There is an old saying that "Money Can't Buy Happiness" and the retort that lack of money can buy all the misery you can stand. And both are true. I've lived amongst the rich and they are some of the unhappiest people you could ever meet. Having enough money to get by is important. Sadly, many in America squander their money on consumer goods, stress themselves financially and "have it all" while being desperately unhappy. I know this as I used to be one of those Americans.
And by unhappy I don't mean merely sad, but also the chronic use of antidepressants, the casual alcoholism and drug abuse, and the serial philandering. There was also severe mental illness, and of course the more than occasional suicide. One of my best friends, who stood to inherit enough money to live the rest of his life without working, had a brother who killed himself when he was only in his late teens. Imagine that - not having to work for the rest of your life and having nothing to do but figure out how to entertain yourself for 70 years or so, and the only viable option seems to be parking your car in the garage with the engine running.
Another friend came from a family that had millions of dollars (back in the day when millions of dollars really meant something). His father pulled out a handgun at the dinner table one night and blew his brains out in front of the entire family. Needless to say that sort of warped his son's mind after that. Fabulously wealthy people - fabulously unhappy with their lot in life. It makes no sense.
Now, I am not saying you should feel sorry for the rich. Fuck the rich - if you can't be happy with millions of dollars while others starve, then something is wrong with you. Rather, I am merely pointing out that being fabulously wealthy does not equate to happiness and in fact, people to are that wealthy are often less happy than people who are merely comfortable or well-off.
For example in my case, I could have made millions of dollars if I chose to do so. I certainly had the ability, and I certainly had the opportunity. After all I was able to become a Patent Attorney, and many of my friends in law school and at the firms I worked at are now partners in large law firms whose names you have heard of. They're easily pulling in well over $200,000 a year, perhaps two to three times that much.
Oh, and some of those wealthy partners I worked for? Some of the most miserable people I've met. Most were on wife number two or three (and their wives were constantly worried about being traded-in, so they resorted to plastic surgery and boob-jobs to maintain their trophy image - they were miserable people as well!). Many were estranged from their children and step-children. They really didn't even have any friends. Even their "partners" at work didn't like them, and they were all willing to stab each other in the back to take over the firm or take a client - something I witnessed firsthand more than once. Maybe that is why I didn't want to end up like them!
So yes, in theory, we could all end up being fabulously wealthy. For some of us it would be a matter of luck, for others a matter of talent. For most of us will be a combination of both along with, of course, opportunity - and lots and lots of hard work, as well.
We live on a planet populated by billions of people. And if you look around this planet, the outcomes for most of these people are pretty miserable. For about half the planet, scrambling to obtain enough caloric intake for the day is their main occupation. And indeed, your calorie intake affects even how you think. When your blood sugar level drops below a certain point, your brain reverts to an animalistic level. Survival becomes the name of the game, and you will do anything in order to stay alive. Civilization is only the nice window dressing of the successful and well-fed community. We are all one meal away from being savages.
Life is too short to obsess about being rich. Be happy instead!