In this, oh so materialistic, world we live in, we’re inclined to think of wealth in terms of one thing only – money. Sure, it’s probably the form of wealth that most people recognise the easiest and want the most. But is it, really? Let’s test your concept of wealth … Which would you rather have – R2,000,000 and an aggressive cancer with six months to live, or no money but the option of a long healthy life? It’s a bit of a no-brainer. I want to suggest that there are at least seven types of wealth. When you consider them, you might find that you’re wealthier than you realise!
1. Physical Wealth. The first form of wealth is your physical health (and with this I include your mental health). If you can’t get out of bed, it’s not much fun having millions and not being able to enjoy them. If you want to become truly wealthy, go for physical wealth first as that will give you the means to start acquiring other forms of wealth.
2. Relational Wealth. We weren’t meant to live in the forests alone. That’s why we’re lonely when we are disconnected from family, friends and society. Again, money means very little when you have no-one special to share it with. I know people who are fabulously wealthy but who are miserably unhappy because their relationships with parents, partners, children, siblings or friends have disintegrated. Strive to build up your relational wealth and you will never be lonely.
3. Spiritual Wealth.This refers to your values and the development of your spirit – the essence of who you are - through prayer, meditation or contemplation. Many people focus on external (material) wealth and never discover internal wealth. They consequently never discover who they really are and die in poverty in that regard. When you find yourself, you find the wealth that was put into you for success in this life.
4. “Meaning” Wealth. This wealth is built by discovering and developing your reason for being on the planet. This is the only way your life will truly have any meaning. At the end of your life, if you feel your life has had no purpose, you will feel deep regret that your life has been of no value.
5. “Memories” Wealth. As we get older, we are able to build this wealth. Everybody has memories, but not everybody has happy memories – of their childhood, of their partners, of their children, of their careers. This is one wealth you cannot build at the end of your life. You have to build it now by creating the memories you want to carry with you for the rest of your life. When you live for others now, you will build a wealth of happy memories that will make you a wealthy person as you age.
6. “Opportunities” Wealth. Some get given many opportunities, some get very few opportunities, and some create their own opportunities. Some take the few opportunities they get and turn them into something wonderful. Many get given opportunities which they fail to recognise and never seize them. It’s up to you what you do with the many or few opportunities life gives you. The way to build “Opportunities” wealth is to learn to recognise opportunities that come your way, no matter how small they may be, then use them to create magic.
7. Financial Wealth. This wealth is the easiest to spot, but not necessarily the easiest to acquire. There is no get rich scheme that is really sustainable. Set yourself financial goals, then work toward achieving them and you will be able to build wealth in this area.
As you build your career and your life, don’t chase financial wealth only. Make sure you build wealth in the other six areas I mentioned and you will truly be a wealthy person!
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