Last week I got a letter from The Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Club that instantaneously changed the smile on my face into a slight frown. I couldn’t understand it. They have downgraded my status from “Elite” to “regular” informing me that I have not met the required sectors or mileage for year 2007-2008. This came to me as a surprise. I take a local flight every week (or maybe every other week) and I have in fact traveled more times domestically last year compared to the previous years.
And then it dawned on me. I have always persuaded the organizers of my speaking events to book me on PAL flights as I usually take the first flight out and would prefer the comfort of the Mabuhay lounge for a little bit of rest and preparation. But due to budget considerations, organizers book me promo tickets that do not provide miles credit and thus, the downgrade.
Now this leaves me with a quandary. Should I then just leave them to book me whatever tickets they want or maybe I can require them to book me “Business Class” as part of my demands?
My constant email pal Philip See sent me this interesting article that made me decide on the proper course of action. It is based on an article written by Singapore’s millionaire Adam Khoo. Adam says: “Someone came up to me and asked, ‘How come a millionaire like you is travelling economy?’ My reply was, ‘That’s why I am a millionaire.’ He still looked pretty confused. This again confirms that greatest lie ever told about wealth. Many people have been brainwashed to think that millionaires have to wear Gucci, Hugo Boss, Rolex, and sit on first class in air travel.
The truth is that most self-made millionaires are frugal and only spend on what is necessary and of value. That is why they are able to accumulate and multiply their wealth so much faster. I refuse to buy a first class ticket or to buy a $300 shirt because I think that it is a complete waste of money. However, I happily pay $1,300 to send my 2-year old daughter to Julia Gabriel Speech and Drama without thinking twice.
I noticed that it was only those who never had to work hard to build their own wealth spent like there was no tomorrow. Somehow, when you did not have to build everything from scratch, you do not really value money. This is precisely the reason why a family’s wealth (no matter how much) rarely lasts past the third generation. Then some people ask me, ‘What is the point in making so much money if you don’t enjoy it?’
I don’t really find happiness in buying branded clothes, jewelry or sitting first class. Even if buying something makes me happy it is only for a while, it does not last. Material happiness never last, it just give you a quick fix. After a while you feel lousy again and have to buy the next thing which you think will make you happy. I always think that if you need material things to make you happy, then you live a pretty sad and unfulfilled life. Instead, what makes me happy is when I see my children laughing and playing and learning so fast. What makes me happy is when I see my companies and trainers reaching more and more people every year in so many more countries. What makes me really happy is when I read all the emails about how my books and seminars have touched and inspired someone’s life.
The point I want to put across is that happiness must come from doing your life’s work (be in teaching, building homes, designing, trading, winning tournaments etc..) and the money that comes is only a by-product. If you hate what you are doing and rely on the money you earn to make you happy by buying stuff, then I think that you are living a meaningless life.
End of article. Thanks Philip for the wonderful article.
How true this is. Now I know what I would do. I will never insist on my organizers getting me a Business Class ticket. I will feel the joy of lining up on economy row just like the rest of the people I know. I wouldn’t mind waiting outside the lounge because while these things offer me convenience, they do not offer me happiness. And I will be happy not because of what is on me but what is IN me.