The motivation of the rich has long been a topic of interest to psychologists. Paul Wachtel, a professor of psychology at the city college and graduate centre at the City University of New York, published a paper a decade ago called Full Pockets, Empty Lives in the American Journal of Psychoanalysis.
His research found one of the great pitfalls of the wealthy is a compulsion to accumulate more. Wachtel acknowledged that while money can be a symbol of success, there are often hidden drivers behind a yearning for more wealth.
”The pursuit of money and material goods as a central aim in life comes at a rather high price,” he wrote, noting that money plays ”a strikingly small role” in a person’s real happiness or wellbeing.
In fact, argues Wachtel: ”We may want, not just what others have, but more than others have, or more for more’s sake.”
The super wealthy take their wealth accumulation very personally, with their view of their self-worth apparently characterised – by the media at least – through achievements.
Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it. – GKC