Monday, August 31, 2015

Money Can't Buy Happiness

Maybe I'm going soft in my old age but I actually feel sorry for Markus Persson, the guy who created Minecraft, sold it and pocketed roughly a billion dollars in the process.
Persson, known as Notch to cool people like me, recently tweeted a series of unhappy thoughts about life as a famous billionaire.
"The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.
Hanging out in ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I've never felt more isolated.
In sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time to do shit, watching my reflection in the monitor.
When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and they all hate me now.
Found a great girl, but she's afraid of me and my life style and went with a normal person instead.
I would Musk and try to save the world, but that just exposes me to the same type of assholes that made me sell Minecraft again."

Half the internet thinks he is clinically depressed and needs medication and talk therapy. The other half thinks he's a whiny little baby who should shut up and realize how good he has it.

But on my little corner of the internet I think he's just a guy going through some things that he doesn't know how to process.
He probably never wanted to sell Mojang (Minecraft), but did so because it would greatly enrich his partners, investors and employees.
He's just lacking direction and purpose in his life right now.
He probably has a great time at these fancy parties and hanging out with his cool famous friends (Zedd tweeted at him and invited him to his show when he plays LA next month) but when he's at home and his friends are busy with work and family, he gets lonely and feels isolated. And in this case he decided to let it out.

This is Markus Persson's house. He paid 70 million dollars for it.

But I think we need to remember that in life you need a certain amount of money to live a comfortable life. But once you have food and shelter covered, and some money to buy stuff and go on vacation, each additional dollar like has a very small incremental impact on your happiness.

So I do feel for Notch, and hope that he can find something to fulfill him, give him worth and help him make meaningful personal relationships.

1 comment:

Damino said...

Great post Paul and I agree wholeheartedly. I have read that as long as a family makes roughly $70,000 or more, such that their basic needs are met (food on the table, clean clothing, safe and comfortable home, access to doctors and medicine when needed), that happiness above that level is primarily driven by personal relationships, finding purpose in life, and having time to enjoy yourself and your friends & family. And I think it's entirely true.

I have never been, and will never be, rich or in the same stratosphere as this billionaire. But I can tell you that when I spent 5 years working for mega law firms where I was working around the clock and under great stress, that despite having annual income in my 20's that was more than my parents combined to make at their 60 year old peak, I was thoroughly miserable. And it wouldn't have mattered if I was making a million dollars a year, because I was a deeply unhappy, sad and angry guy with no time to do anything but work. Not worth it and never will be.