I used to want to be rich. Less for the money itself––more for the sake of it. I think that came from an insecurity of poverty I developed from a childhood of being poor, not having parents, growing up in a small town in Montana, etc.

The problem with the pursuit of becoming rich is that it never stops. Being rich is about affording everything––not the things you particularly want to afford.

If your goal is to become rich, and there's something you can't afford, you aren't quite rich enough.

I now don't really want to be rich, but rather wealthy. I've written about this before, but to summarize, richness is mostly about the absolute amount of money one can have, while wealth is about having a surplus income, freedom of obligation, and compounding returns.

Richness is about maximizing what one can afford, while wealth is about optimizing for what one wants to afford.

You pursue wealth to afford the life you want: family, friends, hobbies, love & romance, education, causes & charity, your bucket list, etc.

You pursue richness to afford everything you might want. This comes at the cost (either large or small depending on how you pull it off) of everything else in your life.

The rich are slaves to their richness, for if they stop pursuing it they'll lose it. If a doctor with a 7-figure salary stops working, his salary goes away. What's left are his assets. The amount of cash his assets generate without his attention is his actual wealth.

Is that wealth sufficient for his lifestyle? Probably not. Usually the rich build their lives around their salaries in such a way that if they were to lose the salary they wouldn't be able to afford their life anymore. (This happens all the time with famous musicians and athletes who despite pulling in a ton of cash weren't able to create wealth with it.)

The wealthy have a habit of dangling richness like a carrot in front of ambitious people. Lots of these people don't see the difference between richness and wealth, and end up becoming the engine that drives their boss' wealth.

The pursuit of wealth is scary and uncertain and often contrarian, but there really isn't much of a choice. Even winning the pursuit of richness is a lost game in the big picture.