How You Can Use Wealth To Defeat The ‘Disease Of More’

wealthy family on a yacht

“Wealth is freedom from the Disease of More.”

When I first stumbled upon this quote about wealth, it forced me to examine my relationship with money. And, it also made me examine the way I see myself and how I criticize my own desires.

We can all agree that money is important. You literally need it to live. And the more money you have, the better your quality of life. Probably.

But if money can buy happiness (it can, studies show it, we all know it, don’t you dare refute it), then what is the Disease of More? Do you have it? Do I have it?

In my opinion, we all have it in one way or another. Especially when we are young and especially in regards to money. But, if not properly manages, the Disease of More can become all-consuming and unhealthy.

What Is The Disease of More?

The Disease of More, in general terms, is when you can’t find sustainable happiness or enjoy what you already have. For instance, you just bought a brand new pair of $100 shoes and then two days later you think a pair of $200 shoes will make you happier. And that pattern repeats itself because nothing is ever enough.

The first time I came across this idea of the “Disease of More” was when famed NBA coach, Pat Riley brought it to light. Riley claimed that once a team tastes championship level success, the players begin to have a me-first attitude. They want more money, more sponsorships, more of the things they believe they earned by winning that championship. What suffers when that happens? The team and everyone’s ability to focus on winning more championships.

Of course that isn’t always the outcome. Michael Jordan’s Bulls managed to win six straight championships (if you don’t account for the years he took off to play baseball). But if you recall The Last Dance, the Disease of More ran ramped throughout that organization. Scottie Pippen basically chose to sit out an entire year because of money. Jerry Krause wanted more respect and was willing to break up the greatest basketball team in NBA history to get it. If it wasn’t for Michael Jordan’s insane focus on winning, the whole team would have fallen apart.

How Does The Disease Of More Affect Wealth?

man with money in briefcase

As it pertains to money, the focus of this post, the Disease of More means that even after you have already achieved financial freedom, you continue to sacrifice, you continue to trade your time for money and material possessions.

At a certain point, more money doesn’t equate to more happiness. If you have $9 million, will $10 million make you happier or enhance your quality of life? Probably not.

So why pursue it? Why continue to work your life away? There has to be a reason. Is it because you love to work? Do you feel the need to be around people? Is it because you can’t think of other ways to spend your time? Or do you do it because you want to reach a higher net worth level that probably won’t even be very satisfying?

All those reasons sound valid. And people need a purpose in life, but that purpose shouldn’t “I just want to see the number in my bank account go higher.” Because what you’re possibly giving up for that is our most precious commodity: TIME.

What This Quote About Wealth Means To Me

The Disease of More is all around us. But when I think about it, it reaffirms my belief that the disease will be living inside me until I hit my freedom number. Like anyone who reads sites like ours, I am on a warpath and I won’t stop till I have enough passive income streams to never have to hold a full-time job again.

I know better quotes about wealth exist, but this specific one resonated with me, because in my mind, wealth will give me the freedom I truly desire. Freedom from spending 60 hours a week in front of a computer. Freedom to choose who I work with and when I work. Will I still work part-time? Sure, I think it’s healthy to spend some time stimulating your brain and making sure your passive income streams never run dry. But I won’t be answering to other people. Heck, I won’t even be replying to any texts or emails that I don’t want to. That’s what drives me. Not the idea of buying a Lambo. Not the idea of buying more useless stuff. Because unnecessary things and greed are the Disease. And once you understand and embrace that, then you will truly be free.

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.