Humans have unlimited wants. Recently, Nature Sustainability posted a research article about if the fundamental economic principal was true or not. Researchers conducted a survey of 8,000 people across 33 countries (6 continents), asking how much money they want in their absolutely ideal life. Here is the abstract.

The result shows the principal is not universal, and applies to only a minority of people. In 86% of countries the majority of people thought they would achieve their absolutely ideal lives with US$10 million or less, and in some countries as little as US$1 million or less. However, a substantial minority (8–39% across countries) wanted as much money as they could obtain, indicating unlimited wants. Limited and unlimited wealth ideals were not related to country differences in economic development, but those with unlimited wants tended to be younger, city-dwelling people who valued power, success and independence, and lived in countries with a greater collective focus and acceptance of power differences.

I’m definitely in the majority. I don’t need too much money, but it would be nice to have some.

Did you buy the $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot, 2nd largest in game’s history last month? As the prize was still climbing, my imagination exploded. So I asked my friend about what to do when I win. “How many accountants do I need? Maybe two? If I have only one accountant, the person may run away with the money.” “Miyo, you need at least three accountants. If you have only two, they may conspire and betray you. If there are three, one of them will fall out.”

Then, we started calculating. If the winner takes the lump sum, $324.2 million will be in the winner’s pocket after paying the federal and state tax. It’s still a lot of money. What can we use that much money for? While sharing my money plan, my friend shook her head.
”Miyo, you’re so stingy! You don’t deserve to entertain yourself like that! You didn’t even buy one ticket!”

She’s right. Your dreams don’t come true if you don’t do anything about it. When I joined Toastmasters more than 10 years ago, I just wanted to improve my English. I didn’t even dream about winning speech contests, speaking on many stages, having my own one-woman show, or getting paid to speak. Looking back, I realize how far I’ve come in the storytelling journey. It all started with the first step.

Maybe I’ll buy a lottery ticket next time.


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