Note: This article is going to be a little shorter and a little more conversational in tone instead of a structured piece. My apologies if something doesn’t make sense. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments. I’ll answer every one!
How would you define someone who is wealthy or who has wealth? What is wealth to you?
Most people, when they hear the word “Wealth,” immediately think of money. Indeed, even the first definition in Webster’s dictionary defines wealth as “a large amount of money and possessions.”
Socrates says, “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
Alfred Nobel says, “Contentment is the only real wealth.”
And Henry David Thoreau says, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
What do all of these have in common? None of them mention money in their definition of wealth.
I want to challenge you to redefine what wealth means to you.
For me, I think what makes me wealthy is a wife and two little girls that love me. I’m super thankful for them and always will be. I’m thankful for the home I have, the transportation I have, and my schedule, amongst other things. But it isn’t always like that.
Every once in a while, I like (more like need) to sit down and take a look around. It keeps my head in the game. It keeps me from desiring what others have or what I don’t have and don’t need. It helps me to not compare myself with other people and notice how blessed I am. That way I don’t fall into the trap.
I’ve always said that you can’t start being thankful for what you have if you keep desiring what you don’t have. In other words, stop being like the Joneses and start comparing yourself to you and you only. Look around you. See what you already have. See what you’re not missing. Do you have a roof over your head? A family? A mode of transportation (even a bike)? Do you have some things you actually want and don’t need?
Comparing yourself to others is a trap that you can fall into no matter how much money you have. There will always be people who have more than you and always people who have less than you. By redefining wealth in your own life, you can really look at what matters most.