What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word wealth? Money, yachts or watches? In the normal sense of the word, you wouldn’t be wrong. But my challenge in this post is primarily to change your perception of wealth as well as set you on the path to create wealth in the other areas of life. (I’ll leave the financial part to my friends here on Investing Simple!)
In an effort to alleviate any dismay, you should take comfort in knowing that much of the process experienced through financial investing is the same for investing in yourself and developing non-monetary wealth.
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau
If you’re reading this blog, you already recognize the importance of investing. It is truly an invaluable skill in this game we call life in order to get and stay ahead. It requires the understanding of delayed gratification, exercising patience and skill over a prolonged period of time. All of these are valuable traits which are sorely missing from our society. Simply by being aware, you are ahead because you then have the choice of taking action. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Just as you research and carefully select investments, you must educate yourself in the areas which you seek to pursue.
Our first distinction being rather obvious, monetary wealth, extends to all that can be bought. Materialistic possessions include luxury vehicles, watches, clothes and beyond.
Non-monetary wealth refers to all that cannot be bought, touched or felt. Instead, these are things that are experienced, felt and cherished. A few examples of this are memorable life experiences, wisdom, knowledge, health or significant relationships.
Wealthy In Health
The wealth in health is incomparable to that of monetary riches simply because without it nothing else is possible. What good is all the money in the world if you can’t enjoy it?
Let me begin by saying that for any of these categories, it all begins with a choice. You need to make a choice to be wealthy in health. A healthy body, mind and spirit is an intentional habit that must be developed throughout time. You yourself know exactly what you need to do.
It’s the things you’ve been telling yourself you need to work on, but that you’ve been putting off for a while. Make the choice to take action on it. If you know you need to improve your diet, then add those vegetables and reduce the fast food. You most likely know what foods are healthy and which aren’t, and if you don’t, Google it!
Has the exercise been inconsistent, or worse, non-existent? Take the first step and educate yourself on the fundamentals or develop an exercise routine if you’re ready and follow it! It is important to keep in mind that health doesn’t only extend to your physical body, but also to your emotional, social, psychological and perhaps spiritual body. It’s important to develop these areas as well!
Wealthy In Love
How would you rate your friendships? Are you satisfied with your current relationships with your significant other or family? If you’re like me (cold and distant at times) then you most likely need to work on this aspect of your life. We live in the most connected time in history, and yet we are also at our loneliest. You may have more than a thousand friends on Facebook, but how many of those would help you in a time of need? How many would support you through an emotionally difficult time?
I used to be focused on quantity versus quality, however upon self-education through books and experiences, I reversed my objective and gained so much more value from three or five closest friends that I knew I could depend on.
Do you call your parents enough? When was the last time you went on a proper date with your significant other? Put in the effort to strengthen your relationships, because we never know when our time here may be up. I know it may seem macabre to think about the end, but coming to terms with our ultimate fate makes life much more beautiful and worthwhile.
So many times we get caught up in the monotony and tedious day to day life, but just like happiness cannot exist without sadness, and light cannot exist without darkness, life cannot exist without death. But there is beauty in that. Train yourself to see it every day.
Perhaps most importantly, love yourself, because it all begins with you. It is rather unfortunate that we can be so harsh to ourselves at times. Most of the time, we are our own worst critic and while this can be healthy in some aspects such as a project or work, it can quickly become toxic if you continually put yourself down. Learn to love yourself and I am positive you will find tremendous value in doing so!
Wealthy In Happiness
What was your first conscious thought this morning? Did you dread the alarm clock? Did you make getting up a chore? Did you notice it yet? So much of life and YOUR happiness is truly in what YOU make of it. Believe me when I say your thoughts are more powerful than you think. But what is stronger; you or your thoughts? It’s an interesting concept isn’t it? So often we believe we are our own thoughts, but are we? Thankfully, we are not. But you could be if you keep thinking like that!
Who controls you? Your thoughts, your emotions or do you control them? I used to believe that happiness meant you would forever be free of troubles and achieve everlasting bliss. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason why I say fortunately is because if it truly was like that, being the humans that we are, we would quickly grow weary and bored just like we do with anything familiar. You think laying on a beach every day watching the ocean wouldn’t get boring?
The truth is that happiness is a conscious choice you make every day and you can start right now. Gratitude is my key to happiness. It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well and all is right with the world (which is still a great time to be thankful) but the character building times are of course when things are not going well.
When something (you perceive to be) undesirable occurs, do you blame others, yourself or curse the world and the forces that be? Or do you instead say thank you either way and move forward? In the heat of the moment (and I struggle with this myself for now) it can be extremely difficult to be grateful. If you can break through that anger and sadness for just a split second, and think of being grateful and act on it, you can dissipate that anger quickly and turn your mind towards more fruitful thoughts.
Perception Is Reality
In conclusion, I sincerely believe that one should not be an extremist in life but should rather implement all tools throughout life in a balanced manner. It isn’t about one being necessarily more important than the other, but about being in harmony and living a well-balanced life.
Spending too much time working and making money? There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself to reach a goal, but at what cost? Neglecting your family and friends? Too much of anything is bad.
I truly believe the path to becoming wealthy in these areas is through self-examination and reflection. As Socrates once famously stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Sit down and really evaluate these different areas in your life and improve upon the ones which are lacking.
This is truly only an introduction into various topics we could discuss for days. Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself, your education, your relationships, your health and your happiness!
Most of these habits are simple, but not easy. They’re just as easy to do as not to do them and therein lies the trouble. But because you’re already trained to look past the immediate future, you should have a head start!
I hope you make the powerful realization throughout your journey that all these habits create a powerful positive cycle which can turn into a negative cycle simply by lack of action. Taking care of your health gives you more energy, which can result in working on a side project or investment to build up your monetary wealth. This frees up time you could spend with family and building relationships thereby increasing your happiness and fulfillment in life. Now, think of the opposite and ask yourself which life are you living?
Thank you for your time and I hope you make the decision to invest in yourself in order to improve your life in the long-term!