Odds are, you may not be wealthy (and why that is okay).

We are sold the story that our contentment is directly tied to the amount of wealth that we are able to amass. Is this true?

The subject of wealth and the attainment of it is one that has both pervaded and in some sense, directed the course of human history. From the primitive trade form of exchanging one good for another to the creation of and subsequent establishment of agreed forms of currency, humankind has always sought to amass resources in order to ascertain its continued survival.

For the early man, this was a matter of absolute necessity. Where we currently have societies and more defined economic systems, all he had was the wild from which he had to glean and fight for everything that he needed.

The tragedy, however, is that even with the evolution of mankind and all the advancement we have seen both technologically and otherwise, there seems to be a certain persistence of that essential desire to fight for and hoard resources like it is still the ultimate purpose for which we exist.

Eons after we have evolved from the level of intelligence that saw us chase after our next meal while being barely knowledgeable enough to understand the importance of sustainable agriculture, we still find that the need of the average person still revolves around trying to amass as much as they can, for the duration that they are alive. What does this say about the quality of the lives that we live?

In defense of this, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs places physiological needs – shelter, water, food, warmth, and other things needed for basic survival at the bottom of the list, while such things as self-actualization and the need to attain our full potential as the things that become important to us only after we have satisfied our basic physiological needs.

In truth, it would be reductive for me to present this as a simple – one or the other situation – when it is truly nuanced, especially with Nigeria and its rapidly declining economic state, but hear me out for a bit.

Human wants are insatiable. The implication of this is that the perspective on life that causes you to only seek satisfaction based on the kinds of things that you can amass will cause you to be continuously dissatisfied. There will always be the next thing to acquire and even then, something more.

When the descriptive term for what we seek to satisfy ourselves is “more”, an undefined and intangible variable, nothing that we get quite fits and we wind up with lives in which we find ourselves largely discontent with every and anything that we acquire.

A common example of this bias, which is in some ways the inspiration for this article, is the desire to be exceedingly wealthy. We could use the more tangible term – billionaires.

For some sense of objectivity, we’ll be making use of the Forbes list of billionaires for our analysis. The 35th annual Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, released in 2021 included 2,755 billionaires. Working with a rounded world population of 7 billion people (we`re definitely more than that), this means that only 0.000039% of the world’s population made the list.

This means that for a person whose target for personal happiness is being crazy rich enough to make it on Forbes list, you will likely, in fact, probably live the entirety of your life dissatisfied. The odds are just not in your favour and while that might seem like a bummer, it is the reality.

This is an extreme case, of course, but we still largely fall victim to the mindset that holds off on our personal satisfaction on the grounds of materialism. We stick to an “I’ll be happy when…” mindset ergo, the entirety of our lives becomes defined by this point of attainment, without which we feel incomplete.

Your life is probably going to be like the vast majority of lives on planet earth – unremarkable on the larger scale but deeply meaningful in its innate uniqueness. You’re likely not going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, but you’re you and as platitudinous as that sounds, it is profound.

Find the things that make you unique and focus on them. Let those things be the source of your satisfaction. Design your life to be aimed at being the best version of yourself, and maybe that version might be a billionaire that will someday make it to Forbes list, but in the high likelihood that it is not, you should be content.

We are sold the lie that our contentment is directly tied to the amount of wealth that we are able to amass and sadly, we buy into it. We want to be rich enough to buy the moon and then we`ll be happy and so, we just let our lives pass.

We let beautiful moments and opportunities for delightful experiences just slip out of our grasp because we spend too long focused on things that do not really matter.

Is my point that you are never going to be wealthy and that being rich doesn’t matter? No. Not really. If nothing else, let your single lesson be that life can be so much more.

For the duration of your time as an individual on this planet, your life can be enriched by a myriad of components and experiences. Do not spend it all trying to be defined by just one.

Comments (19):

  1. Livinpraiz

    February 12, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    Wonderful insight victory wrights

  2. Omon

    February 12, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Life can be so much more, really. But sometimes only a sated stomach can recognize that it is.
    It was a good read.

    • Victory Okoyomoh

      February 12, 2022 at 8:44 pm

      True. It’s hard to focus on anything else when the stomach isn’t fed.

  3. Chinelo

    February 12, 2022 at 7:25 pm


  4. Pearl

    February 12, 2022 at 7:26 pm


  5. Isioma Okobu

    February 12, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    “We want to be rich enough to buy the moon and then we`ll be happy and so, we just let our lives pass” so sad ?? I’m grateful for this piece

    • Victory Okoyomoh

      February 12, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      I’m glad you read it. I hope we all find contentment.

  6. Happy

    February 12, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    People most especially Nigerians have not yet gotten the understanding that not everyone is going to be stinky rich or rich in general. No matter how hard a person tries, it jus might not be his destiny. Why not settle on being comfortable and contented. A really beautiful piece, I wish a lot more people could read it.

    • Victory Okoyomoh

      February 12, 2022 at 8:39 pm

      True. We are often so obsessed by the idea of materialism that anything else feels lacking. Thank you for reading.

  7. MudEEE

    February 12, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Inspired me

  8. Niel

    February 12, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Inspiring ??

  9. Paula

    February 12, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    This is nice ?

  10. Grace

    February 21, 2022 at 9:10 am

    This was really inspiring, thanks for sharing

  11. precious

    February 22, 2022 at 11:42 am


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