Why a Billion Dollars Won't Excite You

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Think back to your first middle-school girlfriend, your first brand new car, or your first two-dollar check. What excited you about it?

Probably not the rewards.

It was the anticipation of the rewards that we loved. The cheesy anxiety we felt about asking out the person, looking through car brochures and choosing our features, or working our butts off to get those sweet two-hundred cents. It's a reason serial entrepreneurs exist: They start a firm thinking they'll be happy with a million bucks, see they want more after their conquests, starts another firm -- as the vicious cycle continues, like Anna Nicole weddings to rich 88 year-olds.

The chase rocks like no other feeling in the world.

It's a reason ordinary folks want to be millionaires. Millionaires want to be billionaires. Billionaires want to be the Warren Buffets and the Bill Gateses. Bill Gates wants to win Nobel Prizes. Nobel Prize winners want to historical recognition. The chase excites the bejeebus out of us.

What made billionaires happy?

Steve Jobs. Michael Dell. Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. Richard Branson. Yet, ask any 'em their happiest company moments, and it'd go something like this: "I'd have to point back to when we started. We had barely any money. We had torn furniture. Bad offices. No pedigrees. Just dreams. Aspirations. Youth. Pursuits of riches, fame, and changing the world. Happiest time of my life."

The reason the "chase" excites us?

According to an experiment by Stanford neuroscientist Brian Knutson, our brains gets excited more by the anticipation -- than the actual reward from our conquests:

[Knutson] used fMRI to watch subjects' brains as they reacted to the prospect of receiving money. Among the brain regions that lit up in this experiment was the nucleus accumbens, signaling in its primitive way, "You want this." The higher the potential monetary reward, the more active the accumbens became. But activity ceased by the time the subjects actually received the money - suggesting that it was the anticipation, and not the reward itself, that aroused them.

Let's have fun.

As you build your rockin' business, remember the simple concept: Enjoy your world now, because your chase will excite you more than any amount of money you'll ever, ever receive. Your journey kicks your destination's ass, and feeds it impeccably to its children. Tha sweet lookin' template:

"My journey's better than its destination. I will enjoy the mutha flucka out of it."

Have fun, y'all.

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Posted on July 30

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