Hanging in the balance
History is littered with the names of billionaires and wildly wealthy individuals that suffered from sadness, personal tragedy, illness, or depression.
While it may be hard for most of us to emphathise with the super-wealthy, this alone is compelling evidence that success and happiness should be measured in more than solely financial terms.
The extreme level of competition for high achievers can become intensely pressurised and wearying, while the constant comparisons with others can be anxiety-inducing.
And, of course, total dedication to a career or running a business can leave precious little time for the simpler things in life…or indeed anything else!
In other words, wealth is a state of mind, not just a bank balance.
4 types of wealth
We tend to associate wealth with financial abundance, and this is one obvious measure of the term.
Another form of wealth is social status, or a sense of standing.
We all like to have a role for ourselves in life, and having a sense of purpose is important to us (at the extreme end of this spectrum some will even become martyrs for their cause).
Less carefully considered is that in the hectic modern world time freedom is an increasingly precious commodity.
And, as we are often reminded each time we’re feeling indisposed or ill, all the monetary wealth in the world is of limited use if we don’t have our health, both physically and mentally.
There’s a potential trap here, then, being that an excessive focus on a career, occupation, or business that bestows you the first two types of wealth – financial and social standing – might also rob you of your time and even your physical wellbeing.
It’s about time
Aside from being mindful of our time and physical health, what else can we do? Here are three thoughts for today:
(i) Understand wealth – Napoleon Hill suggested that you need to understand that there are these multiple forms wealth before you can truly achieve it;
(ii) Know your values – Spiritual values outweigh financial wealth, with many of the happiest, purposeful, or most influential characters in history not being rich in the traditional sense of the word; and
(iii) Be optimistic & hopeful – the world can sure be a snarky and sceptical place these days! Yet a positive mental outlook is one of the most valuable forms of wealth there is. Getting on with people harmoniously tends to help.
As the motivational speaker Denis Waitley said:
‘Time and health are two precious assets we don’t recognise and appreciate until they’re depleted’.