Defining “True Wealth”

By “how much is enough?,” I mean the amount that will allow you to stop driving so hard professionally should you choose to do so.  I mean the amount that will allow you to feel safe, the amount that will compensate for risking hard-won relationships, the amount that will affirm your feeling good, smart, successful, accomplished, in control.

Pamela York Klainer

How Much is Enough?

 

How much is enough? What does this mean to you?  As author Pamela York Klainer explains, “The question is deceptively simple, but the answer is critical to integrating money with other aspects of your life and finding happiness.”

Similarly, Karen Ramsey commented in her book Think Again: New Money Choices, Old Money Myths about the importance of making sure your financial life supports what is most important to you:

Money will only improve the quality of your life when it is used with clarity.  Only when you learn to spend money in concert with your underlying values—the things that you most deeply care about—will it become a tool for creating a more fulfilling life.

In other words, money can help you to achieve your goals, but financial resources alone cannot produce the essential ingredients of a satisfying and rewarding life such as peace of mind, loving relationships, and meaningful activities.  Michael Stein, author of The Prosperous Retirement, also recommends a holistic approach to life and money:

“Just as a wagon wheel without spokes will not carry your wagon, money cannot, in itself bring joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, and a sense of balance into your life.  In fact, money sometimes can get in the way of achieving these non-financial goals.”

In addition, it is very helpful to view your life as being multifaceted, and to consider how each facet contributes to the quality of like you experience—now and in the future.  Think of each facet as an integral part of your total “life portfolio” and remember that it is your investments of time and energy that will make your portfolio grow.

In conclusion, always keep in mind that the word “rich” has two meanings.  It can be can be defined as “possessing great material wealth,” and it can also be defined as “that which is abundant, meaningful, and significant.”  Once you have a clear definition of what “true wealth” means to you, then you can invest in each area of life in a meaningful and purposeful way.

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