What is wealth? Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as: an abundance of valuable material possessions or resources. For most of us wealth is defined by dollars and possessions. While this is undoubtedly one way to measure wealth, I would argue that a person’s freedom of time is just as important as money when it comes to determining wealth. As the definition explains, resources are a defining factor of wealth and a resource is defined as: a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life. Freedom of time would certainly fit this definition.
In his NY Times bestselling book Four Hour Work Week Tim Ferris describes wealth in different terms. Instead of just taking into consideration the amount of money or belongings someone has accumulated, Ferris challenges the reader to think differently.
When calculating your wealth, Ferris puts a great amount of weight on the ability to do what you want with your time. History shows that the truly wealthy traveled to exotic places, enjoyed finer foods and had a freedom of time that most did not. In years past only the very wealthy had the means to do these things. Ferris explains that now we live in a world that allows us to travel and experience life without having to be mega rich. He calls this the New Rich. Ferris argues that a person that makes 150K/year with freedom of life is wealthier than the person who earns 1 million/year but is tied to his job or business.
While it takes a certain amount of money to be wealthy, when we take into account the currency of technology and travel we find that we can live a life of true wealth without being mega rich. As Ferris says, “$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom that it supposedly allows.” This idea is a daily challenge for me.
So the question isn’t really, “Are you rich?”, but instead, “Why do you want to be rich?” Similar to a point I made in a previous blog, knowing the WHY behind the WHAT you do or want, is extremely important. If your quest is to gain income and wealth to create a lifestyle of freedom then it’s important to keep this in mind along the journey. When you lose track of the WHY, it is too easy to become enslaved to the dollar amount you want to see in the bank rather than experiencing the freedom you may have originally desired. When the focus turns to the millions you want to accumulate you will find that making more money will never truly satisfy you. As you make more you will only want more!
I tend to agree with Samuel Johnson who said, “It is better to live rich than to die rich.” Although, I am confident both can be done through the power of passive income and I will share more on that subject in future posts. You can also read my recent post, In Time, for more thoughts on the subject of time and money.
Why do you want to create wealth? What are some of your goals that will help you accomplish that purpose? Share your thoughts by leaving a reply below.