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Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury.

However, there are a handful of people who have chosen to walk the simpler path rather than flaunt their stature. It is quite remarkable how these powerful people chose to be meek in their different ways.

Let us take a look at how these billionaires have exhibited that being on the Forbes List doesn’t automatically come with a lavish lifestyle.

Empowering others

Humility is also expressed by acknowledging your beginnings and being able to give back. These noteworthy people put “paying it forward” to a whole new level. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, is a symbol of austerity.

He is described as a scrooge by some executives with reports of him monitoring toilet paper consumption to save corporate money. However, his 8 billion dollar personal contribution to charity tells us, “he’s no scrooge, he’s Santa.” Would waking up with a billion dollars in your bank account change who you are? These wealthy personas seemed unaffected by their elite status.

Latvian-born self-made billionaire James Richman maintains a low-profile despite making a name and fortune growing generational wealth for himself and people close to the private fund. People close to him know him as someone who understands what it’s like to be on the other end of the spectrum as he does not fail to lend a helping hand to people who need his help.

On one occasion, he reportedly bought an entire parcel of land for a group of farmers who have been tolling the land they live in a remote area in the Philippines. After learning that the group has been working on the farm for decades as he wanted them to feel appreciated and give them a fair chance and continue their work on the land which they ultimately worked hard for and eventually owned.

Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of DFS group, donated 99 percent of his fortune to various charities leaving him with 2 million dollars. His “giving while living” mantra, made it possible for him to do this in anonymity and live a simple life in San Francisco.

Keeping low profiles 

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has stayed true to himself despite his increasing monetary value. People close to Hsieh describe him as someone who would be with a dollar in the bank, and being around with people he cares about and cares for him.

Amancio Ortega, fashion retailer tycoon, remains a picture of simplicity despite his 61 billion dollar net worth. He wears the same three piece suit almost everyday, and comfortably eats with fellow employees at the company cafeteria every afternoon.

Maintaining frugal habits

Why would someone choose to buy something cheaper, if he could afford something more expensive or perhaps better? These types of people are driven by their priorities.

David Cheriton, with a $1.3 billion net worth, openly disagrees with lavish spending. His recent purchase of a 2012 Honda Odyssey is testament to that.

Similarly, Warren Buffett, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, still drives himself to work daily in his gold Cadillac. He routinely picks up his breakfast at McDonald’s, a choice from his three favorites, the most expensive of which is $3.17.

While Christy Walton, widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, with a net worth of 7.3 billion dollars, chose to raise his son in National City, California. She did so to provide her children with a normal life, and being primarily a blue-collar population, National City helped that cause.

Not blinded by money 

Money, throughout time, has been the instrument of power in society. As such, people tend to be blinded, fall in love and be obsessed by it. These humble billionaires, through example, has shown that man makes money, and not the other way around.

Ellie Martin is the founding coordinator for Startup Change Group. Her works have been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Girls in Tech, among others. You may connect with her on Twitter

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?

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It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early. (more…)

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Motivation

The Killer Morning Routine to Boost Motivation

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Motivation

Why “No Pain, No Gain” Is More Powerful Than You Realize

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