Brook of Life News
Improving the Quality of Your Life…
By Transforming Stressinto Flow!
Editor: Prem Chopra
Volume I, Issue 7, May 15, 2002
Copyrighted @ 2002 by Brook of Life, Inc.
How to Become a Millionaire
In this Issue:
Navigation Log: Anyone Can Become a Millionaire
Currents: Why do Some People Horde Money?
Ripples: Is the Desire to Accumulate Money Wrong?
Your Views: A Navigator Achieves Flow in His Brook
Chattanooga Friends! Please join us at Barnes and Noble this Friday, May 17
to 9:00 pm for a discussion and signing of “The Purpose and Meaning of Life: If I had known…”
Please forward Brook of Life News to your friends! For easier browsing, please click on:
Navigation Log: May 15, 2002, Personal Financial Tip–1st Level of Desire
Anyone can Accumulate a Million Dollars!
While discussing the four levels of desire at a seminar for Engineering Freshmen, sparks ignited
and resonated across the room at the words, “Each one of you can become a millionaire.” Here
is the context in which this statement was made:
“The first level of desire is Lust for life—expressed as desire for food, sex, and other
necessities. To satisfy these desires one needs money, which could be in the form
of income or an accumulation (the golden goose) to provide such income.”
“To illustrate the Principle of Financial Independence we assume a golden goose
of a million dollars. Invested in a balanced mutual fund that pays 8% per year,
this egg will provide $80,000 annually for an indefinite period, less any income taxes.
Ignoring inflation, this will launch you merrily on a journey of Financial Independence.”
Questions flew across the room.
“What exactly is the Principle of Financial Independence?”
“How can I get a million dollars?”
“What has this to do with engineering?”
“How can I save any money with all my student loans?”
“What’s the catch?”
The Principle of Financial Independence:
Grow a golden goose, which lays eggs of cash for life free of financial dependence or stress—
in three simple steps:
Step 1: Create flow—of cash. One purpose for attending college is to prepare for a job
that provides cash flow. Work purposefully, earning a fair reward. Be persistent.
“We don’t have any money to spare right now.” Said several students.
“Act, don’t fret—there is always a way!” Some signed up for the Brook Garden Club.
Five hours of gardening a week paid $50. Others found jobs on campus.
Step 2: Let flow work for you—grow your golden goose by paying yourself regularly.
Be disciplined, save diligently.
“Invest just $50 each month while in college. Choose a mutual fund with historical growth
in the range of 12% to 15% per year. Examples are: TIAA-CREF at www.tiaa-cref.org
or Vanguard at www.vanguard.com. For details, see www.morningstar.com”
Step 3: Go with the flow—don’t dip into it and don’t eat the goose. Be patient.
“What if I use the money to buy a house? Isn’t that a good investment?”
The simple answer is “Yes. However, by taking from the flow, you defeat the Purpose of
the Principle. If you must, then replace it with an amount to which it would have grown
—the sooner, the better!”
How to Grow a Golden Goose:
“Invest $50 per month in a fund that grows at 12% per year, starting at age 18. Every four
years, increase your investment by $100 until age 59. You will have a fat goose.”
“How much?” was the common string in questions that filled the room. Students who were
dozing awoke and resonated with the others.
“$2,600,000!” I informed the awestruck group and continued. “Here’s how you can compute
this.” Seldom has a group so suddenly perked up for a tutorial on spreadsheet applications.
After mastering the fat goose, students had new questions and answers.
Question: “How fat will my goose be if I invest only until age 54?”
Answer: “$1,456, 567.”
Question: “What if I invest only until age 52?”
Question: “What if I stop working at 49?”
Answer: “$792, 472.”
Question: “Why is the difference so large for just three years?”
Answer: “Cash grows with time, as interest earns interest–the heart of Step 3 of the Principle.”
Question: “How much must I invest starting at age 35 to accumulate $1 million by age 59?”
Answer: “$600 per month.”
Question: “By your plan I would start at $50 and invest less than $600 per month for the first
24 years and yet have $1 million by age 52—how can that be?”
Answer: “Money invested now will grow and compound over a longer period. A bird in hand
is worth two in the bush–so, act now!”
“I had no idea how easy it is…”
Act now—you’ll be glad you did!
Benefits: Immediate stress relief as you imagine the state of Financial Independence awaiting you.
You will be less stressed while pursuing your journey through all four levels of desire.
In subsequent issues: More Logs from the 1st and 2nd levels of desire–to transform stress into flow!
Currents: Thoughts underlying the flow of our lives.
“Why do some people continue to horde money all their lives, long after they have built a fat
golden goose?” One seminar participant asked.
This can be understood with the Four Levels of Desire (Lust for Life, Wealth and Respect,
Service and Freedom) and the Five Negative Core Values–the Values of Taking. These Five
Material Motivators are Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Arrogance.
Such individuals continue to grab–to fill their cup, with little or no awareness or interest in the purpose
of life beyond desires of lust. Currents of Lust, Greed and Attachment control their boats. Such
travelers fluctuate between the first two levels of desire, pursuing an unquenchable thirst for more
material possessions and the respect of others who would envy them. This satisfies the second level
of desires. Some even make gifts highlighted for wider ‘name’ (self) recognition When these
self-serving purposes in pursuit of the first two levels of desire are threatened, Anger and Arrogance
raise their ugly heads and the travelers get totally entangled in this Web of Maya. Inner vision is
clouded and masked and the individual is blinded in the journey of life. This is an extreme case of a
materialistic life–a malady that deprives the individual of a wholesome life, which is a life that fulfills
all four levels of desire with happiness and eventually leads to freedom.
“What is the cause of this?”
Ignorance. Not the kind that means “foolishness,” for materialistic individuals can possess great
intelligence–which is focused single-mindedly upon achieving material success; but the kind of
ignorance that means the absence of gnosis, or knowledge.
Ripples: Transient thoughts from The Brook.
A Traveler asked, “Is the desire to accumulate money wrong?”
A Navigator answered, “No. Money helps satisfy the first two levels of desires, which must be
satisfied in a wholesome life. They are desires of taking and they work from the outside-in.”
As Pete Cameron learns:
“With no food in the stomach
All thought is for naught!”
Please share your Ripples by e-mail to email@example.com
Your Views: Thoughts from The Brook of Your Life.
A Navigator Achieves Flow in His Brook.
“After reading your book three times from cover to cover and much thought and reflection I have
realized that like Pete I too am in the brook. Unlike him, I had jumped out of the boat at the sign
of rough water. I purchased a copy of your book, ‘The Purpose and Meaning of Life’ at a time
when I had begun to question the stability of my boat . Now I see that the boat was never in
question; however the manner in which I was navigating was. I have made the needed changes
in direction and am once again in the flow of my brook. I also took all my self-help books to the
local used book store. Thank you, Prem Chopra!” Rick Sells.
We would like to hear your views on thisMost Important Journey!
Thank you for joining us.
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