Have you ever wondered what really makes you rich? You ask a poor guy, he may tell you about a permanent shelter and regular food would make him happy. You and I have shelter and we get our regular meals, are we happy? We may think a paid off mortgage, enough money in retirement saving would make us happy. But, are we really happy?
Why do we want to be rich? To enjoy our life, isn’t it? And to get richer we sacrifice many god things on earth, like quality time with family, long planned vacation, children’s school ceremony, etc.
To become richer one day and be happy ever after!
To get richer by earning money, in order to become happier, we need to be disciplined and use our limited time effectively. There’s no shortcut. Unless you inherit a fortune by some means, the only way to become rich instantly is by stealing or gambling.
What you can easily do instead is just feel that you are rich and wealthy, do things that make you feel that way. Always remember that ‘being wealthy’ or ‘rich’ is a relative measure. The money I have accumulated in just 6 years of living in America is enough for me to go back to India and live a happy retired life. I would be known as a rich man in my neighborhood.
When I see myself around fellow Americans, I am a middle class non-homeowner. No one can say I am rich. If you ask me whether I feel rich? I would say ‘yes’, I do feel rich. Here are some reasons why I think that way.
I have a different definition of wealth: I’ve elaborated on this already. Richness comes in many forms – emotional, spiritual, social, and monetary. For many, richness only relates to money, but believe me – you don’t need that much money if you are rich from the other three aspects. Through this blog, Twitter, Facebook and in real life (although blogging takes a toll on person-to-person socializing a bit) I do feel richer socially. I am one of the office bearers for a nonprofit organization that organizes events to increase awareness of India and its culture in the USA. Each event we organize gives me a sense of satisfaction.
I have a satisfying job: I have a decent job that I like to do. My job is a fun place and has so many things to learn about finance and technology (weird combo, isn’t it?). I like team environment and doing things together. We treat each other with respect, we celebrate each other’s success. This is a tremendous feeling of fulfillment. I feel richer every day at work. (don’t count off days, please)
My financial future is secure: If I lose my job and the market goes for a toss at the same time, I will have trouble coping (and mental trauma) but I will eventually recover. I have a decent education and enough work experience to secure another job. Also, I have another country to search for jobs in. I am well diversified in the stock market. Not every stock I own would remain depressed for next 20-30 years. Unless a meteor hits us or a bad illness strikes, I feel secure. I have a sufficient emergency fund to take care of me for one year without a job.
I do spend money: Believe it or not, we are oriented in such a way genetically that material pleasure gives us a feeling of richness. I do spend money on a few things and I spend money on self improvement. If you earn well and fulfill all your savings goals, you should give yourself and your family occasional treats. Otherwise life gets boring. We cannot and should not play the carrot and donkey game with those most important to us.
I do eat well: Fortunately my wife is a great cook and she takes special care of my taste. And I do find her cooking much better than the restaurants. This is emotional richness, friends. If your hungry stomach stays happy, your brain doesn’t get too worried about the availability of future meals.
I do take vacation: I use all of my vacation days at work. I live in south Florida, where I can indulge in a lot of activities without travelling far. Last year I took a 21-day road trip around the northern states. That was the experience of a lifetime. Travels are great for learning and feeling richer mentally. When those places or structures from your school text books unfold before your eyes, you do feel that you have achieved something in life!
I satisfy my quest for knowledge: This is a very important aspect of feeling emotionally and spiritually wealthy. Knowledge is wealth! Acquire as much as you can and most of the time this wealth is available for free. If you start building your knowledge, money shall follow. I am not in to books much but, I do read a lot on the net.
I try to look good and dress well: I am not a believer of simple living and high thinking; it doesn’t suit me. God hasn’t given me a spectacular body or looks, but I try to remain well dressed and well mannered whether at the dinner table or during conversation. You will find me clean shaven with hair well done, polished shoes, a nice watch, trendy eyeglasses, and thoroughly ironed clothes. I do try to remain fat free . People will judge the way you look, behave and talk before going deeper to look for your knowledge. A good appearance does make us feel richer on others’ eyes.
Readers, since reading this post, don’t you feel good about your situation? Don’t you feel that perhaps you are not doing badly either? Did you get the true message from this post, which is that money is not the only measure of feeling rich and wealthy?
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