What does it mean to be rich? Is it about having money or possessions? What about achieving success and completing your goals? Is being rich the same as having riches?
If you read my blog you know that my goal is to see myself and others be rich not just have riches. While I have touched on a few aspects of what I believe it means to be rich I have not written a full post on how to really be rich.
First, I must give credit for the phrase Be Rich. I was listening to a podcast on Stitcher Radio from Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community Church, and he was teaching on a series titled Be Rich. Of course I was a bit intrigued to listen to the message as it’s not often you hear a pastor speaking on how to be rich. It was this message that really inspired me to focus more on being rich and helping others do the same.
We live in a society, and I work in a line of business, where greed is rampant. I see men and women that begin with dreams and aspirations of making money in order to accomplish exciting and amazing things for themselves and for those around them. However, as these men and women get more involved in business and wealth building they start to lose track of the very reason they wanted to gain the wealth in the first place.
So lets get back to the time before we started to gain wealth! I doubt you could find a student in college that does not want to have wealth,but if you asked them why they wanted this wealth you would get an array of answers. Most of these answers would revolve around pretty common themes like wanting to buy the house of their dreams, vacation in exotic places, accomplish exciting goals and activities, and maybe even to help others in need. I would almost guarantee that you would not hear many say that they wanted wealth so they could have more money in their bank account than those around them. Another answer I don’t think you would hear is that they would want wealth so they could work even more because work is their hobby!
So, why is it that this is exactly what obtaining wealth has created? A culture of people that cannot stop working because they must have more than their peers. Of course this is a game you will never win because you will just find wealthier peers. And there’s the culture of workaholics that make the excuse that work is their hobby. I love what I do, but it is NOT my hobby, and if the most exciting thing you can do is get out of bed and come to work everyday you may want to take some time and dream for a while!
The focus turns from working to live, to living to work. The dream of exciting adventures and living generously turns into an obsession with adding zeros to the end of a bank account. I once said this to a teacher friend and she said she must be very rich, because all she has are zeros in her bank account. The sad part of this is that the dream was not the dollars in the bank account, it was what having the wealth would allow you to do. However, the mindset seems to change at some point, and the all-consuming thought becomes “How much can I make?” instead of living out our dreams and giving generously to others.
This shift is caused by two major factors:
It is so easy to become competitive and to use our wealth as a gauge for how successful we are compared to others. We become discontent and unsatisfied, always wanting more.
Our fear is fueled by the worry that enough is never enough. We play the what if game and try to plan for every possible risk causing us to work obsessively rather than enjoying what we have. We forfeit living today and pay the price of worry for something that MAY (or may not) happen in the future. It’s a pretty bad return on investment if you ask me.
Don’t wait until retirement to enjoy your life! Don’t waste your health and the time that you have with your friends and family now assuming you will still have the benefit of these later.
Go on adventures and do the things you love while you still have the health and energy to enjoy them. Don’t wait until the end of your life to start crossing off the things on your bucket list!
Remember the reasons why you wanted wealth in the first place and force yourself to do these things. I use the word force because I can tell you from experience that one of the hardest things I have done in business is to make myself enjoy life and do the things I had always imagined. Why is this so difficult? Once again it goes back to the same two factors that cause our unhealthy focus shift: Greed and Fear. Our society has convinced us that if we are not pushing forward trying to become the next Warren Buffet then we are lazy. I challenge you to live out your WHY! You will find that it takes more willpower than pushing harder for the mighty dollar because its going against the grain!
Get passionate about helping those around you reach their goals. Remember: “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
We all give the same amount when we die… ALL! There is nothing particularly charitable about leaving all your money and possessions behind if you’re not giving during your lifetime; we all do it. Be actively engaged in your giving and you will experience a joy that only comes from living generously.
Almost all of us would say that our family is one of the most important aspects of our lives, but does the way we spend our time reflect this sentiment? Family is precious and we never know how long we have to spend with them, so make sure you spend the kind of time with your loved ones that really counts!
The older I get the more I realize how vital it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Without your health you are unable to really enjoy even the best things in life. Take small steps each day to benefit your health and you will feel richer!
For me personally, if I had everything else on this list but did not have my relationship with God, I would consider myself poor. My spiritual life is what gives me the strength to push through the influences of greed and fear and pursue a life of true riches.
Yes, wealth is part of being rich in my opinion. It is harder to help others and give of yourself when you cannot take care of your own needs. To maintain your dreams and create wealth, start with an end number in mind with the constant focus of doing the things you dream of. This will help you keep a healthy perspective and prevent you from working well past this number. Each person’s number is different according to their dreams; that’s the beauty of being rich!
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Timothy 6:18
How do you protect yourself from greed and fear? What are ways that you choose to BE rich in life? Click here to leave a reply.