True wealth, to me, is not about having more money in the bank than I know what to do with. It isn’t having a huge house with more rooms than I need or driving a new, flashy car every year. It isn’t being able to jetset all around the world, staying in luxury resorts and ordering $100 plates. To me, true wealth is having a happy, healthy family. It is having financial security. It is being free from stress and drama. It is having the freedom to stay at home with my son without worrying about how the bills get paid. It is being able to be an active participant in my son’s life — every day, not just nights and weekends. Yes, I would like to have enough money in the bank to live life comfortably. Yes, I would like to be a homeowner and to have a house where Christian and I both have a place to call our own for work and play. Yes, I would LOVE to be able to travel around the world with him and show him all of the wonders that God has created for us to take pleasure in. However, I have my eyes set on much more than material wealth. I want to be personally and spiritually rich.
I want to take a minute to share with you an excerpt from Dani Johnson’s book “First Steps to Wealth”. Dani is woman after my own heart. She went from being a broke (and I mean BROKE– as in $2.08 to her name broke) and homeless single mother to being a multimillionaire. Listen to what she has to say about wealth. I’m sure you will agree.
“I have a holistic approach to wealth. True wealth to me is accumulating money without sacrificing your marriage, kids, health, or fun. It is crossing over from being a slave to money, to making money your slave — getting money to work for you.
Wealth is also using your wisdom, knowledge, and skills to benefit others, such as teaching your kids how to accumulate wealth. Don’t you want to know you are grooming your kids for success and not failure. You should not want anyone else to mold the mind of your son or daughter.
What about accumulating wealth without sacrificing your health? Or having great relationships with co-workers, your community, and clients? Or being able to secretly bless people who are not expecting it but are so greatly in need?
You can use your life to benefit the lives of others. By using your intelligence and the skills you develop through the years, your accumulated wisdom can help change a family, which in turn changes a generation.”
I took several things from reading these few paragraphs:
1. Be wary of what you are sacrificing in your journey to achieve your goals. If you are neglecting your family, friends, health, or happiness it probably isn’t worth it. I know sooo many people who make good money (or enough money) at their jobs but they are MISERABLE. To me, if your job is keeping you from your family, making friendships a nonexistent luxury, causing you a great deal of stress, negatively impacting your health, making you constantly grumpy or agitated, and just all around making your life miserable, you need to start looking for another way to make ends meet. Honestly, I would take a pay cut if it meant that I would not have to go to a job I hate.
2. God blessed me with the opportunity to raise and love Christian. That is my passion and my duty. The line about not leaving the molding of your child’s mind in the hands of others mirrors my reasons for wanting to homeschool Christian.
3. So many people let money rule their lives. They worry about the lack of money. When they have money, they spend so much time figuring out how they can spend it to show other people how successful they are. People often say that money is the root of all evil. That, however is a misquote. In fact, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Don’t let money, or the lack thereof, take over your life.
4. Reciprocity is another essential part of true wealth. Being able to and actually taking the time to help those less fortunate than you is a sign that you are in a good place — not just financially, but as a person. Typing this, I am reminded of a friend who , when I was really struggling during my first few months as a single mom, took the time to reach out to me. She talked to me and listened. She gave me words of encouragement. She also helped me out financially. And I didn’t even ask her to. She saw that I was in need and she took it upon herself to help me fulfill that need. I will never forget that act of kindness or what it represented. For all I know, she may not have been in a great financial situation herself, but she still gave what she could to help my little family. To me, that is a sign of true wealth.
So what about you guys? What is the key to wealth for you? How do you define wealth? What matters most to you? What drives you?