John Train offers the following sound wisdom in his fine book The New Money Masters (p. 248-249):
…trying to achive great wealth – that is, far more than you need – is in fact irrational. You have to give up too much getting there, and having done it, you’re often worse off than before. Midas is ruined by the gold he craves.
Our nature, says Shakesspeare, is subdued to what it works in, like the dyer’s hand, and in pursuing great wealth you become a money person. You see the world through dollar-sign binoculars.
Then, the exaggeration of any principle becomes its undoing, as the excess of a stimulant becomes a poison …
The rational approach is to trust in a sufficiency of wealth as a byproduct of useful life. Happy are those who find fulfillment in their families, their work, and their civic duties, and hope for the best.