Get off the treadmill if you want to be wealthy!
I know I write a lot about wealth in my blog, and for good reason. If you have the correct mindset with your wealth you can do great things with it. You can create margin in your life that allows you to focus not only on yourself but on others as well. You can reduce stress in your life, give back to your community or other causes you’re passionate about, and maybe even find more happiness (that’s a debate waiting to happen!) While I find value in creating wealth it is not for the purpose of hoarding money or buying more “things”. There is a big difference between knowing how to GET rich and knowing how to BE rich. Wealth only enhances your life if you know how to BE rich.
While it’s important to know how to get rich if you desire to have wealth, it’s just as important to know how to be rich. You see it all the time: extremely wealthy people that are stressed to the max. Life for them is miserable and you think to yourself, “How can they be stressed and miserable? They have it all!” And in that thought, you find the answer: They have it all!
I recently learned of a principal called the Hedonic Treadmill. This principal states that as a person makes more money, their expectations and desires rise in tandem resulting in no permanent gain in happiness. Many of us want to gain wealth because we think it will make our lives better and make us happier. The problem is we get caught up in the Hedonic Treadmill. We simply increase our lifestyle at the same rate we increase our wealth, creating the same level of stress, the same lack of time for family and others, and usually resulting in even less time to do the hobbies we love. The bigger the house you buy, the longer it takes to clean, the more maintenance is required to keep it looking top notch and the amount of money you spend on improvements and upkeep never ends. This is just one example of how having more only creates more stress and consumes your free time.
If wealth is going to improve your life and your happiness you must learn to how to BE rich. To BE rich you must have margin! Margin is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “A spare amount, measure or degree allowed or given for contingencies or special situations”. The best way to create margin is to recognize the areas in which you are on the Hedonic Treadmill and decide to get off of it. As you gain wealth you will constantly be tempted to get on the treadmill, so it’s important to spend time planning how to BE rich to prevent falling into that trap.
“These individuals have riches just as we say that we ‘have a fever’ when really the fever has us.” –Seneca (4 B.C. – A.D. 65)
This quote shows that the issue of getting rich rather than being rich is not a new problem. I write this post with hopes that you will become wealthy beyond your dreams! However, too many leaders encourage the building of wealth but forget the why behind it. Keep focused on the freedom that wealth can allow in your life and avoid the Hedonic Treadmill, or else instead of you having riches, they might just have you!
What ways have you increased your lifestyle along with your wealth? What will you do to get off the treadmill? Click here to reply.