a year in a job that I love! I would also have at least 3 whole months a year to travel to different area’s and actually LIVE THERE to really soak up the culture (maybe even have a few get away homes, just in case!). I would be able to go surfing/snowboarding/even skydiving in many of these exotic locations. The freedom to not be rooted to one location, and be able to do what I do anywhere.

Ppl look at me crazy when I say I want more freedom from my day job even though I get to WFH anytime I please. More vacation more time away from corporate America and more time doing fun shit. Most people have less and look at me funny when I say I want more sooner rather than later.

I would get a team to develop strong AI. That could change everything for everyone. It might happen in our lifetimes anyway. 2020s-2040s

As far as work goes, I’d audition for (and hopefully play in) every action-drama heroine role I can try for, no matter where auditions or filming are held, without having to worry about risking not making enough money to support my family. I’d live next to nature in a house with a big yard and a room for each one of my kids + space for hosting friends comfortably + a lemon tree, and put my parents up in another one near us so we can all get together on weekends and afternoons when we’re free (for logistical practical reasons we all live far from each other now and it’s breaking my heart). I’d make time to write about my experiences and to teach others how they can do what I do, if they want to.

What I want: A home with an ocean view and a home with a mountain view….. The freedom to travel for most of the year. I’d have the ability to effect change in our global society through substantial charitable donations. I’d like to not feel like I have to worry about money.
My daily schedule would involve mostly outdoor/movement time with weekly massage, acupuncture and facials. I’d get to be with my kids as much as I want to. I’d continue to take courses to learn about all of the things I want to learn: art, music, bodywork, neuroscience.
I would work because I love to work– but I’d be an expert in my field paid the big bucks and travel to speak and teach.
I’d like to have all of the top-end outdoor gear– bikes, skis, etc. I’d pay someone to clean the house a couple times a week as well as prep my meals. I love to cook, but not to prep or clean.

I would like the financial means to have the optimal health and be physically fit, WITHOUT any interferences whatsoever.

Financial freedom to make benefitional choices, and to experience life to the fullest, while creating solutions, for others who are enduring hardhips, or devestations. Helping them to see the potential within themselves to do great things.

Raffaele Castagno

My magic pill: being Elon Musk on steroids, and found the United Federation of Planets, staying with Earth and Mars. And in the process, dramatically rise the level of knowledge and education of the whole world population. More educated minds would improve life conditions all over the world, and bring a gargantuan amount of minds to work on solving world issues like disease and hunger. Maybe somebody would eventually discover faster than light travel.

With my magic pill, I would do at least a one day vacation every year to somewhere in my city. Go out to eat once a month or more to some place nice like Olive Garden or Chilis. Make AT LEAST 20k per year, if not a little more, and start making the payments on my student loans. Also as a bonus, trade in my Ford Pinto for an early 2,000’s Corolla.

Not only are they free but they are unlimited! And that’s the kind of mentality I’m trying to adopt.

You say dream big with this magic pill. But sometimes, just sometimes the biggest wishes have the humblest beginnings. I just want one thing…a job i love. Something I look forward to doing every day and the satisfaction that brings. Everything else will fall into place. The problem is that I just haven’t come remotely close to finding it. 20 years in the customer service industry and I’m ready to simply give up.

We can help with that. We have an entire curriculum — free material and premium courses — on finding your dream job. Sign up at findyourdreamjob.com and follow the directions in our emails. You can do this.

I love this, thanks for sharing it today. I especially loved the video clip about wanting something “because I want it.” I have an almost 3 year old son who wants a lot of things. I’m going to stop asking him why so much and just being ok with him wanting things. I won’t give him everything he wants and I’ll keep explaining why he can’t drive our car but I do my best to not poke holes in his desires.

Thanks for all the great content. Write that course about parenting sometime! I’m sure you’d get 1000s of hate clicks in addition to providing tons of thought provoking material.

If I had that magic pill, I would start by bringing 1,000 inner-city kids on a bicycle tour around the entire Mediterranean sea, spending at least 1 month in each country. During the North African/Middle Eastern part of the ride, I would invite hundreds of militant Jews, Muslims, and Christians to join us and use the experience to bond and work out their differences.

After the journey, I would spend the next several years revisiting my favorite places from the trip, while testing out every product and activity ever discussed or advertised on The Tim Ferriss Show.

After all that, the effects of the pill may have worn off. But it wouldn’t matter, because by then I would know how to make as many magic pills as I wanted.

Ramit,

I have had my share of magic pills since I started reading your blog, became a member of your RBT group and taken your Earn1K course:
– Being able to see an opportunity to do a job I’m excited to do and increase my income by 50%
– Start a freelance business and learn MASSIVELY and have the flexibility to spend on flights, hotels, and trips when I’m in a long distance relationship
– Convinced my boss to allow me to work remotely, move across the country and increase my freelance rate by 50% because now I’m earning in dollars (3x more than my previous currency).
– Grabbed interviews with CEOs, Directors, and Partners in this new country where I don’t know anyone using your Networking Scripts.

Now I’m taking it to the next level:
Get my self my dream job here in this new country (it’s not easy – I’m from a different country, no local experience, but I’m crushing that barriers one by one)
– Earn $100K within 3 years of getting my dream job.
– Fly my parents and my nieces/nephews from my hometown to enjoy holidays here every year so they (especially my nieces and nephews) get the privilege of learning and opening their minds to a new culture and quality of life that this country has to offer.

I would like to have a century modern house in Sausalito, a sailing boat, designers furniture(styled by me) and a tesla. In that house I would like to cook(because I love it) the best local sustainable food and serve great wine for my guests. Assist to every Wanderlust and important yoga/acro yoga festivals, having private yoga lessons at home from the best yoga instructors. Produce projects remotely, studying the best courses online and having the time to research and read. Having 3 vacations overseas with my husband. Making creative projects in colaboration with my most creative friends.

• Taking several luxurious vacations per year (2 at the beach (one with kids, one with wife), skiing, overseas, camping, etc.). Luxury here is probably not Ramit’s standard of luxury (except maybe when my wife and I go), but definite comfort with lots of space and lots of money spent on fun activities
• Flying first class everywhere (in fact, chartering a jet each time would be nice too)
• Flying my family and friends over to visit whenever they want (first class as well)
• Personal chef, personal trainer and nutritionist (ala Ramit’s system)
• Someone cleaning our house and yard weekly
• Flying to South Africa at least once or twice a year to visit family and friends
• A nanny to help with the kids
• Work wise I’m not sure I’d change too much about what I’m doing now apart from actually having my own freelance/online business going and profitable (not being a wantrapeneur)

I want a “housewife” of my own (I’m a wahm) Someone to take care of cooking, cleaning, and the more annoying aspects of childcare. Everyone laughs at me for this one! I want to travel in luxury and comfort without stressing about any prices. Most of all, I’ve always dreamed of giving unreservedly to charity and being able to have a greater philanthropic impact.

I want to be on an all expense paid vacation around the world for the rest of my life! Making more money doing what I love best (creating and talking about art).

What I want is to travel the world and go to every exclusive spa and hotel and stay at their most expensive room for at least one week. Like the Ritz at Paris, going to their Chanel spa and exploring the Hemmingway bar.

I am doing the work to earn six figures a year as an internationally renowned professional speaker, who shares a message of body bliss in an increasingly obese world.

My children have every means to pursue their passions at the highest level.

My husband opens his dream coffee house and quits corporate.

I send regular payments to my inlaws and mom, so they are comfortably secure the rest of their life.

We travel to two exotic locations every year, and own a small but cozy cabin on the Lake Superior North Shore.

I no longer clean house, though I hire a chef to put me through my paces.

I would get up, bond with my husband and just lie in bed planning the day.
Then wake the kids bond with them and have a morning devotion.
Then get them cleaned for the day and dress them up.
Then go and clean myself and dress myself up for the day.

We’d make and have a healthy breakfast together.

Then we prepare to go and do whatever is planned for the day.

Take the kids to school and go attend to my businesses (I’d have a super successful group of businesses with very dediated and talented teams; teaching and making clothes and fashion accessories for adults and kids, and I’d be running a play and family center, and running an NGO for homeless kids and for upskilling homeless people)

I’d have lunch at a restaurant everyday with my husband. The kids have a healthy canteen at school
The kids will be participating in extramural activities and play at the schools.

Collect the kids and go do the day’s shopping

Then we prepare and have dinner together. A new recipe everyday.
Then we monitor and help the kids with homework.
Then we all take a bath and clean up for the night.

Then bonding time and evening devotion with the kids.

Off to bed

We’d have dedicated and talented cleaner and gardener.

On Saturdays our days will be filled with going to volunteer at the homeless center, or going to a fun outdoor excursion or a weekend away or visiting family.
Sundays we go to church and have a relaxed afternoon reading or swimming or just relaxing in the garden.

We’d go on a holiday away every school holidays.
We’d have a nice 4 bedroom house with spacious ensuit bedrooms, a spacious beautiful kitchen with all required appliances and a desk and bench for informal meals, a spacious family room with family electronics, and a visitors lounge, a dining room, a double garage and a large back garden and pool and green grass and flowers and big green lush trees, an ensuite backroom with a small kitchenette, a scullery rooms with all need appliances and a hanging area.
We’d have enough money to fund our lifesetyle for the next 100 years and be able to leave a sizeable inheritance. We would only receive a small from the businesses just to grown our other investments, the rest is reinvested in the business after paying the staff and covering all expenses.
We’d be God fearing and participate in Weekly church bible study and tithe regularly from all income streams.
We’d be making a difference in other people’s lives.
We’d drive an audi A6 and a Merc SUV.

* I want to continue to have the freedome to travel for almost half the year and cook breakfast lunch and dinner every day.
* I also only want to only work 3-4 days a week, and spend the other 4-3 meeting friends, exploring new places and growing in my hobbies.

* I would like to be a freelancer… who doesn’t need to pay almost 70% of his income to taxation because of of my dual citizenship
* I can get around it by uprooting to the US or opening some configuration of a company in israel and drawing wages, but doing all this with exactly one potential client (and the CEO has been traumatized by past remote-work freelancers)?

* I would like to be able to go to global events like Forefront or salsa festivals in the dominicann republic without the cost being 10+ days of lost due to jet lag because my multiple sleeping disorders make fast recovery almost impossible
* I came back 3 weeks ago from visiting my nephews and I woke up today at 5am because my body decided I was having an afternoon nap, and later my let me know that I should really get to bed already because 11:30am is a getting late.

* I would like when I have something that really bothers me about a product to actually be able to have it addressed in a meaningful manner.
* I nearly lost all my notes from “Your Move” and “the crossroads of should and must” on kindle (I backed them up as flashcards thankfully).
* I’ve had Evernote “hiccup” in the middle of dictation so I have to halt my momentum, go back 20 seconds and build steam again.
* It is incredibly demotivating when the tools you use get in the way of the progress you want to make.
* it feels like you are trying to floor the gas, but they keep slamming the breaks.

Having a **super** high-end maid around the house. Basically someone to work for us 10-20hrs per week, cleaning exactly the way we want her to, not just understanding our instructions but understanding the spirit behind them. This person could also take care of groceries, dry-cleaning, and even managing contractors or other needs for the house.

Secondly, flying business/first class everywhere all the time. I travel a lot internationally for work, always in business, it is a completely different experience. I’d love for that to be standard in our lives whenever we travel for family/vacation. I’ve started to let myself consider it occasionally as domestic business class fares are normally only 1.5-2.5x economy. I haven’t actually pulled the trigger yet, but I could imagine that if it were the norm, I’d feel the same way about flying private 😉

Family Office & Personal Assistant: Coordinates/outsources everything from house cleaning and maintenance, travel, taxes, charitable causes, calendar, reservations, research, reminders, etc., etc.

One nice, simple home in a stunning location: Personally, I don’t need much stuff or much indoor space. I love some of the 2-3 BR prefab houses (like Michelle Kaufman’s Smart Home and others) – just want it overlooking the ocean or in the mountains – but in solitude. A Tesla Model S P100D.

And then rent the rest. Want a house in Monte Carlo for a month – rent it. A yacht in Greece – rent it. Travel anywhere, anytime.

Seven Summits.

Build my newly launched Algo-based Capital Management firm to just under $100MM AUM (would generate $1.5MM/year or so). And it can be run from ANYWHERE.

Essentially complete flexibility.

Wake up at 6am have my devotion and have time to exercise. Spend time with family and get them a private tutor. Visit the homeless, sick and prisoners or go where I need to go for the day if needs be. Attend seminars on spiritual growth, life coaching, motivational speaking and how create. I would not like to go to the office unless needs be as a result an online business for me would ideal.

My dreams are to ride a bike, although I discouraged time and again because of my gender and age, fly a helicopter, be able to take luxurious vacations with my family and friends. I would love to be able to give without having to think what about me or my family? I would love to talk to multitudes as in being a motivational speaker, inspire and influence others positively.

I would love to have talent schools especially in Africa as I know that there is so much gifts and talents lying dormant. I would love to create a generational wealth for my family and bloodline so that they do not start where I began.

To have a me time (of tranquillity) with Lindi. Travel the world, visit exotic beaches and have a house by the beach in Mauritius and Cape Town. Watch the sun set, meet people and make friends. spend time with family and yes excluding my ministerial duties be active in politics.

Well … my other real dream is to go to the moon for my anniversary with my husband one day and that scares me because it seems impossible.

• Downtown rooftop penthouse, with its own elevator, big open air balcony, impeccably curated modern art and furniture (NYC, SF, LON, TKY)
• Management advisory and technology investment in the travel industry
• Walk to-and-from work

“Crazy unrealistic” want: Learn Japanese, compose a symphony

“Ultimate extravagance” – Frequent heli-snowboarding trips

I’m one of those people who can’t think of anything more that they want… except one thing.

I’m retired and live way below my means because I have everything I want. More stuff just means more headaches, so I really make sure I need what I buy. A minimalist?

I backpack a couple months a year on the cheap staying in hostels (I like the company) and taking local transport (I like to mix with the locals).

But because I’m relavitely young (under 50) the one thing I miss is companionship. I’m single and no one else is financially independant enough to travel with me for months at a time. In general, most of my friends are usually busy with their work or their partners or their families.

Isolation and loneliness have lead to unhappiness.

People suggest I get a job just to be social. But I don’t want to be pinned down with a job, I love my freedom.

I must admit, it’s a bizarre situation and I feel horrible being so fortunate, yet being unhappy. Loneliness is difficult.

Karen Michelle

1. Pay for all three of my kids to attend any college they can get into
2. Throw a huge 50th anniversary party for my parents in NYC and invite all their friends, pay for all plane tickets and lodging for everyone!
3. Cleaning lady weekly
4. Quit my job and go back to school to get a degree in Art History
5. Buy a garage big enough for our brand new two motorcycles; and a nice brand new SUV big enough for our combined families (we are getting married next month; total of 5 kids combined)
6. Get my pilot’s license and buy a plane (Beechcraft Baron)
7. Build a dream home out west (Idaho, Montana or Wyoming)
8. Re-do condo with historically accurate fittings (tile, light fixtures etc)
9. Fund my condo association with an endowment to eliminate assessments for everyone for the next 50 years
10. Visit Prague with college friend
11. Route 66 motorcycle trip
12. Sailing lessons/buy sail boat
13. Do Loop boating trip (one year duration)
14. Fly entire family to Germany for Christmas
15. Actively manage my own stock fund
16. Start a beauty line of cosmetics for people with chemical allergies

I would own houses in NYC São Paulo London & Miami. I would own a bar in theee locations. I would be able to network seamlessly and confidently with successful people. And then I would give back to my family friends and country.

Rhonda Minga

More to me means:
A personal stylist, chef, trainer and maid.
Build our dream home
Go back to school/spend a year mentoring under a finance guru
Take a year long trip around the world
Be a finance coach traveling and doing speeches everywhere
Live off the 4% of my earnings
Go to tons of conferences, and trainings
Give away 80% of income
Buy a plane, take flying lessons
Create Passive income
Own an online business
Have an attorney on reserve

Pablo Rivera

1. I want to be able to pay whatever the price it is to become a top performer athlete – coaches, gyms, food, high performance facilities, recovery, physio, etc…-
2. I want to be able to afford to race cars for a living and also because I love it, that would require at least $500K a year to start, after that the sky is the limit.
3. I want to have an apartment in Downtown LA, a penthouse, and it must be furnished with the best furniture and tech gadgets out there.
4. I’d have a butler and chef at the apartment mentioned above.
5. I’d like to have the time and the money to build about 3 cars a year, each car would take about 4 months and about $200K per car, I love cars, it’s my passion.
6. I want a jet, a big one, maybe a Gulfstream G650. I know I can charter and that owning a thing that depreciates in value is not a good investment, but when it comes to cars, planes and things I am passionate about and not just as a mean of transport, I don’t really care if I am making or losing money. I do it cause I love it.
7. I want to have a personal stylist and a huge dressing room with designer stuff and expensive watches, watches are my thing for sure.
8. Have my family living as good as they want, I would at least make sure money is not something that crosses their mind.
9. I love investing, so I would definitely commit big part of my time to this part, I don’t know if I’d go as far as starting a hedge fund or something like that, but I will surely work hard to make at least $100Mill on the bank per year, it sounds like a lot of money, and I know the lifestyle I want can be achieved with a bit less money, but $100mill has always sounded like a nice number where I’d feel “relaxed” once I hit it.

Until all the bullet points mentioned above become a reality, I might as well go back to work hard to transition from dreaming to tangible reality

Fernando Aceves

I myself am a animal lover, and I would to be able to have my pets in an environment where I don’t have to worry about us having enough space. Where my girl could have all the ferrets she wants with awesome custom ferret pens going all over the place.

Have the people who I can trust my pets to, so me and my girlfriend may travel and visit all the places that we want to go together. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, but typing on my mobile is rough.

Jenna VanLeeuwen

I’ve thought a lot about this dichotomy between your approach to personal finance as compared to MMM! I’ve followed you both for years. If you’re always wanting more, how does that balance with a feeling of enough, a feeling of satisfaction? There is the Buddhist idea that desire is at the root of suffering.

At the same time, I have different priorities and different things I find fun than what MMM espouses. As an example, I’m not super motivated to save the world from climate change by biking, nor do I find satisfaction in DIY and building things by hand. I appreciate paying for convenience or someone to do it for me, so I can spend more time doing the things I want to do. (As an aside, I think a lot of this FI movement have their own status chasing as well. Some are chasing a high savings rate or a dollar amount as a status symbol as well.) I even question the value of making financial independence a primary goal. Happiness research has highlighted that pleasure, engagement, and meaning all contribute to wellbeing, and there are many FI people that are still unhappy. I’ve gotten to a very happy place by designing my life now, and it took about $20k and a few years to make my career transition — nothing close to full financial independence. Many people end up making lots of money after early financial independence — so why not dream about you really want and make that happen now? Take a mini retirement like what Tim Ferriss talks about instead if you really need a break. Do that internal work and you won’t have to wait 5-40 years to make your dream life happen.

So as you can see, I have reservations about obsessing over wanting too little and wanting too much. Perhaps there’s a Goldilocks spot in the middle.

I agree, I think your Rich Life will lie somewhere in the middle. Mine does, too. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

I would spend 3 months at a time in different countries living like the locals. I would be free to wake up and go to the beach if it’s a beautiful day instead of feeling like I have to go into work.

Genuinely… in my teenage if i want to watch any new movie or listen music…first i search in google to find pirate copy 😉 but now i am love to pay genuinely to watch in first class at theater , purchase music online.. Still i am growing and this article boost me up to next level and my next wish is to buy sports car (without think about its price..) because i just want it…

patrick damian

If i have a magic pill, there are many things i would want to do, i will want to free from any type of stress, make sure my family and friends have whatever they want, i will enjoy life as much as i want and i will also want to be able to multiply the magic pills so that i can give them to other people so that they to will be happy and be able to make there dreams come true…

thank you Ramit

I want to own an entire state – like West Virginia. I want to enslave the population by paying extremely low wages and forcing them to buy all goods through my very expensive stores. I want to strip mine every mountain and burn every ounce of coal that can be pealed off to make me money. Then, I want to implement the right of droit du seigneur and have a new virgin to sleep with every night. Oh, also, I want to buy my mom a rolex and a $500 sweater and fly her first class to India so she can brag to my family about what a wealthy son she has.

Wow this thinking big is awesome! On my way to work, I think I will stop at Walmart and buy some bottled water!

I’d get better first. Find a great team of doctors to figure out what’s happening with me without worrying about money. So I can have more energy and focus to follow though with my decision to start a business to generate great income for me and my family to enjoy the trips, fun events, shopping sprees, education. Get help to complete house chores or any small tasks that I don’t want to do to have more free time for everything I mentioned above. I’d have a very flexible schedule :-)

My want: to own an apartment building overlooking the ocean (we live in Halifax, NS, so possible). My family (wife and 3 kids + dog) would reside in the penthouse. our parents would have apartments one floor down. The main level would have commercial space in which we would house our clinic Inspired Living Medical (psychiatry/psychology) and a premium coffee shop / restaurant with frequent live music and latin dancing. Finally, we’d also have a retreat in Cinque Terra, Italy.

Magic Pill… hmmm to have the course you’re about to try and sell me for $197 a month that can make my dreams come true. What I’d really like is for you to stop emailing me Douchebag scammer !

I think the “Unsubscribe” link would be a good link for you to click. You know, the one in every email we send you — on the list you signed up for. I have faith in you.

This article is so spot on, it’s kinda scary. Some other instances where this lens has crept up in the past:

What I used to think: Turn off the car A/C to save money! Roll down the windows instead, it’s the exact same thing and you save on gas.
Now I realize: Comfort is a big deal to me in certain areas and I would be happy to pay for little “luxuries” if it provides a better quality of life for me and my family. Also, it was apparently less fuel efficient to roll the windows down as it increased wind resistance, haha.

I used to think: Why the hell do people go to get their haircut outside when I can have my girlfriend do it with a $10 hair clipper and save EVERY MONTH. Hm, maybe I’ll splurge and buy this $20 clipper for a smoother cut.
Now I realize: Just like clothes, a professional haircut changes my image and projected status. Plus there’s no longer any mess to clean up and no more arguments with my SO about how I want my hair.

I used to think: Head straight to the clearance and sale section for clothing stores. Buy something a size or 2 (or 3) bigger and save 75% (!). What a freakin steal.
Now I realize: Fit and how clothes feel on my body matter a whole lot in how I perceive myself. I also now wear clothes more than twice before throwing/giving them away.

These and other things like food (“I could make that at home!”) seem to point towards a shift in thinking that money is a tool used to acquire experiences and save time to spend on things that really matter to me.

I love this comment. Thanks for sharing it, John. It’s so fascinating to hear the exact details of what you used to tell yourself. Those specifics are invaluable — and I bet a lot of other people have thought similar things.

With a magic pill I’d buy a condo in Berlin, a house in the Alps, and a place in NYC.

I would buy masterminds with Selena Soo and John Lee Dumas.

And I would buy all kinds of awesome cars.

I have lots of wants. At the top of my list is the ability for my family to want without worrying. For them to not live by not wanting. Second, of course, is to have a Singer Porsche as a daily driver.

I want to live in a nice bungalow in the country with several acres all to myself (and my dogs because I’m one of Those People). I want to have someone else mealplan and do groceries for me – I enjoy cooking but I hate planning around my intolerances. I want to work from home and set my own hours, I want to do less face-to-face with clients and more mentorship (this is definitely possible as my business grows – more of a management role), and I want to be making enough money to do some kind of intensive volunteer work (training service dogs) without worrying about my bottom line.

I tend to have come from the singular lens that most of your old self lived through.

I am slowly understanding the beautiful shift into seeing the value that service, experience, and quality truly have ones quality of life.

I currently am learning to balance being frugal (living within my means) using the extra money to pay off bad debt/build the investment bucket.

My dreams for a “big” life and spending money one the things that enrich quality of life have shifted more to have and share the experiences and the richness of life that comes from being able to pay for quality/service/experience.

Like a family reunion whereby I organize and the financially help family members that cannot make it so we can all be together.

And I love your teachings about getting started now – which in my ideal life I mentor and teach others – so getting started now involves reaching out to organizations that need people to give/teach/mentor like big brothers/sisters, and start today with that.

Thanks Ramit for your constant voice of letting go of our small view and stepping into our higher self living more authentically!

Being able to spend 5 months a year at home going out on our private sailboat to watch the whales and dolphins. Then traveling at leisure and getting off the grid whenever I wanted to. Being able to afford truly off-beat vacation that are super luxurious- yeah I want to go see the rarest gorillas in the world in the DRC, go sailing to Antarctica and then stopover in the South Georgia Islands, spend months sailing off the West Coast of Africa, go SCUBA diving every day in Madagascar for months at a time, motorbike the length of South America and stay in the nicest lodges in between. Having my private float plane that I could fly around the South Pacific between all the resort islands I own. Buying my parents a house wherever they wanted to, making sure they never have to work again and could go on awesome vacations all the time. If I had kids, being able to have a nanny who would travel around with us and make sure they were alright while I was doing epic things with my husband! Having a foundation where I could help young people from unprivileged backgrounds enjoy travel and see new places, give away lots of money to organizations doing really great work.

My wife and I have had this same conversation over the years and I’ve had the same growth experience you’ve had. We see now where money does buy happiness of a sort. The “lure of more” for the sake of more is a fleeting fancy. The value of the magic pill is buying time. We have so many things going on that require our attention. We have more than we can physically do and see why there’s so much material on time management of the very successful. I am sure Branson and Bezos have 30 things screaming at them to do and only time for 20. However, they manage to do all 30 because they can buy time. They can hire personal assistants to free them up to be able to focus on the most important 10 or 15 things.

That is the value I see in your ideas. It’s probably my age, but the extra appetizer or buying a round for my buddies is not important. Being able to buy time, to not put any thought to getting a house-keeper or drop off my laundry. Those simple things free us up to focus on the more important stuff. Also, the first class ticket, as you explained, has a lot of value, ESPECIALLY the more it costs. Successful small business people understand these concepts almost innately.

One other part to this – why some people don’t wish for much more than they have is they sincerely enjoy their lives and simply want to more fully experience the journey they are on. The mundane, the simple stuff of their daily lives, picking up after their kids, doing laundry, etc. is what they value. There’s no way they would have a nanny. The full magic pill or winning the lotto would forever change their journey. With that mindset, it’s the little speedbumps that are slowing down the ride. That’s what they are focused on and need money to get rid of.

Thought-provoking post and I enjoyed reading the comments.
To Steele, I would suggest spending time in Scandinavia, where the safety net is relatively functional and people are still able to have fine dining, nice homes and exotic vacations.
As for me, I have a comfortable life in the SF Bay Area, but need to generate more money to keep it that way. I want enough to fix up my home, to explore more of the world, to live in Paris or somewhere else in France or Spain, to be able to get on a plane and see my kids in NY and the U.K. whenever I want without having to stress about the expense and to not be tied to a 9-5 schedule.
My magic pill would be to make a comfortable living from my writing. That and world peace.

Wow! You said magic pill and I thought of the movie “Limitless”. I want this magic pill!! In the movie the pills effects run out but this pill would be permanent. I would be a genius, I’d have limitless energy. My mind would be sharp and the outcome always clear to me. I would meet the most innovative and stimulating people and have mind blowing experiences. I’d never worry about finances I’m always 10 steps ahead of the game.
I would be utterly fearless.

Melissa Hall

More free time. I want to travel more, spend more time reading, more time for leisure activities with my partner, more time to take my dogs to the park. More time to enjoy life instead of constant hustling. I work 2 jobs just to get by & have student loans out the wazoo. I need a better plan.

I would love more of service and better convenience. To have all my meals prepared so i don’t have to spend hours worrying about what I want to eat and preparing a healthy meal, It can just be ready so I can focus on what’s important

everything is out there, many things I say I want to be able to do or have I already could . So want do I most want more of? I want MORE FROM MYSELF to get on and live it☹️

More decisiveness,(there are things I start and stop and can’t decide if I want or not!), more energy, more patience, more joy. it’s to get the rich life not just in terms of material things but also relationships and fun.

I don’t find it natural to pay to save time me hassle etc. Even though logically I know makes sense to pay someone to clean because I can earn more. Therefore, some of your ‘I ‘used to..but then’ can relate to and aspire to. BUT it also feels like a good life to give up some work hours and earnings and buying clothes etc. To spend time shopping around for bargain ingredients and making own food etc. Growing veg illogical in terms of time me and effort but for many can all feel like a rich life. A taste of Self sufficiency can feel good and rich. Or a slog of course! Also great satisfaction in not spending by too much on material things, using ingenuity to make do instead of buying, not care about keeping by up with ‘the joneses’. I’d love me the freedom of less possessions and importantly for me – not using up the planets resources.

You know what Ramit, I am not going to hold back now that you’ve asked this question. When I have this magic pill that would let me live the life that I want, here’s how it’s going to look and feel like.

I love my career as an ED nurse and would still love to work four times a fortnight. In addition to that, I would like to set aside at least 8 hours a fortnight in personally coaching obese people to get into their best health possible. In a grander scale, I would like to inspire people to take action to get to their best health possible and work towards that! I want to have the flexibility of having three residential homes here – one near my work place, the other near the city and one beachside property! That is in addition to my other real estate properties and development!

I want to be able to have flexible time so that I can train for marathons and IronMans and be able to go on my dream races and vacations (I’m thinking 4 major vacations think, at least 2 weeks out of the country, and 8 quick getaways)! I want to fly first class with my friends and family and get into whatever restaurant we wanna go to and get exclusive chef demo! OMG! That would be awesome! Or maybe just have a lazy long weekend with my hubby-to-be (wherever he may be) and he have me cook brunch, walk the dog by the beach, have amazing afternoon sex, and then talk about our life goals and dreams and figure out how we can help each other do that, then have dinner out, and then have more amazing sex. Just being candid! Bwahaha!

I want to not worry about the money and be able to just have passive income working for me and concentrate on the issue close to my heart: Move people into action with their health. I so want to start a health revolution that would outlive me!

I want to have balance!!!

I am so going to make this happen! I’m quite excited!

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