He gets up at 4 in the morning. He spends about a half hour doing Tai Chi and another half hour static stretching. Then, rain or shine, he runs an average of 15 kilometers. On some days, when the weather is perfect, he'll go 30 or 40 kilometers. There's always a green sedan following a discreet distance behind him. In the car, aside from the driver, there's an emergency physician and two close protection specialists. The make of the green sedan changes regularly. However, it must always be some shade of green because that's the color of his eyes.

After five kilometers he falls into a state of euphoria-the "runner's high." He doesn't care if it's endorphins or some sort a mystical transcendence. It's times like these when he knows he can take on the world. When he talks about this state, he uses terms like "happy," "bliss," "joyful" and "ecstatic."

The elation he experiences on his runs, however, is nothing compared to the happiness, the ecstasy he feels when he's in the zone sitting in front of his computer screens, barking instructions to his subordinates and moving moliminous sums of money around the world, looking for slight changes in the price of sovereign debt. When he's "on," the pure orgasmic pleasure he experiences from trading surpasses any other feelings he has. The long distance runner talks about it as the greatest natural or chemically induced high imaginable.

After obtaining his MBA, he started out as a lowly fixed-income trader a couple of dozen years ago. Over time, based on a stellar track record, he took over the fixed-income trading desk and became a partner. His firm gave him a portion of the desk's profits as well as a share of the firm's profits. A decade later, he became exceptionally wealthy by any criteria. But, it wasn't enough.

The Wealth Creation High
The long distance runner doesn't need any more money. He'll readily explain it's not about the money. Short of just handing his fortune away, there's no way he can imagine spending all the wealth he's accumulated. He only left his firm and started his own hedge fund to get much richer, much faster. It's the wealth creation high.

Using his well-developed and exceptional talents to make money is what makes the long distance r unner excited, motivated, and, yes, quite happy. For him, the wealth creation high is superior to every other type of high, from long distance running to sex to love to anything-and I do mean anything-you can imagine.

The wealth creation high is not about deriving pleasure from the anticipation of accomplishments. Nikhedonia is available to most everyone.

The wealth creation high is not restricted to the self-made super-rich. I've observed its potency among the less well-heeled. A financier on his way to amassing a substantial but comparatively moderate fortune explained the "turn on" of creating wealth as "snorting credit lines." Another Wall Streeter described it as "orgasm after orgasm without the downtime or the blue pills." A third explained that the wealth creation high brings him to a state of perfect ataraxia-a state of bliss that he cannot reach any other way-and he claims to have tried many other ways of getting there. The wealth creation high is commonly a very potent internal motivator for those that want to amass very sizable personal fortunes­­-even for those who are comfortable with less.

The question asked of many of the self-made super-rich is, "How much is enough?" It's the absolutely incorrect question. For many of them, their motivation to create vast wealth is not about what they will do with the money. It's all about creating vast wealth and the state of happiness, contentment and often acute euphoria that accompanies the process. This doesn't mean they won't be wonderfully socially beneficent. However, while there certainly are notable exceptions, to a large degree, once they achieve a certain baseline of personal wealth, those striving to join the ranks of the self-made super-rich are doing so because of psychological rewards as opposed to financial rewards.