For the greater good

Chasing your dreams and goals isn’t just beneficial for you as an individual. Not chasing your dreams can have a bad side effect on society, even the clearly selfish ones like wanting to become rich. Let’s take a quick look at the downsides to society of you not becoming a multimillionaire.

Forget about your own interest. If you don’t study and try hard to become a multimillionaire the obvious downside is you not being able to enjoy that money and donate loads to your favorite charities, but what are you denying society by doing so?

  • Tax money that could be spent on social welfare and education.

If you want to keep a few million euros of your labor to yourself you’ll need to make a whole lot more because of all the taxes you pay along the way. Tax rates differ but you can roughly assume that for every million you don’t make the tax office misses out on one million as well.

  • Benefit to the economy:

In order to make those millions legally you need to create value to society. You need to offer some kind of solution that people are willing to pay money for. Not pursuing those millions also implies not creating that value. Then there are all the jobs you didn’t create, not only directly employed by you but indirectly through your suppliers etc.

So here you have it. The government is missing out on tax money that could be used for the benefit of your fellow citizens and society misses out on the value you could have created. This doesn’t imply we should all try to become millionaires of course, but we should not feel bad about it either if we want to do so.  This is just an example how even chasing obviously self-centered goals can be beneficial for others as well.

When we solve the problems that stand in the way between us and our dreams, we do not only do ourselves a favor. The problems you face are often the same problems that others face. The solutions you’ve found will be useful for them too. The world benefits from the fruits of your undertaking. When you set out to achieve greatness the world can feast off the products of your labor in the form of the books you wrote, music you created, lessons you’ve learned or the inventions you introduced. It’s a win-win situation. Both you and society benefit.

By staying small and forfeiting your dreams you aren’t doing anyone a favor. You are only setting a bad example and robbing yourself of an interesting worthwhile life.

One comment

  1. Pingback: How to save a life | Adriaan Diepeveen

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