Which would you rather have, money, power, or fame?
That’s actually a real interview question if you want to work for Pimco investment management.
I think most people reading this would probably choose money over the other two.
The problem with having power is that it almost always distorts the powerful person’s perception of reality. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” as British politician Lord Acton once said. I don’t know how my personality would change if I had power. Studies have shown that power brings out objectionable behavior in people.
Abraham Lincoln said, “nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Frankly I think power comes with too much responsibility because it requires you have to have a lot of influence over other people. I can barely keep up with my own life. I don’t need to tell other people how to live theirs, lol.
Being famous has a lot of downsides too. As Al Pacino once said, “people are always nice to you. You’re in a conversation and everybody’s agreeing with what you’re saying – even if you say something totally crazy. You need people who can tell you what you don’t want to hear.”
And ironically it may be harder to have deeper, more meaningful connections if you’re too popular. “I don’t think I could think of a single thing that’s more isolating than being famous,” says Lady Gaga.
But wealth doesn’t inherently have any of those problems. You could be a millionaire and nobody will know except for your bank. Nobody will try to curry favour with you to gain more power for themselves, and nobody will invade your privacy. 🙂
The advantage of money
It’s not that money doesn’t come with problems. It just has the least amount of problems compared with the other two. 😉
Becoming wealthy is also the most passive of the three, requiring the least amount of active management. You can automate your savings and easily invest in low cost index funds. Then one day you will become rich.
But power and fame often requires a lot of hard work to obtain. Not only that, but it also requires effort to maintain them. If you hold a position of power, you have to be constantly on the lookout for anyone trying to take that power for themselves.
Being famous requires constant diligence as well because the world’s eyes are on you. You can’t do anything you want. You have very little freedom. Bill Murray believes, “there aren’t many downsides to being rich. But being famous, that’s a 24 hour job right there.”
That’s why I would choose money over power and fame. Besides, once you have money you can simply buy the other two if you really want to, lol.
Random Useless Fact:
The average mail carrier makes $20 to $25 per hour.