I have talked a lot about Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness and I suspect a lot of people assume by Wealth I mean having lots and lots of money.
Wealth does not only equal money, it means being wealthy in relationships, wealthy in your life, wealthy in love, wealthy in health, wealthy in having a higher purpose and wealthy in living out your passions. It is not just about money.
We have to remember, about everything we read, hear and experience to think one step deeper. We have to use Metacognition in every aspect of our lives; awareness and understanding of ones own thought processes. In other-words, when you hear wealth you automatically assume it means money and forget to think one step deeper into the real underlying meaning of what wealth is. We forget to use Metacognition and explore all the meaning behind the word. We all do it, fail to think one step deeper and I am certainly not perfect and fail to do so my self at times... but I actively recognize when I fail to do so and do my best to then think one step deeper into the meaning about what it is I am reading, hearing or experiencing. You will be much better off in life if you do the same, and not only admit when you are wrong, but also recognize that there may be a further more deeper meaning into what it is in question.
There are 4 levels of wealth in the traditional sense of the word:
- Scarcity: 0 - $70,000
- Independence: $70,000 - $150,000
- Prosperity: $150,000 - 1million
- Wealth & Impact: 1millon & above
These levels are fundamental to living the life you want and is also a great guideline to being able to achieve that life.
Level One, scarcity, is the basic level of what we need to not always being stressed out about money. It is the level in which our basic needs are met. We need to be at the high end of level one to not stress about money. For most of us, we are in level one. Level one means we can't really do anything for anyone else such as donating to a charity or giving food to the homeless because we are struggling ourselves. Of course depending on where you live, $70,000 could be pretty ok if you live in say Alabama versus San Francisco.
Level Two, independence, is the level in which you are no longer struggling and worrying so much about money. It is the point in which you can take any vacation you want for instance, unless of course you live in San Francisco. But for most of us it means we can relax a little and enjoy more of what life has to offer.
Level Three, prosperity, is the level where we can truly save for retirement and start to do things for a higher purpose on a more impactful level -but not an extreme amount of impact-. This is where you are able to buy the house and car you want and perhaps fly in friends from around to world on your dime to enjoy a weekend together. It is enough to put your kids through college and start to make investments that will set you up for greater monies into the future.
Level Four, wealth & prosperity, is the level where you can really start to make an impact in the world for a higher purpose. You are able to start foundations to help youth have a better life, you are able to make a bigger and greater difference in the homeless population in your town or city, and you are able to invest into someone else's business model -hopefully for something that is good for the world and not about becoming rich-.
These 4 levels are important to understand as these are the basics to how we can get to where we want to be in life. It is also important to recognize that depending on the town or city you live in that these levels may be more impactful or less impactful because of the economics.
But also in these 4 levels you can see how at each stage what is helping you to live with a higher purpose and what is helping you to fully live the life you want. If you notice it is not just about money either, even though the basic layout is about money. Level one is about meeting your basic needs in life like a roof over your head, transportation and food in you belly. Level two is about being able to explore the world more and possibly start to help others in some way. Level three means you are able to better help others and start to invest more money so that you can make more money which then means you can do more and more for others in the world. By the time you get to level four you are truly able to make a strong impact in the world.
The thing is, money can only buy you so many things. Once you have your basic needs fulfilled; house, car, food, clothes there is not much more you really need. What you really need more money for past your basic needs is to start the business you have always wanted to open, be able to buy the boat you have always wanted so you can sail the ocean and to buy that lavish watch you want so bad and so on a so forth.
After your basic needs are met, how much more money do you really need for yourself once you have gotten to the point to be able to open that business? Not much honestly. Your needs have already been met. And once your needs are met buying a boat is only going to make you happy for so long, not forever, and you will need to buy something else to bring you a little piece of happiness for another short lived time. This is where we get into the true meaning of wealth.
To be wealthy means you are rich with friends, you are rich with higher purpose in life and doing things that are bigger than you and that have meaning to you. Wealthy means that you are rich in health and physically able to do everything from walking to riding a bike to hiking the tallest mountain in the world to beating cancer, to lowering your blood pressure, to relieving stress etc. etc. Wealthy means you are rich in happiness and wake up every morning dancing out of bed because you get to do what you do again today. You are excited to do that thing again. You are happy because you get to spend time with your loved ones again today, with friends again today, to take your dog for a walk at their favorite park. Wealth means that you are rich in love. It means you are loved by the people in your tribe, that you have love for other people in the world beyond your tribe, that you express love to everyone you meet and have a genuine love for the person you are spending the rest of your life with -if that is your thing-.
The thing is, if you are not wealthy in health, love and happiness, what is money really going to do for you? Beyond having your basic needs met and being able to fly a friend in on the weekends and take more adventures around the world, the only thing more money is going to do for you is buy more things that don't truly make you happy for the long term... unless of course you understand and know that living with a higher purpose is the true key. Money is not going to buy you love, not true love. Money is not going to make you healthier, it's not like the having all the money in the world somehow makes up for the fact that you sit on your bum all day and watch TV. Money will sure take care of the medical bill if you break your leg or get in a car crash most certainly, and may even help with getting rid of your health ailment, but it can only do so much. It is not going to get you off the couch. What is going to get you off the couch is you, not money.
Once you start to realize that something as easy as seeing the friends you love spending time with more often brings you more happiness than having more money in the bank account, or living with a higher purpose brings you more happiness, you wake up to what it truly means to be wealthy.