If I asked you whether a particular person is wealthy, you’d probably estimate how much money they have and gauge the worldly possessions they own. That got me thinking. If prosperity is defined as good fortune, why do we confine our definition to money and possessions? What about the strength of our relationships, the memories that we share, and the peace of mind that we enjoy?
Does Money Make You Rich?
Everyone views money differently. Some folks buy what they need, while others buy what they want. Some people use money to measure their success, while others buy things to prove they’re a success. Some people worship money like it’s the most important thing in life, while others are grounded — and keep things in perspective. In any case, one thing’s for certain…many people are actually poor because the only thing they have is money.
Money is only one form of wealth.
Here are 10 factors, other than money, that contribute to prosperity:
Noble character. Character is the fingerprint of your soul. It’s not what you have, but who you are that counts.
Meaningful purpose. You may not have the control to lengthen your life, but you can do much to deepen it.
Abundant memories. Material possessions get old and wear out. Memories last forever.
Deep relationships. There is no substitute for a close relationship. Appreciate what you have, while you have it, or you’ll learn what it meant to you after you lose it.
Celebrated reputation. Your reputation is like a shadow, following you wherever you go. Protect it like it’s the most valuable asset you own — because it is.
Continual peace-of-mind. Some of life’s greatest treasures are immeasurable.
Strong self-esteem. Make yourself proud. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Outstanding health. Some things are appreciated only after they’re lost.
Deep spirituality. Open your eyes. It’s so easy to lose sight of the things that you can’t see.
Clear conscience. Follow your conscience. Sleep well.
What Do You Sacrifice for Money?
I am NOT saying that money is unimportant, but it is important to keep things in perspective. If you define prosperity solely on the size of your bank balance or the possessions that you own, you may wake up one day and regret what you’ve sacrificed to obtain that prosperity.
There’s nothing wrong with earning an extraordinary livelihood. The problem occurs when money becomes an obsession and you forgo valuable things to obtain it. Here are two reasons why that occurs:
Enough is never enough. For some folks, achievements deliver only temporary happiness. They’re never really happy unless they’re winning, and when the winning stops…well, you guessed it…like an addiction, they need (or should I say, want) more. These demands force them to work harder and harder to cross a finish line that keeps moving.
Keeping up with the Joneses. For other people, money is a competitive sport. Proving they’re successful is so important to them that they’re willing to go into debt to feed their addiction. As a result, they don’t have the choice of whether to work harder — to satisfy their money addiction, they’re forced to.
If you appreciate what you have, you’ll never want for more.
Being Obsessed with Money Is a High Price to Pay
Life is about tradeoffs. If you spend time and energy doing one thing, you forgo the chance to do something else (unless you can be in two places at the same time). So choose your priorities wisely. Some folks think they can beat the system — and have everything they want — by going faster or working longer hours. They’re sadly mistaken.
Happiness is a result of balance rather than intensity.
Money should never become the cornerstone of your life nor should it define you as a person. If you pursue money at all costs, the price that you’ll pay is real. The fact is, money can buy things, but it can’t buy everything. You’re rich when you learn that some of the best things in life are free. Prosperity isn’t about money.
How Do You Define Prosperity?
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