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December 15, 2015

Comments

Angelo

I believe my leisure money budget in 2016 will transition to firearms and related equipment/accessories/ammo. That's a hobby I've grown into that will likely displace watches as my biggest leisure expense.

Ulysses

What some people call obsession, others may call focus, or to put it another way, the predisposition for focus might make us more vulnerable to obsession. Men tend to have more focus and are goal-oriented. Money, or the lack or if it, is probably the biggest limiting factor for most collectors, though I reckon if you had more money than you knew what to do with, you'd feel miserable. Personally, I guess I could be described as obsessed with finely-crafted, well-made beautiful things. It could be a watch or a vase, doesn't matter. Does that make me an eclectic obsessive? I just appreciate fine work in whatever form it takes. It only becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with your normal life, at which point we slide from mere obsession to addiction.

Angelo

Ulysses: Your comments are always interesting and at times, inspiring reading for me. You wrote here (an almost offhanded comment) that having more money than one knows what to do with can lead to that person being miserable. It's interesting because I think most of us chase money and try to climb as high as we can when it comes to income. We all want to make more money than we need and save it----build a mountain of money. I play the lottery, dreaming of hitting the lottery for tens of millions of dollars and "not having anymore worries." Yet that one sentence in your post here got me thinking----if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I might not become instantly miserable----but I think I would stop appreciating the things that right now-----I love having. I love my collection of modestly priced watches----most of them worth far less than Jeff's watches (though I have a lot more of them). I love my radio collection----and I don't have enough money to buy museum quality examples of classic radios----so I bought the best I could comfortably afford. My cars aren't new models or really fancy----but I'm a car enthusiast and I like keeping my "fleet" clean and in good repair. These things----collections of a middle-class man----make me happy. If I had so much money that I could buy anything I want at any time----it's not that I would become miserable, but I think I'd first become really bored (no need to chase deals if you're worth 100 million dollars----and I like chasing deals). I'd be bored first, then maybe I would become miserable later. My hopes and prayers would be that if I struck it rich like that----I could find ways to efficiently spend that money to make other peoples lives richer----maybe help a few poor kids afford college or buy cars for people who are struggling and need a reliable car to get to work----that sort of thing.

Ulysses

It's interesting that lately a lot of billionaires having been donating vast sums of their wealth to charity, or setting up foundations. These people have more money than they'll ever require for one lifetime and so I feel they seek fulfillment by giving something back to society. Although personally I have a modest income, I get the most joy from giving. Seeing the smile on someone's face after they receive a thoughtful gift is very satisfying to me. I wonder if the likes of Zuckerberg and Gates feel a similar pleasure from donating thousands of times what I could afford.

The misery of "having it all" is something that would affect individuals of a certain personality - not everyone would suffer from it but I suspect many would. Most of us are continually striving to make ends meet for one reason or another, and after the years drift by we become defined by what we do. The struggle becomes our raison d'etre, and were we to win the lottery or otherwise never have to work again, our defining purpose would disappear and there have been several cases of people striking it rich and then coming off the rails soon after. When you can have anything you want without effort, the rush of victory is erased. An adaptable and enlightened person might be able to get past that fundamental change in the nature of their existence and become a philanthropist or pour the funds into pursuing a noble goal, but the way someone responds to such a change may be written in their distant past, long before they got onto the treadmill of working "for the man", loathing their jobs and looking forward to every Friday. At what point in our young lives did we forget to dream and resign ourselves to our fate, becoming a part of the machine? I'd like to believe that, having had comparatively little for most of my life, i'd be grateful for any significant wealth and would put it to good use, having spent many years dreaming of unfulfilled goals.

Perhaps it is better for us to define our own character rather than allowing our jobs and our environment do it for us. If humans are no more than dust in the eyes of the Universe, let us try to be that speck of dust that catches the ray of light as we drift.

herculodge

Good points, Ulysses. "Having it all" is too often accompanied by a penetrating emptiness, which becomes unbearable.

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