Coco Chanel, a woman who overcame her fair share of financial difficulties to become one of the most successful women of all time, said: ‘there are people who have money and people who are rich.’
‘Richness’ is defined by Google as “the state of existing in or containing plentiful quantities of something desirable”. Dictionary.com calls it “having an abundance of something that is valuable and interesting.”
Most of us can agree that money is valuable only in that it can acquire for us the things we truly want. But interestingly… how many of us pursue wealth creation that specifically leads us into what will stimulate and grow us?
The very wise Benjamin Franklin said “money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.” It’s true – if you long for a sweet, nourishing, fulfilling life, your answer is not cash. Money is kind of like the soil to plant the tree in that will eventually bear that sweet, satisfying fruit for you to enjoy.
So, what do some of us do? We load a whole bunch of soil into our lives, if we can, and then wait next to our pile of soil, waiting to be happy.
The question really is; what are we planting?
Of course, to plant a ‘tree’ of richness in the wealth you’re creating, you have to first decide what true richness looks like for you; what choices do you want to grow in your soil? The immediate images that come into your mind may be a certain holiday or a certain item like a home or car. The more you think about it, and have helpful conversations with those you trust, this may change. It’s not about having the money, but what we do with that money.
The honest truth is we often focus on gaining money because it’s thought to be ‘the easy road’. How many times have you heard people say, ‘If I just had enough money, my problems would go away.’? It’s easy to just go after money and stuff imbued with externally recognised ‘status’ that will tell everyone else that you’re winning at life.
Retail therapy is a real thing – an alarming amount of us use money to buy things, which will make us feel better. There are times when a binge is helpful for the soul, but we cannot live a life of constant binging. We need to know that we’re doing something – not just in the future, but now – that is of value. That’s when we start to feel rich.
Allocate time to ponder what true richness looks like for you. What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?