There is more than one way to get rich. There is also more than one thing that can make you rich. Although riches are typically associated with money, they don’t need to be. In fact, if finances were entirely removed from the definition of riches, I bet a lot more people would identify as being rich.
When we look at it from this perspective, money may be the very thing that prevents us from experiencing richness. After all, if money is the only thing we’re after, then that may be the only riches we ever get. Focusing on our financial portfolio might rob us of so many other riches that are richer still.
So let me ask you this – what kind of riches do you desire?
Riches of the Heart
Do you want to be rich in integrity, rich in wisdom, or rich in humility? Obtaining those riches require no investment capital whatsoever. All that is necessary is a commitment to become an embodiment of those character traits.
Perhaps you lean more toward desiring richness in love, in compassion, or in relationships. Just keep in mind being rich in love is not so much about how well you are loved, but how well you love others. It’s not about getting love for yourself, but giving it away.
How about hope and faith? People who have developed their riches in those areas can weather the worst of storms and stand firm in any adversity. The beauty of their riches is in the fact they can never be taken away – not even in death.
Riches born of Passion, Adventure, Creativity & Influence
Some people long to be rich in knowledge or experiences. A formal education and extensive travel require a significant investment, but there are other ways to acquire knowledge and experience. Reading, working and volunteering provide unlimited opportunities for both.
Do you want to be rich in talent, fame or accolades? Perfecting your talents may naturally lead to fame and accolades, yet those are just by-products. The purpose of any talent is not recognition, but in serving and enriching the world.
What if you want to be rich in power? At first glance, this may seem dishonorable. Yet, that is only because we hear of those who use it for evil. The truth is, to accomplish great things requires great power. It also comes with great responsibility, which is why power is so dangerous if not bound together with integrity and love.
The Downside to Money Riches
As you can see, there are many riches more valuable than money. Even so, I’ve often thought my life would be easier if I had a bigger bank account. However, I’m beginning to see money can actually be a liability to my becoming the person I was created to be.
After all, if I was rich in money, I could live comfortably without needing to develop my talents to support myself. I could buy a palatial estate, build a fence to keep the crazy world out, and hire servants to do all the work. Since I’d be able to buy my power, instead of having it flow from my character, all motivation for personal growth would be removed.
It’s easy to say I’d have even more time to develop my talents, or more resources to do good deeds in the world, but let’s be honest. Even the best of us would be tempted to coast through a life of mediocrity cloaked in luxury. Or worse, our laziness would turn us into critics who point out everything wrong in the world without raising a finger to become part of the solution.
Where to Find Real Riches
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against creating wealth. Neither am I against enjoying it. What I’m realizing more and more is this: the real riches in life are not found in the money we have at our disposal. They are found when we challenge ourselves to become the best version of ourselves.
That’s nearly impossible to do while we’re sipping an exotic beverage poolside, being waited on hand and foot. It might makes us feel rich, but it will rapidly bankrupt our potential.
The truth is, we need discomfort to force us to learn and grow. We need to understand the value of struggle in building character. We also need to remember there are many things money can’t buy, such as a good reputation, a clear conscience, and genuine love.
Everyone wants to be rich in something. What is your something? Whatever it is, if there is any value in it at all, it will be found in the journey toward becoming the person you were created to be.
“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.” ~ unknown