Something a bit different - How to obtain optimum happiness.
Exceptional wealth is one thing, and it's a good thing, but to me it's a subordinate concept to happiness. If anyone is interested, I'd like to explore ideas on making oneself happy and how that ties in with wealth.
Let's face it, money does matter to happiness in our western society. You need a certain amount of money just to be able to socialize with your peer group.
Going on from the exceptional wealth thread, I like to think more in terms of optimal wealth. How much wealth is enough? Does it profit your emotional being to press further than what is optimal.
Some of the great philosophers postulated about this topic.
Epicurus thought you do need money to a certain level to be happy, but past that it plateaued and could even reduce at greater levels of wealth.
Seneca observed that those with greater wealth were inclined to rage most easily.
Even Lao Tzu was cynical of *excess* wealth.
Through a few quirks of my sporting interests and marriage, I occasionally have socialized with some with truly exceptional wealth. A greater bunch of self absorbed, conceited, unprincipled and truly odious @ssholes I have never met (generally, there are a minority of very nice people).
The very best people I like to be around and seem to be happiest are those who are wealthy enough to socialize in reasonable standard restaurants, buy nice mid-range cars, have reasonable middle class house, travel a bit etc. These people enhance my own happiness, whereas those with not enough money and those with "too much" are a pain in the @ss.
I don't suggest to stop building wealth at x level, but that the clamour for exceptional wealth may be counter productive for the "soul" (with whatever religious or non-religious connotations one likes to hang off that word).
Now I'm not suggesting that all really really rich people are jerks and are unhappy at all, or that poorer people cannot be happy, but that there is an optimum level of wealth. This could even be vastly different for different people.