- How the "Disease of More" applies to our finances
- Why we think we'll be content with "just a little bit more"
- Is it wrong to want more?
- The fine line between being content and achievement
- Why an emergency fund is more about comfort and not about the math
"Success is often the first step toward disaster."
Hall of Fame NBA coach Pat Riley wrote that in his book Showtime. He coined it the “Disease of More.” It came from what he observed from his teams after they won the NBA championship. The year after winning the title it was a natural tendency for the players to stop focusing on what it took to win the championship. Instead they focused on individual fame, scoring more points individually, and making more money.
The concept of the "Disease of More" applies to our finances as well. It can happen whenever we make a purchase, no matter how big or small. We are content with it for a while, but eventually we want something newer, nicer, or bigger and we tell ourselves that once we get whatever it is we desire we'll be happy. But it doesn't work like that because someone will always have a nicer home, car, kitchen, newest gadget, etc., than the one we have.
When we fall victim to the "Disease of More" we become obsessed with whatever we desire and it is all we can think about. That object then becomes our idol, an idol that we can never satisfy.
Does this make it wrong to want more? Not necessarily. Working hard and saving up to buy something isn't necessarily bad in and of itself. Having a want can be a good thing. But your self-worth should not be wrapped up in whether or not you get it. If it is then ultimately you will never be fulfilled because you will always want more and more.
The "Disease of More" is similar to the lifestyle inflation trap in some ways, but in other ways it is completely different. The "Disease of More" is an all out, endless effort to accumulate and achieve more and more. It is very dangerous for not only your finances but your spiritual state as well. Ultimately you will never find peace and contentment until you are first appreciative of what you have.
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