we are living in a materialistic time where most people think in terms of money, position, power or luxury. there is a race to reach to the top to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle. but all this is not permanent as death takes away everything. if you cannot take anything with death then why so much attachment with the worldly things?
eastern wisdom says that instead of getting involve in materlistic world, try to attain enlightenment (brahman). unless you realize your true nature, you will have to be born again. you have to somehow come out of this cycle of life and death. you have to liberate yourself from the clutches of illusion (maya). so the eastern wisdom says that put your energy in realizing your true nature because that is something which does not changes and is permanent and cannot be taken from you. even death cannot take it away from you. so its wise to go for eternal than for the temporary world.
whatever you achieve in the inner world stays with you. the experiences of inner world moves with you to another life. thats how a genius is born. genius is someone who sticks to one field life after life. if you want to excel in any field then to stick to it and don’t change the field. similarly if you want to achieve enlightenment then stick to the spiritual path in every life. with each life time something inside you grows and become more mature.
e.g. if you are on the path of meditation then with each lifetime your witnessing skill becomes more strong and enhanced. the quality of witnessing will be there with you in next life time also because meditation belongs to the fourth body. apart from physical body we have emotional body, mental body, spiritual body and 3 more bodies. all these other energy bodies are not developed in everyone but can be developed with sadhana or practice. these energy bodies moves with you to next life time. so whatever energy you put in developing them does not go waste. thats why some children are prodigy even at a very young age because they have mastered some skill in previous birth.
another thing which goes with you to next life is karma. its best not to create any karma but that is for realized souls !!! second best is to create positive karma. because good karma will provide the most conducive situation where you can grow easily. it will support you in bad time as well as in good time.
so if you are looking for real gain in life then focus your energy in the inner world and secondly perform good karmas. grow inwardly and bring more light inside you. remove the darkness from the life with the light of consciousness and healing touch of love.