Everybody Can Be Rich

Thought Experiment Thursday

One out of every 183 people in this world is a millionaire. Are you surprised? I am.

It’s more than I thought. Feels…doable. That’s one person out of 4, 5 high school classes. One person out of each 200-people college year. Why shouldn’t that be you? I can’t think of a good reason.

But I can think of a reason why the other 182 won’t make it. It won’t be for lack of trying. Everybody wants to be rich. Sure, there are those who denounce money and fall for the belief that it’s evil.

But I think most of those 99.5% who don’t make it self-sabotage. They don’t want to get stuck in these self-defeating patterns, but they can’t shake them. They never develop a mindset of abundance. They never replace their beliefs with better ones.

Here is a better one: Everybody can be rich.

I know. It feels almost frivolous to think it. Do it again. “Everybody can be rich.”

I’m not smart enough to explain why and how that’s possible, but Naval is:

“Let me give you a thought exercise. Imagine tomorrow we could wave a wand and everybody was trained as a scientist or an engineer. Everybody. Even if you weren’t very good, you’d have enough understanding of computers, you could write some code, you could build some hardware.

And don’t tell me people can’t do it - because they can. That’s just a tyranny of soft expectations. That’s just you looking down on somebody else. They can do it, they just have to be educated.

Now, if they’re educated, all these hardware and software engineers, scientists, biologists, technicians, we would all be done within five years. Robots would be doing everything. From cleaning toilets to cooking food to flying airplanes and driving ubers.

And what would we be doing? We would all be doing creative jobs to entertain each other and research science and technology. We would have wonderful lives. So it is really just a question of education. Nothing else.”

If we had perfect education, everybody would be rich. Of course, you can now keep asking follow-up questions: How do we do that? How do we educate ten billion people? Where do we get the resources to build all this stuff?

It’s a hard problem. But - and this is the point - it’s a solvable problem.

Envy makes the world go round. At some level, we don’t want to believe everyone can be rich. It’d make us less special if we are. It’d take away too many excuses.

But it would also make it easier for us to make decisions that help us get there. No need to compete so fiercely. No need to be suspicious. Just help those you can with your unique skill set, and let the world reward you.

Everybody can be rich. All 100%. The only question is will you choose to be?


About Thought Experiment Thursday: Einstein said we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. Science estimates we have about 35 thoughts per minute. That’s a lot of chances to change our thinking. So on Thursdays, that’s what we’ll practice.

A question opens the mind. A statement closes it. Let’s keep ours wide open.

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