Join 300,000+ other Stoics and get our daily email meditation.

Subscribe to get our free Daily Stoic email. Designed to help you cultivate strength, insight, and wisdom to live your best life.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

How To Become Rich

Daily Stoic Emails

The writers Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five) and Joseph Heller (Catch-22) were at a glamorous party outside New York City. Standing in the palatial second home of the billionaire host, Vonnegut began to needle his friend. He described the exchange in a poem published in the New Yorker in 2005:

I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel Catch-22 has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

On the Daily Stoic podcast, Molly Bloom, the infamous poker host and subject of Aaron Sorkin’s movie Molly’s Game, referenced this story to give us an idea of what it was like to be in the room with some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the world. Bloom was right there, tableside with billionaires, Hollywood icons, and legendary athletes…at the same time. “I would not have traded places with any of them,” she said on the podcast. “They were on the hedonic treadmill, and they couldn’t get off. There was never enough.”

Seneca, who was himself in a circle of some very rich and powerful people, said, “being poor is not having too little, it is wanting more.” Epictetus, looking perhaps at Seneca himself, saw how even ambition was a form of poverty and slavery that powerful people could not seem to escape.

True wealth is not simply having a lot, it is having enough. It is accepting yourself, it is focusing on what you control, on what actually matters in life. If you can embrace this, you’ll be richer than any billionaire, movie star, or pro athlete. You may do less, but you’ll have so much more.