I’d like to begin a new series with a topic that most of us at some point or another (if not incessantly), are interested in, concerned about or consumed with.
Let me start off by telling you in advance that I have a very different take on this topic than most. If you’re open-minded, and willing to consider things differently from your lifetime conditioning, you may find it quite enlightening and empowering.
So, let’s get started. We’ll cover each of these three topics and we’ll start with wealth first.
Ninety-nine percent of the people I’ve ever interviewed (actually 100% but I’m leaving a little margin for error), when asked to define “wealth,” instantly refer to some type of money and/or materialism. It’s interesting that this word has become collectively defined this way because truth be known, this is not what was originally intended. Nor is it the original definition.
You can go after the money and you might get rich
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be wealthy.
When you trace the root of the word wealth back to its origins it literally translates as wellbeing. Please read that again.
I’ve met and worked with countless individuals in my career who have a lot of house and money and car and yet they have slim to no wellbeing.
This is not true wealth.
I was mentoring a man a few years back who told me on our first call, “James I want to be successful.” I responded, Okay, tell me where you’re successful right now. He quickly replied, “I’m not successful. That’s what I need you to help me with.”
I said, Okay, I can do that, where are you successful right now? He replied (a bit frustrated now), “James you’re not listening to me! I’m not successful; and that’s why I need your help!”
How’s your health I asked. He said, “Great, I’ve never been in better shape in my life!” I said, how’s your relationship with your wife? He said, “It’s amazing. We’re more connected now than we’ve ever been.” Okay I said and how’s your daughter doing. “She’s great and she just got accepted to Brown University!”
I paused for a moment to let what he’d just told me sink into his awareness.
A light bulb went on and he said, “Okay, okay, I know where you’re going with this James but that’s not what I mean!
The fact is that my neighbor down the street makes multiple 6 figures and he just got my dream car. A brand new BMW 7 series!”
He was obviously a victim of the mass mentality.
I said, how’s his health? He paused and answered slowly and much more softly, “He just had a heart attack a few months back.” And his relationship with his wife? I continued. “They’re going through a nasty divorce right now.”
So who’s more successful? I asked.
“Okay” he said, “I get your point.”
Who’s more truly wealthy?
“Okay James… but I really want to achieve more in my life.”
You can; and I can help you. But first, I need you to realize that you become truly successful and wealthy the minute you’re grateful for what you have.
He had to think long and hard about this one.
It’s an interesting fact that when you’re grateful for what you have, Life tends to send you more to be grateful for.
Funny how that works.
However, since money is always a hot topic; and no matter what I say or write it’s always going to be… let’s talk strictly money for a moment.
“Money is just a convenient way of keeping score.”
~ Richard Branson
Money is nothing more than few things:
- A measurement of your conscious awareness.
- A measurement of the value you provide. Branson’s way of “keeping score.”
- A magnifier.
Let’s discuss each of these separately…
Money is a measurement of your conscious awareness.
It takes a bigger thinker to make a larger amount of money. Now let’s please be clear… not a better thinker, a bigger thinker. Not one of us is “better” than another. We’ve all been given the same creative abilities as the other. But there are definitely bigger thinkers.
Someone who makes $50,000 per year (which by the way there’s nothing wrong with), will tend to have $50K per year ideas, take $50K per year actions, take typical $50K per year vacations, spend time with others who make around $50K per year, go to the same restaurants, workout facilities and social gatherings consisting primarily of $50K per year income earners.
Likewise someone who makes $100K per year will tend to do the same with their peers, as will $1,000,000 per year people and so forth.
So the first step in getting your financial pillar healthier (if that’s your intention) is to start thinking bigger. Start investing time with people who are far ahead of you in the area in which you wish to achieve more. Go to their clubs and social gatherings. Offer to assist them in some way.
This most often takes checking your ego at the door because if you have a high need to be “the smartest guy/gal in the room” you won’t be.
Become a student.
Become a servant.
Be humble but not groveling.
Focus on helping them not yourself. Please read those again.
Many would be greats that I have known were eternally stuck in “would be, could be” because of an unwillingness to do the things in the paragraph above.
Let that not be you.
By the way, if you think you can’t help them, think again. Everyone needs help.
You might just be surprised at what happens by osmosis; and how things begin to shift in your life.
Next, a measurement of the value you provide.
It’s an inarguable fact that you’ll be remunerated in direct relation to the value and service you provide. No more. No less. Actually, to be more specific… the perceived value or service you provide.
This perception of perceived value is directly related to what society holds in highest regard.
Why is it that professional NBA player makes an average of $5.15 million per year, while the average teacher makes approximately $45K per year?
Good, bad or indifferent… we obviously value entertainment much more highly in our society than we do education. Americans spend almost $11 billion dollars per year on movies. How much do you think they spend on books?
I think the answer is obvious.
As an educator I realized a long time ago that I must incorporate entertainment into my education if I even had a prayer of moving forward financially. Actually even a prayer of holding people’s attention!
Nonetheless, you’ll be paid in direct relationship to the value you provide. This topic is much more nuanced than we have space and time to cover here; and I’ve covered it in great detail elsewhere. (reference Habits of the Worlds Most Wealthy).
If money is your problem, money won’t solve your problem.
Finally, money is a magnifier. Money will not make you anything different than you currently are… it’ll just make you more of it.
Money will never solve worry or create happiness…
Both are an inside game and must be solved and created by you.
I can promise you without doubt that if you worry about money when you have little… you’ll worry more when you have a lot.
The only people who worry about money more than the poor are the rich! Because the more money you have, the more opportunities you have…
To lose it!
If you think money will solve your issues, think again. Statistics show that 78% of all NFL players and 60% of all NBA players file bankruptcy within 5 years or less of retirement. Come to your own conclusions. It shouldn’t be too hard.
You think you want to win a quick lottery?
You think you want money to come fast and easy?
You’ll end up losing it all and being miserable in the process. Check statistics on lottery winners if you doubt me. 70% of people who come into fast money, including inheritance and lottery winners, lose it within 7 years or less.
Money will just magnify who you are. Money is only one fifth of the equation of true wealth; what I’ve coined as Harmonic Wealth® (more specifics on this to come), and while money is an important factor, it’s not the full picture.
How do you become truly wealthy?
Find your Innate Abilities and your unique purpose; and exploit them fully in the service of others. (reference Innate Ability Development™ series)
Focus on providing value above and beyond all else; and the money will take care of itself.
Winners always provide ten times more value then they ask for in return
More to come; and the journey continues…
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic,
Permission to re-post my personal articles is granted with acknowledgment of the author, James Arthur Ray and a link back to this website. Thanks and Enjoy!