How Do YOU Define Wealth?

As we have seen over the past few months, wealth can be defined in many ways.  Unfortunately, if we are not consciously grappling with what wealth means for ourselves, most of us take the path of least resistance and define wealth on the basis of how much money someone has.

  • A billionaire is wealthy.
  • A trust fund kid’s parents are wealthy.
  • Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are wealthy.
  • Our neighbor with the shiny new BMW must be wealthy.

And we are generally correct from the standpoint of money or assets. Except when we are fooled by appearances.

People can look wealthy and actually be quite poor (the BMW is leased and the payments are so high that he or she is living in an apartment with no furniture and eating rice and beans or tuna from a can), while others may appear to be poor or just average, and actually be quite wealthy (your neighbor who owns a landscape company and always buys used cars and lives in a modest but nice home might be sitting on a nest egg that would blow your mind).

Most of us want to be wealthy, which is not a bad thing to want, but we tend to focus only on the financial aspect, so much so that we often try to “fake it ’til we make it,” or sacrifice other areas of wealth in the pursuit of this one.

How else can we define wealth?

Would you consider the Dali Lama to be wealthy? In a spiritual sense I would think him extraordinarily wealthy. He is also much happier than many who are financially wealthy.  Our spiritual wealth is just as important as our financial wealth.

What about relationships? Strong bonds between friends and partners are worth more than gold, and as Proverbs says, the right spouse or partner is more valuable than rubies.  Like financial wealth, relationships take work and are built over time.  They can also be lost in an instant when we make poor choices.  Sadly we tend to discount the true wealth of our relationships as we pursue the incomplete image we have of wealth.

Are you taking care of yourself, your body?  Are you making healthy choices for yourself regardless of your actual state of health?  Someone fighting to survive a long term health issue might see someone who is poor but in great health, as wealthy, or they might actually consider themselves more wealthy because of the challenges they have had to overcome.  It may come down to a matter of perspective – what is yours?

Discover your Definition of Wealth

What is your definition of wealth for your life?  Is it out of balance? Are you pursuing financial wealth at the cost of your relationships, spirituality, or health?  How do you know?

The first thing to do is to face it head on and ask yourself what wealth means to you.  What wealth looks like in your mind, what wealth feels like in your heart.

You can do this on your own, but if you have a spouse or partner, I highly recommend you also do it together – you might be surprised how different your ideas of wealth are.  The trick is then to define what wealth means to you as a couple or partnership.

It is also helpful to have someone prompting you with questions and providing feedback to really get at the heart of your definition.  A coach perhaps.  Contact me below if you are interested in discovering your definition of wealth.

Wealth and Money

Wealth and Money

When most of us think of someone wealthy we think of Hollywood starts or billionaire CEOs. The reason we think of them first is the illusion of how much money we think we know they have.

I say illusion because many of those we consider wealthy, are wealthy on paper only, meaning that most of their perceived wealth is tied up in real estate, stock valuations, or future royalties.

Some of those we consider wealthy actually ARE financially wealthy, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but many of them are not.  Think about how many pro athletes, music stars and movie stars end their careers and lives nearly broke.

So what is the relationship between wealth and money?


Money is currency.   Money is whatever we are willing to accept in return for supplying goods and services.  Money can be paper or coin as we know it in the modern world, or Money can be livestock, potable water, real estate, stocks in a company, or a service in kind of some sort.

Money changes forms as often as it changes hands.

Acquiring money is not the same as acquiring wealth.  Wealth is a much broader and more complex concept than money.  Wealth far surpasses money as a concept.


When we finally grasp what wealth really is, the entire universe opens up to us.  When we separate money from wealth, we open ourselves to areas of wealth we might never have contemplated:

  • Wealth of knowledge
  • Wealth of relationships
  • Wealth of integrity
  • Wealth of morality
  • Wealth of wisdom
  • Wealth of experience
  • Wealth of inspiration

We can find wealth in whatever we do and wherever we are.  It is up to us to perceive it as wealth.

If we are merely looking for money, a paycheck, then true wealth will always elude us.

True wealth comes when we focus on what we can contribute.


Wealth and Work: In it for the Money?

Work and Wealth: In it for the Money?

Are you doing your job just for the money?

Our jobs can easily become a simple means to an end.  We work to get paid so we can pay for shelter, clothing, food, transportation and a bunch of other things we may or may not need.

The good news is we have the power and the capacity to change our attitude toward our work, without needing to change the work itself.  Of course if you have an opportunity to change jobs to better align your work with your calling, by all means seize it.  In reality, those opportunities rarely present themselves if we haven’t already adjusted our attitude in our current situation.

We have the power and the capacity to change our attitude toward our work.  [Tweet]

A Simple Attitude Adjustment Exercise

For starters, try beginning your work day writing down different ways you can best serve your customers, clients, colleagues, supervisors, and anyone else you might interact with that day.  If thoughts come up like, “I’m not getting paid enough to do that,” or “that isn’t part of my job,” write those thoughts down on a separate column or page.

Review your lists and ask yourself

  • Which person would I rather work with?
  • Which person is more likely to be given more responsibility?
  • Which person is more likely to be promoted?

Make sure you follow through on at least one of the ideas for serving others during the day.

At the end of the day take 5 minutes to write down then names of those you served, and how you served them.  Reflect back on their responses.  How did it make you feel after serving someone well?  As you do this day after day you will find your passion for your work will slowly increase, and your concern about money decrease.

You may find that your change in attitude toward your work and your increased passion to serve others well will present new opportunities or promotions, and money will no longer be something you worry about.

Wealth and Work

Wealth and Work

Vocation: A Calling

Our work, our vocation (from the Latin vocare – “to call”), is meant to be a source of wealth for us.  While financial compensation is one way for our vocation to be a source of wealth, it is not the sole source, and our pursuit of financial gain over and above every other aspect of our work may make us rich, but seldom wealthy.

The pursuit of financial gain at the expense of one’s calling may make one rich, but never wealthy.  [Tweet]


Finding meaning in our work and ways to positively impact the lives of others through our work is the true measure of wealth in our work.

When we continue in a job we hate, regardless of the money it pays, there is little wealth in or produced by that job or ourselves. We go through the motions, miserable and creating misery in everyone around us. This is the opposite of wealth – it is poverty.

When we do not give our all to the work set before us we are stealing from those we are meant to be helping, and robbing ourselves of the wealth gained by a job well done.

There are several reasons why we might find ourselves in such a state of vocational poverty:

The good news is we can counteract each of these with discipline and some help from friends, counselors, or coaches.

We’ll examine each of these in greater detail in upcoming posts, exposing the poverty in each, and in doing so discover the way to wealth.






Money Time and Energy

Money. Time. Energy.

Most of us have ideas about all the things we would like to accomplish in our lifetime, but seem to protest too much about not having enough money, time or energy to do them.

The solution is simple but hard. We have to plan.


  • We have to create a budget to make sure we are setting money aside and not spending more than we make. Then we have to follow it, changing it as necessary.
  • Bust a Myth: Budgets are not set in stone, they can be changed as often or as little as you want. The only unchanging principle is you can’t spend more than you earn.


  • We have to plan ahead and schedule in the important things. If you want to read more, schedule time each day to read. If you want to meditate more, schedule the time each day and meditate. Whatever it is that you never seem to have time for, schedule the time and then do it.
  • Bust a Myth: Schedules lock us in, they restrict our freedom, man. Actually, done right, scheduling in the important stuff and doing it actually frees us up to enjoy the remaining free time more fully, because we aren’t being nagged by our subconscious about all the things we aren’t getting done


  • In order to have energy we need to plan time to take care of our bodies. We need about 7-8 hours of sleep consistently. We need exercise or activity of some kind daily. And we need time for stillness, to clear our minds and just be still.
  • Bust a Myth: I have too many things to get done.  Sleep can wait.  I’ll hit the gym tomorrow.  Sitting still doing nothing is a waste of time. Time is money.  And so we burn out.  Our ability to accomplish tasks efficiently and precisely is greatly increased with healthy sleep patterns (when our brain kind of “reboots”), regular exercise (which increases the efficiency of oxygen flow to the brain), and periodic times of stillness (which gives us time to make sure we are on the right track or off down a rabbit trail).

Planning takes effort. It’s sometimes a painful process (at least at first). But the weird truth is the more you plan, the more money, time and energy you will seem to have.

Where Did My Money Go?

Have you ever reached the end of the month and asked yourself where all your money went as you scramble to pay your rent or mortgage?  You know you’ve been working hard, you know your paychecks were deposited or the cash was in your hand and in your pocket when you were paid.  So where did it go, and why does the same thing seem to happen every month?

Sounds like you could use a budget.


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“A Budget is simply telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
– John Maxwell

It’s Easier Than You Think…

The real problem with budgeting is that is rarely given sufficient priority.  Think about it.  You go to a job to work mostly because you need to eat and pay rent and perhaps be able to go out for coffee or a drink with friends (hopefully you enjoy it on it’s own as well – but that’s a topic for another post).

What if you couldn’t do any of these things without first putting together a budget?  Or, what if that special someone you were just dying to go out with required you to have a working budget in place before going on a date?

I think a lot more of us would be doing budgets.  It’s definitely easier than some of the effort we put in to get all the things listed above.

Budgets require basically the following information:

  1. Income
  2. Expenses

Told you it was easy.  Furthermore, YOU are the one who has the most control over each of these categories.  You can learn more, work hard, gain experience and thus increase your ability to earn income.  You can watch what you buy, put limits on your wants, and prioritize saving to decrease your expenses.

Once you have these two amounts totaled up, subtract your expenses from your income.  The goal is to hit Zero – where every dollar you make is given a purpose, or “spent on paper,” every month before you bring it home.

If you came up with a negative amount, you may need to decrease your expenses in the short term and work to increase your income in the long term.  Use an envelope system with cash to help limit spending on food or entertainment, for instance, or cut back on amenities like cable and underused or unnecessary phone or other services.  You can always get them back when you begin earning more.

If you came up with a positive amount, you need to tell this surplus money where to go.  Preferably this would go towards outstanding debt, an emergency fund, or if both of those things are taken care of, to savings for purchases, investments or retirement.  If you don’t do this up front, you’ll be wondering where it went at the end of the month.

…But It Takes Time

A quick Google search will tell you that the time to learn a new habit is about 3 weeks.  Budgets are generally done monthly, so it may take about 3 months to become a habit since repetition is a key factor in learning.  There are numerous resources on the web for help on the details of doing a budget, and I highly recommend the resources on Dave Ramsey’s website.  I’ve included a few specific links below to get you started.

“You will either learn to manage money or the lack of it will always manage you.”
-Dave Ramsey