Kerry asked me for a quote for our Thanksgiving Cards and this was the one I selected. We obviously VALUE our relationship with all of our coaching clients, people we’ve trained, For Impact evangelists and everyone who uses ForImpact.org as a resource.
I thought this was a particularly valuable thought for this week as we prepare for next Thursday with a strong ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
“WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (that’s an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
*My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive… like family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc.
Note: Bob and Melinda Blanchard in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
The list of ‘other’ things that I truly value include things like a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not a lot of money. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness… I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best minds was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
“Being less focused on getting and spending (in part because there is less to spend) is actually helping consumers rediscover that they truly important things are not at the mall or, in fact, for sale anywhere. Materialism, we now know, is toxic to happiness.”
For me, that means it’s all about ‘EXPERIENCES’.
Or, as the Beatles sang in my junior year of high school, (song note) “MONEY CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.”
Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
There’s a great quote on the bottom of a picture from one of the first athletic clubs that I built that says, “Good HEALTH is the greatest WEALTH.”
The Thanksgiving season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… GOOD HEALTH… TRUE HAPPINESS.
For what it’s worth.