There’s an expression here in the United States that money changes people (for the worse) and that power corrupts people.

I disagree. 

Instead, I think money and power merely amplify a person’s true values and beliefs. 

When you have money and power, you aren’t beholden to anyone. You can be yourself without fear of the consequence of what others might do in response.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on the individual.

A cruel poor person, that suddenly becomes rich and powerful, becomes a rich and powerful cruel person.

A kind poor person, that suddenly becomes rich and powerful, becomes a rich and powerful kind person.

You can replace the word pair “cruel”/“kind” with other word pairs, and the statement would still be true.

  • disrespectful / respectful
  • selfish / generous
  • foolish / wise
  • cold / warm

If you want to be successful in your career or personal life, there is value in having relationships with those who are rich and powerful. I certainly won’t deny that.

However, if you want to enjoy your career or life, what matters more than associating with the rich and powerful is associating with people whose character you admire and respect — people whose values are compatible with your own.

Now if you can meet people whose character you admire and respect, and they also happen to be rich and powerful — all the better. But it is a serious tradeoff (that I personally do not make) to sacrifice the former for the latter.

What good is success if you are miserable? (And how can one legitimately consider misery a success?)

So here’s my thought of the day:

Who do you spend your time with? And why?

It’s worth thinking about.

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