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7. Increase Wealth

WEALTH is anything which has value to you. In its simplest forms, Wealth includes food and shelter. All living things require Wealth for Physical Survival.

Wealth can sometimes be found, but more often must be created. To create Wealth requires a transformation from CHAOS into ORDER.
The process of transforming Chaos into Order involves both technology and skill. You can improve your skills, and knowledge of technology, through EDUCATION. Education is the process of creating Order from Chaos in your mind.

What about money? To earn money, you transform Chaos into Order for others.
When you create Order for others, you add to their Wealth. In many cases, they offer “Thank You” notes for your efforts. Those “Thank You” notes are called MONEY.

Wealth Morality

Is it moral for me to Increase Wealth when others might not have enough? Much is said about the morality of Wealth.
Yet people also use money to help themselves and others. So what is the answer?

The source of Wealth morality is FREEDOM. Free people engage in VOLUNTARY transactions. In Voluntary transactions, people only give up their Wealth when they perceive they are getting something more valuable in return.
When you engage in Voluntary transactions with others, you help them while you help yourself – both parties get something more valuable to them. The more transactions you desire, the more you seek to help others. In fact, the Wealth you accumulate through Voluntary transactions can be a measure of the Happiness you have brought to others.

Why does Wealth have such a bad reputation? Because not everyone tries to Increase Wealth through Voluntary transactions. Instead they use FORCE (stealing) or FRAUD (lying). Any transaction involving Force or Fraud is an INVOLUNTARY transaction.

Those who take your Wealth through Involuntary transactions deprive you of the Freedom to choose what you want to do with your Wealth, which is the same as depriving you of the time you spent to accumulate your Wealth. It is as if you were enslaved for that portion of your life required to create your Wealth, and slavery is immoral.

Wealth also has a bad reputation because people create Excuses to demonize Wealth, either because they don’t have much of it, or because they want yours.

They argue that the nature of business is stealing, and use as examples business people who are implicated in theft or deception. But they typically fail to note that people also steal in churches, charities, and government. Business is not stealing -- stealing is stealing, and it can happen anywhere.

Finally, some people are misguided, and believe Wealth is limited and must be divided. In fact, Wealth is created when you meet human needs. Since human needs are unlimited, so is the potential for Wealth.

Does money buy Happiness? That question persists because it actually contains two questions with opposite answers. The first question is: “Does money always buy Happiness?” Of course not.

The second question is: “Does money ever buy Happiness?” Of course it does. When you buy the food you need to live, for example, the Pleasure of eating easily exceeds the Pain of relinquishing your Money.

Some people adopt the Excuse that they don’t care about Wealth, because Wealthy people can still be unhappy. That is true, but un-wealthy people can also be unhappy. Consider that it is easier to be Happy when you have Wealth, not to mention the Happiness you bring others when you earn Wealth through Voluntary transactions.

How do I Increase Wealth? Change your Desires. The Wealth you have right now is a reflection of your current Desires (and Excuses). To Increase Wealth you will need to change Desires.

Respect Money

In addition to being demonized, Money is also trivialized.
A portion of your life is spent to earn Money. Those who show disrespect for your Money (including you) also show disrespect for your life. If your Money is not important, than neither is a significant part of your life.

To some, your life is not important, at least not as important as their lives. That’s reasonable, so long as their efforts to take your Money are limited to Voluntary transactions.

To you, however, your life is the most important thing you own, and you should Affirm to treat it, and the Money you create, with the respect they deserve.

Increase Earning

To increase earning, you need to improve your ability to create Order from Chaos for others. But you must also consider the market for your services. The amount you earn is not based on the value or importance of what you do – many jobs are important but don’t pay well.

Your monetary value to others depends on supply and demand: How many people have your skills, and how many people want your skills? To maximize your value to others, you should offer skills that many people want and few people have. If millions (or billions) of people can do what you do, your earning potential is limited.

Because the needs of others constantly change, so must your skills. You can learn new skills through formal education, or on the job, or on your own. You should Affirm to enjoy learning new skills for the rest of your life.

Invest in education, but before you do, be sure you will be trained to do something people actually want to pay for. Those who sell education sometimes ignore the market value of the skills you will learn. Also be willing to look outside traditional forms of education.

Increase Investment

Once acquired, Wealth can either be CONSUMED or INVESTED. Money that is Consumed will never be seen again. It might be spent on necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and insurance, or on frivolous consumption.

When Invested, money is converted into an asset which can usually be re-converted back into money. Many assets earn money while you own them. Stocks, bonds, real estate, and your own business are common Investments.

To Increase Wealth you need to Consume less and Invest more. A strong target for reducing spending is anything that creates debt, such as car loans and credit card debt. You should affirm to accept debt only for Investment, not for Consumption.

You should also Affirm to be frugal – take Pleasure from spending as little as possible to enjoy your life. Invest the rest in the most worthy Investments you can find. Seek advice from others about Investing, but take responsibility yourself for watching over your Investments.

Your Investments might produce income, but a common mistake is to rely too soon on Investment income. Even when your Investments do well, you should Affirm to keep working at your job or business. Working is also a source of Happiness when you enjoy what you do.


According to the Survival Syndrome, Instinctive Survival Desires can both Increase and Decrease your Happiness. A prime example is OPTIMISM.

Optimism is a Survival Desire that causes you to believe future Pain and Pleasure will be better than experience would suggest. Optimism helps Survival by encouraging you to persevere when faced with life-threatening dangers. Optimism also encourages risk-taking, which is an important ingredient for Innovation and therefore prosperity.

But Optimism can encourage risk that decreases Happiness. For example, the Desire for gambling derives from your instinctive Optimism. Gambling includes games of chance as well as get-rich-quick schemes which also prey on your need to make a living.

Gambling is seductive because sometimes people win. But gambling always produces more losers than winners. Even though you are far more likely to be one of the losers, your Optimism causes you to act as if you will be one of the winners.

The cure for gambling is to Affirm to make important Choices with facts rather than wishes. You don’t need to be a pessimist, but make sure your Optimism does not mislead you.

Future Factor

Events which will occur far into the future receive even more natural Optimism than events which will happen soon. That is the FUTURE FACTOR, and it exists because the future holds uncertainty.
For example, if you owe someone money tomorrow, there is not much room for Optimism – you know you will need to pay. But if you owe someone money in five years, a lot could happen before you need to pay. You could get a raise, win the lottery, or maybe inherit money.

Even though you “know” you need to meet future obligations, the Future Factor causes you to underestimate the true cost of future Pain. It can also cause you to overestimate future Pleasure.

Both can be harmful to Increasing Wealth, because many financial transactions take place over time.

When events are pushed far into the future, your ability to weigh them is impaired. You are likely to discount the future Pain of obligations such as mortgage debt, car loans, and credit card payments. You are also likely to overestimate the future Pleasure of Investments, even when they are unlikely to work at all.

The cure for the Future Factor is to enjoy planning for the future. Affirm to give full consideration to future events before you make Choices today.


Another form of Optimism is INFATUATION. Infatuation serves an important role for Survival. It is the desire to acquire.

Imagine you are considering someone as a potential mate. You critically examine your prospective spouse and weigh the Pleasures and Pains of mating. After thinking, you’re still not sure, so you say no.

That’s not good enough for Survival. Species Survival has historically relied on less thinking and more mating. Infatuation works to push you over the edge of indecision.

Infatuation alters your perception of certain Choices by magnifying anticipated Pleasure and minimizing anticipated Pain. You can be Infatuated with potential mates, as well as with material things (many of which might make you more desirable to potential mates.)

Infatuation blocks out negative thoughts about a potential acquisition whether it’s a romantic partner, a new car, or a health club membership. Only after the Infatuation wears off will you appreciate the Pain of your Choices. If you Choose while Infatuated, you can easily find yourself married to the wrong person, living in a house you can’t afford, with credit card debt that will push you into bankruptcy.

Since Infatuation is temporary, the cure is to Affirm to enjoy DELAYED GRATIFICATION.

Whenever you feel the desire to acquire something, take an hour, or a day, or maybe a year to think about it. When Delayed Gratification becomes one of your Desires, you will actually enjoy the waiting process, and savor those things that still interest you afterward.


A variation of Infatuation is the idea that to enjoy something you must own it. Many people buy expensive items they might easily rent instead.

Regardless of whether you rent or buy, ultimately all you gain is an experience. The experience of ownership can include many extra Pains such as maintenance, insurance, and storage. Affirm to consider all aspects of an experience before you decide to buy.



What if I don’t want to make a lot of money, but instead want to do something important? That’s your Choice. Just remember, when you make a lot of money through Voluntary transactions, you are doing something important to the people paying you, or they wouldn’t give you their money.

If I’m careful about spending my money, won’t that make it harder for others to Increase Wealth? The money you don’t spend on consumption will be available to invest in or loan to others. A society is more prosperous when resources are allocated to capital investments rather than frivolous consumption.

What’s wrong with frivolous consumption if it makes me Happy? Frivolous consumption only makes you Happy because of your Desires. If you change your Desires, not only will you be Happy to reduce consumption, you will be even Happier with the long term benefits of Increasing Wealth. Frivolous consumption is like junk food – yes, it makes you Happy, but only for the moment.

What if I don’t want to plan for the future? what’s wrong with living in the moment? People who live "in the moment" will sometimes have great moments. People who plan for the future can enjoy lives filled with great moments.

When I compete with someone else for business, isn’t it true that I can only win when my competitor loses? When you compete for business, the winners are your customers. They benefit when you provide a superior alternative. You benefit when they thank you for your efforts. Your competitors benefit by learning they will need to improve to remain competitive.

What if I charge too much for my services? Isn’t that being greedy? When you charge "too much" then fewer people will use your services and eventually you make less money. The "greedy" choice would be to reduce your prices so you make more money. Of course, by charging less you are only helping people more, which isn’t greedy after all.

Greed refers to excessive desire. But when you are helping others through Voluntary transactions, no amount of desire is excessive. The truly greedy are those who engage in Involuntary transactions.

What about companies that sell bad or overpriced products or services? Isn’t that immoral? Selling a product that is fraudulent is an Involuntary transaction which should result in a refund or else a legal penalty. Selling a product that is simply a bad bargain, demonstrates the critical importance of Voluntary transactions. Companies learn they are offering bad bargains when customers are free to take their business elsewhere.

What about people who make Weak Choices and buy products that are not good for them? How is that a beneficial Voluntary transaction? Not good according to whom? The question is, who is responsible for their Choices. To answer that, you should AFFIRM RESPONSIBILITY.

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