Why many millionaires don't feel rich

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

It's all about perception

There is no doubt that some millionaires feel very wealthy. But just like there are some millionaires who feel rich there are also many ones who never feel that way and who are actually very sad because they think that they don't have enough money.

In my previous article Why millionaires get depressed i said that perception is everything when it comes to determining a person's level of happiness.

The way you see things, your own beliefs about yourself and your own beliefs about the world has a very significant impact on your mood than any other factor. This means that a person who has 500K could feel rich while another one who has 5 million could feel poor.

But the important question now here is, what alters a person perception?
And why do people see the world differently?

Relative comparison

No matter what self help gurus tell you the normal human being will always compare themselves to others whether they like it or not. It's just a natural process that cannot be avoided. Yes of course you can work on making those comparisons affect you less but you can't stop them for good.

Millionaires usually compare themselves to everyone they know and so if a Millionaire was unlucky enough to be surrounded by richer people then this Millionaire might feel less rich or even poor. This is one reason why some Newyork or Dubai Millionaires don't actually feel rich. See also 7 personality traits of self made millionaires.

The wealth of a Millionaire won't really matter in such a case because what will matter is how this Millionaire feels when they compare themselves to others.

Being a millionaire myself i had times where i felt rich and times where i felt poor or at least not that rich. And this brings me to the other very powerful reason behind that which is the internet.

The internet & relative comparisons

You might think that a Millionaire who lives in a poor country is always going to feel rich but that's only partially right. In the 80s this would have been 100% right because meeting a richer person would have hardly happened.

Today we have the internet and whether we like it or not we keep hearing of richer people everywhere around the world. The typical Millionaire might feel very poor when they hear about a famous billionaire. The internet has made the world seem like a small village and has made the comparisons we make more broad, more fierce and not limited by geographical location. See How i made my first million on the internet.

Ambition and comparisons

There is another problem that could make a Millionaire feel poor which is ambition. Depending on the level of ambition a Millionaire has they will get certain feelings when they compare themselves to others.

A very ambitious Millionaire might feel very poor when they hear about Mark Zuckerberg for example. In other words ambition can make a person think that they don't have enough even if they have more than the majority of people. See also Why ambitious people suffer more than everyone else.

Future expectations

Another very important factor that determines how rich or poor a Millionaire can feel is their future expectations about their income.

If the Millionaire is expecting their income and wealth to grow with a satisfactory rate then they will feel good. If on the other hand they expect their income or wealth to go lower then they will certainly feel poor.

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