Guaranteed Success

So my friend Andrea sent me this link: it claims to be a guaranteed way to become wealthy.

What what does recommend you do for guaranteed wealth? i clicked through a few more links to chase down the “guaranteed equations” for becoming wealthy:

Personal financial success ultimately comes down to two very basic financial equations. There’s no doubt about it – if you master these two equations alone, you will become wealthy and be far ahead of most Americans:

Income – expenses = surplus
Surplus x many years = wealth

Yep, that’s it. It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? In fact, these seem to be “common sense.” But remember that these are two equations that 70% of Americans can’t get right.

The basic reason why 70% of Americans can’t get it right? They spend too much money:

…they spend too much. They can’t control themselves and they simply over-spend. So they live paycheck-to-paycheck or worse, are falling more behind every month.

Okay, so i’m trying to think where to start with this one. i think i might break this one into a couple of posts; i think it’s worth it to look at what “common-sense” people are offering as financial advice and how it really pans out.

So i think first off is, let’s give them that Americans in general “over-spend.” (How would you tell a single mother, for example, trying to raise 3 kids on her $30,000 a year job that she “overspends”? i can introduce you to one if you don’t know her yourself.) All we need to do is spend less and keep within a budget, so we can sock away 7% a year, and we’re “guaranteed” to be millionaires when we retire. Right?

We’ll ignore the obvious things that would spoil this guarantee, such as… you die or get injured and can’t work. How would the guarantee work then?

Let’s look at some other assumptions they’re using. I think the next big one would be the big one for me right now; we’re all assuming the dollar will compete in perpetuity with the euro, RMB, yen, etc.

One of my teachers liked to tell a story about how they met a man who, before he went to sleep, was a millionaire in his
South American country. Overnight, there was a revolution and the acknowledged government collapsed. When he woke up, his millions in the local currency was worth about $100.

i just saw the movie The Social Network. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out. In one scene, the co-founder of Facebook finds out that he shares have been diluted. Before he got to the office, he owned 30% of the company. After he walked out, his same number of shares entitled him to .03% of the company.

So supposed, when you go to retire, all those yearly 7% deductions you’ve made into your 401k add up to .07% of what the dollar is worth now? This is what we like to call “the emptiness of money.”

The truth is there are no guarantees to be sure of by saving 7-8% of your income. Anybody can make bad investments, any country’s currently can deflate. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to work long enough to see that happen.

So how do i guarantee wealth? Give it away. Plant seeds in your mind to see wealth; learn how to make them strong and how to get them to ripen quickly–then those seeds will ripen in your near future, and if you saw yourself giving to others what they need, you will see yourself getting what you need.

It’s the only sure thing.

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4 Responses to Guaranteed Success

  1. gintuit says:

    Hi ! I’m totally for giving. However, are we supposed to give, at the expense of ourselves? I tried to give without feeling remorse, but I can’t help but feel remorse when I feel I can’t even bear to spend money on meals…… help…..

    • ericbrinkman says:


      So the idea is that we really can’t give at the expense of ourselves. It seems like that though, right? i want to give money, but i only have one dollar left, and if i give it to you then i won’t even have one.

      But what we say is that if you give money to someone, it plants 65 seeds in your mind every instant you see yourself giving away the money. These have to ripen in the future as you seeing yourself getting money back.

      The tricky part is that it takes time for these seeds to ripen, just like regular seeds. So i give away my last dollar, and i feel bad because i can’t see the money i will get in the future. But the opposite is also true: if i spend my last dollar on myself, how much money will i get in the future? None.

      All this is explained in more detail in our book, The Diamond Cutter, by Geshe Michael Roach. You can get it online pretty cheap on if you want to read about these ideas in more detail.

      Or just keep checking out the blog, and thanks for your comment. 🙂


  2. BEN says:

    Dear Eric,

    I have recently talked with a frined, who studies buddism, about theory from the book “Diamond Cutter”. He opined that Buddha did not encourage any reward in return if we gave our generosity/ money to those in need (do somehting for others if we want to have something – the principle in the book). It should be unconditional, and should not expect any reward or return later…..

    How do you think of this?

    Kind regards, BEN

    • ericbrinkman says:

      Dear Ben,

      We get this question a lot; we like to call them Dharma rumors–ideas that someone thought sound good, but never came from a legitimate source. Lots of people think this, but the truth is whether or not you want to get a result it will come. All causes must, by definition, have a result.

      But your friend is half-right; what this originally meant is that, given that seeds take time to ripen, you may not see any immediate reward, nor should you expect it, because seeds take time to ripen. If i give some money to my friend, my bank account doesn’t instantly increase. And i wouldn’t expect it to.

      But some time in the future, that seed must ripen, and i must experience a result. My act of giving will ripen as me receiving something in the future. And i can expect this to happen, because seeds that how seeds work. 🙂

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