Inspirational speech premiere

Having premiered my SatNav for the Soul® speech at the Professional Speakers Association, it prompted several discussions afterwards with people from the audience.

One of these discussions concerned my reference in the speech to Scott Adams, the Dilbert creator, who discovered that money and fame were not what he imagined (as he confessed in his blog). My fellow conversationalist disagreed with the sentiment of the story and argued that if these successful people are that unhappy with the result of their success, why don’t they give their money away?

I did not have time to explore this point fully with him there and then but I can clarify things here.

Of course some successful people do give huge amounts of money away but this misses the real point. The ‘problem’ with money and success is that those who strive for it have a preconception about what it will do for them, as if it were some kind of drug or cosmetic surgery.

Money and success don’t ‘do’ anything. As I make clear in my speech they simply increase our options, so if you choose to, you can buy these drugs or cosmetic procedures with the money you have acquired.

Thus, if you are anticipating some magical transformation from acquiring financial success, you will be disappointed. Once you have been disappointed and realise that only your options have been increased, you can then readjust your expectations.

Assuming that giving the money away will return you to happiness (if that is where you started from), is making the same mistake as assuming that it will bring happiness in the first place. The point of the Scott Adams story was to illustrate that most people have an unrealistic belief about success.

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