Last week in my Friday Filosophy newsletter, I spoke a little about the many labels and misconceptions there are about prosperity. When you talk to people, there seems to be a great deal of confusion about the distinctions between prosperity, money, wealth and status. I promised to start a discussion here on the blog. Let’s begin with the easiest one to address: status.
Status drives people to acquire more money and seek more wealth, but there’s nothing prosperous about it. Status is a mind game for simpletons. This is a signaling game. And the only way to win this game is to get stupider.
This is not a game that allows everyone to give their personal best and receive a consummate reward. Status requires someone else to lose in order for you to win. If your neighbor has a Chevy, you need a BMW. If they have a BMW, you’re going to require a Lexus. When you’re choosing your car (or anything in your life) based on the status signal it sends, you’ve already lost.
There is always at least one person with a yacht one foot longer than yours. Or a developer who has built a skyscraper one story taller than yours. Or, if you’re a professional victim, someone who has an even better tragedy than yours…
The more you chase status, the farther you move away from true prosperity. Even if you are that one person with the longest yacht, you win the stupid prize because you played the stupid game. Next post, we’ll talk about money. Until then, would love to see your comments below.