Gratitude. That’s all I think you need for Life Wealth.
I have known many who are financially wealthy, but are struggling to fill the hole in their heart. I have also know people who are look poor on paper, but are the happiest, wealthiest people I have met. What makes the difference? Gratitude for what you have and the happiness it brings you.
Unlike financial wealth which can be measured on a score card, life wealth is an entirely different thing. I saw the new trailer for the black version of Annie and if it’s anything like its predecessors, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks is a perfect example of financial wealth without life wealth. He is a billionaire but missing happiness. How many of us are non-billionaires with life wealth that we often don’t appreciate? We may not have every material desire, but with a little change of thinking, we could have happiness like :snapsfingers: that! Seriously.
Wealth should have three components: Give, Save, and Spend in (versus Spend, Save, and then give which is so common today). And it’s not about money, though having enough to meet “real” needs and not just “wants” is important. Maybe your most available commodity is time – then give your time to help out with any number of causes. Big Brothers, Big Sisters is a great one for ones with no kids but time. Food pantries and nursing homes are always looking for help (as an aside, we are considering getting Dum Dum “trained” as a service dog because she is sweet, dumb and likes people and the elderly love her). These things both contribute to society first hand (instead of giving to a non-profit that keeps half the salaries for overhead) and makes you feel good.
Saving for your own future so that you can pursue your own passions is number two wealth aspect. It’s not about accumulating wealth to have things or to show your friends and neighbors how awesome you are, but what it means to you to be able to pursue your dreams without the constrains of working to make someone else money. At least that’s what it means to me. I mean, spending money on things you make you and your family happy in the short term is fine, as long as you recognize that having a 2014 car versus a 2007 car isn’t going to a, mount to much on the happiness scale (but could make a big difference on the life wealth scale if you could spend your money on getting out of the rat race sooner).
Coming back to my first sentence – Gratitude. Life happiness is what you make it, and what we pass on to our kids. It doesn’t need to mean “stuff.” It doesn’t need to mean having lots of money. It could mean wringing free enjoyment out of the richest country in the world (libraries, parks, zoos, museums). Games don’t have to mean video games, but even old-school board games or introducing your kids to Dungeons and Dragons (with half-priced books) and some 20-sided die (am about to do this -something I did and loved as a kid) or playing soccer in the backyard with 10 neighborhood kids. Or simply enjoying your wife or husband on a fun night without the kids as you relive old times and make new memories (had one of these happen last night, with some old friends we haven’t seen in a long time – with some fun times just the two of us).
You’re either enjoying your current wealth and making tiny steps (sometimes not knowing why) to other things, or you’re bitching about what you don’t have and staying static as life’s wealth passes you by. Your choice.