“We learn that when financial constraints are removed, the things people gravitate toward are active leisure activities and job autonomy.”
No, we don’t. We find that successful people excel is roles that allow them to be autonomous. Generally, being autonomous is a choice, like starting a business, and starting that business could lead to more wealth. Wealthy people tend to be self starters, this attitude made them wealthy, it wasn’t the wealth that made them autonomous. You are also forgetting about the 99% of autonomous people who are not wealthy, and have failed in their ventures. Its part of the availability bias. You can only measure what you can see and as a result tend toward seeing their money as the means of their lifestyle rather than their lifestyles as the means to their wealth.
You’ve put the cart about a mile before the horse here. Wealthy people display the characteristics that made them wealthy. They don’t display these characteristics because they are wealthy.