The Reason Why Rich People Continue to Work Rather Than Play

Coming from a background of playing A LOT… I can say first hand… That I would not want to spend the rest of my life playing each and every day.

I wouldn’t be able to take it. I would go crazy.

When I used to go to the office of old job each day, I sat at my desk. Since we had building after building all designed with shared cubicles, I had a coworker who was basically forced to be my friend, even though I was kind of an annoying person to be around for eight whole hours. Since I worked at a Global Fortune 100 company and not an adrenaline fueled startup, I didn’t really have that much to do every day. I had a lot of free time at work.

Since I didn’t have boatloads of work to do that occupied all of my time like I used to have, I figured out creative ways to make the day go by faster. Sometimes I would chat with my cubicle mate. Other times I read articles online and try to educate myself, since I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. I tried my best to contribute on ways to make the company better, but when you work for a company that does well over a billion dollars a year in business, there really isn’t that much room for improvement. Sometimes, I even did non-work related things such as help my friends write copy for sales emails, provide business advice, or just work on some side project.

Since I had all this free time, I sometimes looked over at my coworker’s background on his computer. When I looked over, I see a picture of a hammock in the middle of this beach over the water on what seems to be a small tiny island.

I didn’t think in my head what most people think, which is along the lines of, “Wow, I want to retire there…”

Instead, I tought, “I wonder how long I could be out there without going absolutely insane… A week? Two? A month? Three months? A year?”

Actually, I saw this picture every single day from Monday through Friday. I’ve thought about it week after week.

After really thinking it over, I came to the conclusion, that the longest I could stay on that hammock in the water on an island in the middle of nowhere… Is a week.

Back in 2007, I had A LOT of money. I decided that I wanted to take some time off of work and just play all day. So I tried it out. I was exhausted from working 15 hour days six days a week. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I just wanted to play and play and play. So I did.

I decided to go out and explore this place that I lived my whole life, southern California. I went out to shopping centers, to check out the views, became familiar with all the subcultures of Los Angeles in each mile stretch, and who knows what else. I became quite familiar with my city.

I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. It was quite relieving to not be constrained to working at a job from 10am-1am each and every day, slaving away to earn a six figure income that I couldn’t spend.

Imagine being able to do what you want, when you want to, without having anyone say otherwise. That was basically my life.

After about a month of being free from the grasps of money and the time constraints of working like no tomorrow, I finally had the ability to experience everything I could possibly imagine.

However, I became bored. Not just a little bored of life, but bored the point where I needed to figure out what to do or I would go insane.

I couldn’t take it anymore so I found anything and everything to fill up my time. I dug myself heavily into the nightlife scene and started partying.

Want to know how to spend money fast without any real return?

Become friends with a lot of models and just spend all your time at an A list nightclub.

It’s the easiest way to just have your financial resources vanish, especially if you aren’t really that great at managing money, as I was.

After a few months, I decided that I couldn’t just party and play anymore. I was bored out of my mind. I needed to work. I tried building out my first business with zero experience and failed miserably. What brought me to my first business failure?

I was young and naive. I wanted to look like a big shot. I paid full price for everything I needed and bought premium resources for my business at astronomical rates. I had no ability to negotiate, so I ended up buying ridiculous things like plastic business cards for $300, collateral material built on thick paper stock, graphic design work, etc.

Little did I know that I could’ve drove down these prices if I had just done what my job trained me to do. I guess I was so caught up at selling items for premiums, that I really didn’t have the mind set to negotiate prices down when I purchase things. They say that if you want to sell something for top dollar, you have to believe your items were worth top dollar.

I did just that, except for now I was in a position where I was buying items and wasn’t selling anything. Unfortunately, I learn slow and haven’t been able to overcome this shortcoming of mine until about 2011. Also, I realized that people don’t like helping out a cocky and arrogant kid who was running a business, but that’s another story.

Since 2007 to now, I’ve kind of got sick and tired of playing all day. It bores me so much. I mean, two weeks ago I went out to Supperclub and Writer’s Room on a Friday. I almost fell asleep in the club at 1am. Last Friday my friends dragged me to a strip club. I just had two drinks, didn’t get a single lap dance, and wanted to just pass out on their sofa. I could hardly keep my eyes open.

Playing no longer becomes playing when it’s all you look forward to doing every week. It becomes monotonous and empty.

I’ve come to the point of my life where I would rather do things that matter. Playing is of absolutely no use to me. It just wears me out and no longer entertains me. Hopefully, I can find better ways to utilize my time, and maybe make a difference in the world in some way.

However, at the end of the day, I’m just another person on this planet who is still experiencing what life has to offer. I haven’t cracked any magic code or figured out the secret to life. I just try to live as humbly as possible, being thankful for each and every thing that is in my life. I do my best to contribute what little knowledge I’ve acquired over the years and share it with others, hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can contribute to their lives.

Maybe one day, we’ll all be able to gather together and share all of our experiences together in one place, so we can gather the data we need to better understand humanity.

Or maybe, we have already found that place that we have been searching for our whole lives. Maybe, that place we have been searching for is called Quora. Maybe we’re participating in that community right now, contributing profound questions and answers, providing insight and perspectives to a single database that can better the lives of many individuals to come.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.

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