Material happiness never lasts !

I received this articel via email. This is written by Adam Khoo in Money and i think what he says is very sensible and correct. this is like what I wrote in my article ” the third Generation curse”

A Blog Post by Singapore ‘s Youngest Millionaire

 By Adam Khoo In Money |

Some of you may already know that I travel around the region pretty frequently, having to visit and conduct seminars at my offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Suzhou (China).  I am in the airport almost every other week so I get to bump into many people who have attended my seminars or have read my books.

Recently, someone came up to me on a plane to KL and looked rather shocked.  He 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 (which I wrote about in my latest book ‘Secrets of Self Made Millionaires’).  Many people have been brainwashed to think that millionaires have to wear Gucci, Hugo Boss, Rolex, and sit on first class in air travel. This is why so many people never become rich because the moment that earn more money, they think that it is only natural that they spend more, putting them back to square one.

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.  Over the last 7 years, I have saved about 80% of my income while today I save only about 60% (because I have my wife, mother in law, 2 maids, 2 kids, etc. to support).  Still, it is way above most people who save 10% of their income (if they are lucky).  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.

When I joined the YEO (Young Entrepreneur’s Organization) a few years back (YEO is an exclusive club open to those who are under 40 and make over $1m a year in their own business) I discovered that those who were self-made thought like me.  Many of them with net worths well over $5m, travelled economy class and some even drove Toyota’s and Nissans (not Audis, Mercs, BMWs).

I noticed that it was only those who never had to work hard to build their own wealth (there were also a few ministers’ and tycoons’ sons in the club) who 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.  Thank God my rich dad (oh no! I sound like Kiyosaki) foresaw this terrible possibility and refused to give me a cent to start my business.

Then some people ask me, ‘What is the point in making so much money if you don’t enjoy it?’  The thing is that I don’t really find happiness in buying branded clothes, jewellery or sitting first class.  Even if buying something makes me happy it is only for a while, it does not last.  Material happiness never lasts, 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 make ME happy is when I see my children laughing and playing and learning so fast. What makes me happy is when I see by 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.  What makes me really happy is reading all your wonderful posts about how this BLOG is inspiring you.  This happiness makes me feel really good for a long time, much much more than what a Rolex would do for me.

I think 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 life of meaningless.



19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Malaysian News Network » Material happiness never lasts !
  2. A true Malaysian
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 15:49:10

    Dr. Hsu,

    I observed the same philosophy as Adam Khoo, but I am not a millionaire.

    It is more rewarding to see my children grown up to be a good, kindhearted, responsible, well mannered, humble, not materialistic and independent persons.

    One comes with nothing, goes with nothing. Important thing is to leave with a legacy and wisdom that we can be proud of.

    Material happiness never lasts.


  3. clearwater
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 16:52:37

    Adam Khoo is a happy and fulfilled millionaire doing what he enjoys most. Would he have been just as happy if he was not that rich? Maybe, but the wealth helps sustain a decent family life style of his own choice without money worries. The truth is, being rich and happy is still a lot better than poor and happy. Believe me, you got more choices with money than without. And that is one reason why money is still important and why Adam Khoo did not give it all away notwithstanding his financial success.


  4. nick
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 16:59:14

    Money can never buy a good night’s sleep with a clear conscience. Live life to the full but don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t fall foul of the law. Use credit card wisely. Invest in your children especially their education and may they acquire a life-long skill. I am not a millionaire but my happiness quotient is. Be generous to those less fortunate than we are, either our time, our wisdom or our money. Yes, fly economy class but if the journey is longer than 8 hours, I bet most millionaires will probably fly business class. Good article, but I will take this article with a pinch of salt.


  5. clearwater
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 17:26:24

    Yes, Nick, I like your healthy scepticism. Adam Khoo admits his dad was rich, so it is reasonable to assume he did not have a deprived childhood and did not lack for material things. If his childhood was poverty stricken, hunger a frequent companion, schooling a 5 km walk, home a rundown shack, parents illiterate, he might sing a slightly different tune. He makes a good point about thrift and meaningless materialism but then, his kids are not yet teenagers whose peers strut about in the latest and the hottest gear! Let him learn in due time.


  6. humbleforest
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 18:58:49

    This is the natural law of yin and yang. One must not be too stingy or miser or too extreme in spendthrift. One must do in a moderate, simple and humble manner. That is the right moral way.

    All materials in this World are temporary “realistic” . They are just for convenient exchange in trading and staying.

    Looking back into the past histories, whatever human beings like great leaders or corrupt people possessed are left behind. Even their own bodies they could not bring back with them. What they could bring back is their good or bad merits.

    This is the Universal Truth, which many present people find it hard to swallow her “belief”


  7. A true Malaysian
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 20:13:54

    Contentment is the limit that one should use in chasing for material wealth.

    I came across this ‘Contentment’ from Justin Choo’s blog, ‘Life is like that’ where he has one posting that he got from his Dhamma teacher’s blog that write :-

    “Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have”

    So, learning how to be ‘contented’ is the key to happiness, this is applies to all of us, either rich or poor.

    Anyway, rich or poor is a relative term, there are rich amongst the poor, poor amongst the rich. Thus, all things fall back to ‘Contentment’.


  8. A true Malaysian
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 22:41:04

    While we touch on material happiness, Din Merican blog has a very good insight into the situation that our beloved country is facing now. I particularly like a comment by a commentator named ‘Man from Dubai’ who rebutted another commentator ‘Kayangsari’. I wish to reproduce here for the benefit of all readers over here :-

    “Dear Kayangsari (& other BN supporters),
    I am afraid you lost your argument on this one. John Mallot has a point and Din Merican has substantiated it well. His description of MoF2 is spot on. I remember Maminco and the fiasco on BNM currency speculation well. (I must be as old as you are, Din!)

    When DAP’s Kit Siang raised it in parliament then, the given answer was; it was only a a paper loss! PM and BN MPs are known to lie through their teeth in our honourable Parliament! Does anybody remember what happened to a listed company, Mun Loong? Ask MoF2 for some clue! He and his boss have got records on failures and ineptitude.

    For once, I, like Din and many other good hearted Malaysians were very proud of Malaysia. But search your inner soul, my dear Kayangsari and BN supporters. Who benefits most from Twin Towers, if not Anakanda Mahathir, A.Krishnan! Not people of Kampung Baru & Keramat, KL, for sure!

    Who benefits most from Monsoon Cup expenditure of over RM300 million, if not Patrick Lim and KJ. Certainly not the poor Terengganu fishermen or boatmakers of Pulau Duyung!

    Who benefits most from Sepang’s F1, if not the late Tan Sri Basir and the young guns of UMNOs in their colourful red and yellow Ferraris, including Mahathir’s son Mokhzani! (You see them there doing their spins on Sundays on an exclusive track built by their fathers!) Do they allow the poor Mat Rempits to use the track when not in used? Of course, NOT! This country is too elitist for that! We are a wealthy country, not poor.

    The fact is, it is bad news when you are poor in this country, especially under the present BN govt. You mentioned education, more schools, colleges and universities. A wonderful choice of topic indeed! But have you seen any primary schools lately? Obviously not! I suggest you to visit any rural schools in any part of the country and see it for yourselves. See the poor conditions of the schools and its facilities. See the poor students, some of whom still struggling to read and write despite been years in school! Some schools have not received new investment for years and years. And the level of training they gave to teachers…! And what have happened to smart schools, fully computerized, which the govt claimed to have spent over a billion RM?

    As for colleges and universities; yes, its true we have a lot more of them except that mostly are located above shophouses, with no proper facilities. Most students called it URK (University Rumah Kedai) or UTM (University Terbuka Malaysia). That says a lot for quality education and student motivation in our education system!

    And you touched on Health facilities? My God, dont go very far, my friend. Just go to University Hospital in PJ, the most urban and most developed area of Malaysia. Pretend you are ill and see how long it takes you to get treated! See the queues, talk to the sicks, wait for the medicine and you can judge it for yourselves! And mind you, its not free anymore!

    So you tell me, Kayangsari and all BN supporters; are we not heading to becoming a pariah state under BN Govt?”

    I also wish to thank romerz for highlighting this link in his blog.


  9. zztop
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 22:50:02

    Great article Dr.
    I will send this to my love ones.


  10. Justin Choo
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 23:38:20

    A True Malaysian,

    You don’t want readers to see “spirits”, do you.

    I clicked the link and I saw “spirits”.

    Try this:


  11. Justin Choo
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 23:40:56

    A True Malaysian,

    You don’t want readers to see “spirits”, do you.

    I clicked the link and I saw “spirits”.

    Try this: (Sorry Doc your Spamware doesn’t like me!!) Link rejected!

    For those who see “spirits” please scroll down to see “contentment”.

    Thanks Doc for allowing this unrelated comment.


  12. Looking for Hockey players for TVC
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 23:59:18


    I suppose, it is never about money, but what money does to one.

    Good article by Adam. Of course, he made his millions by selling you his ideas.

    Go to one of his session (cost you an arm, a leg, probably an eyes + 2 ears), then judge for yourselves whether he is trying “….touched and inspired someone’s life.”

    Good advertisement, Adam !!!!


  13. Dr Hsu
    Sep 23, 2008 @ 09:36:21

    justin, I have receovered your comment with the link from spams. I have also recovered a few of cilipadi’s comments.

    Somehow, some comments with even one link is sent to spam, even though I thought the default allows 2 links.

    Sorry for the inconvenience


  14. Justin Choo
    Sep 23, 2008 @ 10:29:27

    To all readers,

    May I share my opinion on this topic. It is actually not that the message is unknown to an average person. It is the presentation that “sells”. Read any self-improvement book and you will find the same messages and advices and experiences. That’s why these books sell, and that’s why the Yankee motivation “gurus” make tons of money by “teaching” you universal truths in a beautifully-styled “Japanaese” packaging.

    As for speakers, of course if you are Caucasian, tall and handsome with a Darlie toothpaste smile, and of course with the gift of the gab, even Presidents and Prime Ministers will also want to rub shoulders with you!!

    Actually, I am not bragging, I can easilly write such books. But who would want to buy them?

    Actually you can find such “pearls of wisdom” everywhere FREE if you allow yourself to be unbiased. But such is the world, if it’s free no one wants it. But if you put a high price on it, well!!
    This is what we call the “snob” appeal.

    There are thousands of pearls of wisdom, but people choose to ignore them, because they are not pollished to attract.

    But if you are presented with 9 artifical pearls brilliantly polished and beautifully packaged in some lacquered jewel box, you will grab them with no second thought. As for the price, the higher the better.

    Looks like expensive “9 steps” to success is better than a thousand free pearls of wisdom!!

    I better stop, less it becomes a sermon!!

    Thanks Doc.


  15. A true Malaysian
    Sep 23, 2008 @ 11:09:36


    Sorry for the wrong link, mistake on my part.

    ‘Contentment’ is a simple word, but only people with wisdom like the Dhamma teacher can impressed us on such simple but ‘not easy to remember’ statement.

    On your comments above, its true that two items, one can fetch higher value through ‘attractive packaging’, even though in substance, they are the same, or even better than the other.

    This material world is full of these norms which I for one, will try to educate my children not to be like that.

    What is the use of becoming a ‘tin kosong’?


  16. sing lau
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 13:13:03

    Lu 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

    1Ti 6:7 “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

    1Ti 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”


  17. sing lau
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 13:15:41

    “As for speakers, of course if you are Caucasian, tall and handsome with a Darlie toothpaste smile, and of course with the gift of the gab, even Presidents and Prime Ministers will also want to rub shoulders with you!!

    Actually, I am not bragging, I can easilly write such books. But who would want to buy them?

    Your observation is spot on.
    There is a cure though.
    Just name yourself “Justin Chuck” and your book will sell. And when contacted, speak with an strong Yankee accent


  18. Justin Choo
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 16:05:04

    Sing Lau,

    How to change my look and increase my height?
    Cannot speak like Yankee.
    Can only publish book.
    Just like BN MCA MIC Gerakan, no way can do lah!


  19. A true Malaysian
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 16:20:58

    sing lau was apparently referring to verses in Holy Bible which carry meaning in substance are similar with Buddha’s teachings.

    Dr. Hsu’s Forum in fact is a ‘melting pot’ which attracts people of all colors, faiths and beliefs.



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