virgin islands scene

If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.
-- Malcolm Forbes


The MONTHLY Motivator - May 2006

Richness of life

What comes to mind when you think of yourself as being rich? Do you see yourself living in a big, impressive house, driving a luxurious automobile, traveling the world and staying in the finest resorts? Do you imagine your friends and relatives being impressed with you and having more respect for you because of your material wealth? Can you visualize the freedom from worry that would come from having all your bills paid, and knowing that you’re financially independent? Do you envision being able to spend more time with your family and with those things that truly interest you?

Often, the word “rich” conjures up images such as these. But is that really what being rich is all about? Does a large bank account necessarily translate into a life of richness and joy?

The truth is that material wealth is not the cause of richness but rather it is one of many things that can result from living richly. That is precisely backwards from the way it is often perceived to be. You may see wealthy people living lives of richness and fulfillment and assume that they’re living that way because of their material wealth, when actually it’s the other way around. Material wealth is merely one possible result of true richness.

There is a connection, but it’s not in the direction that it is generally assumed to be. That mistaken perception can be costly and unfortunate. It keeps far too many people from experiencing and enjoying the fullness and richness of life. It keeps far too many people from enjoying the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, the material abundance and the other good things that come as a result of being truly rich.

The thinking often goes something like this. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get a lot of money and then I’ll be able to live a rich and satisfying life.” You want to live richly, so you assume that you must first get your hands on a lot of money or material goods.

Yet when your focus is solely on the money, the things you have to do to get that money will very likely dismay, confuse and frustrate you. When you see money not for what it is -- something that flows from life’s richness -- but rather as something that you must get before you can partake of life’s richness, it can turn your priorities inside out. The result is that you can begin to think of money as something you must take from others. That perspective can lead you to compromise your most dearly held values, disappointing those who are close to you, and causing you to take advantage of others. While such negative strategies might result in some short-term gains, they will never result in true, lasting richness for your life.

If you go around thinking “I need more money, I need more money, I need more money” what you’re really telling yourself is “I don’t have enough, I don’t have enough, I don’t have enough.” The harder you work to make more money, the more you’re persuading yourself that you don’t have enough. The more you convince yourself that you don’t have enough money, the more you’ll believe it to be true. And what you believe about yourself will indeed become your reality. The harder you struggle to get more money, the less likely you are to succeed.

So how do you get out of that vicious circle? You can start by turning around the connection between

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--Ralph Marston

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