wealth is a mindset

Wealth is More than a Number on Your Computer Screen

Erik Basics, Financial Education, Thoughts of a Mastermind 14 Comments

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There’s only a couple more days this Financial Literacy Month, and we’ve covered a lot so far in the month of April.

Starting out, I shared with you why money matters, why financial literacy is important, and why I believe personal finance is personal.

After touching on these subjects, we’ve covered quite a bit, and I’ve shared with you the very intimate financial details of my life:

Today, I’m going to flip the script.

Guess what?

Financial wealth DOES NOT MATTER in the grand scheme of the world.

Wealth is not just a number on a computer screen.

True wealth is so much more than that…

What is Wealth?

wealth definitionApril is Financial Literacy Month in the United States and so far this month, I’ve shared with you a number of ways for you to build your financial wealth for a better future.

In this article, I want to talk about wealth in general.

What is wealth?

As defined in the dictionary, wealth is “a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches.” Wealth is also, “an abundance or profusion of anything; a plentiful amount.”

The dictionary talks about wealth through a financial lens, but I have a little bit different definition.

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~ Author Unknown

Financial Wealth is just a Piece of the Puzzle

A single mother sent me an email the other week.

She is in her mid-50’s, has $0 in savings, a mortgage and some credit cards to pay off, and now, is looking to retire in her 60’s.

In her email, she told me how it’s unfortunate that she didn’t wake up financially until last year, but she is now on a solid path to building financial wealth.

What struck me (and left me feeling small and inspired) was her outlook going forward:

I’m happy where I am now, I’d like to think that I’m a good Mom: I raised my kids alone and they are now beautiful and bright, working their way through college.

I managed to keep them safe, healthy, and stable throughout their teens and that’s a hard task for a single Mom. But Hey! I did it and I’m very amazed at my Personal progress.

Erik, I’ve highlighted the word personal because everything in our world is personal, and it’s up to me to embrace the challenges, failure, obstacles, setbacks, etc..

Women at my age are retired already, or just about there, while I’m just starting and have 10 more years to go towards my Personal Financial goal… Other women in my situation would probably live on government welfare, or maybe they will do a little bit and then rely on their children when they are old. Personally, I’d prefer to not burden my kids and I will become financially independent.

First off, I’m very thankful she reached out to me, and second, I’m inspired because like she said, many other people in her situation might say, “I can’t save up for retirement. I’m at $0 now… I’ll just take welfare when that comes around.”

She is happy, and it has nothing to do with the money in her bank or investment account.

She has a wonderful family: multiple children who have grown up and are doing amazing things in the world, her health, and a solid paying job. Living with an abundance mindset, there’s nothing stopping her from achieving her goals!

She is a truly wealthy person.

The True Meaning of Wealth

To me, true wealth is happiness and freedom in all areas of life: relationships, health, family, work, knowledge, and money.

Earlier this week, I shared with you some of my financial success in my early twenties: growing my net worth by $170,000 in 3 years. While tracking your progress over time is something I preach, I didn’t really like writing that post. Again, true wealth isn’t financial wealth.

I’m writing this post on Tuesday night, and publishing it tomorrow morning.

Today, I walked home from work because it was a nice Spring day in Minnesota.

The sun was shining, I wasn’t particularly hungry or thirsty, and I was doing home to a house I own and call my shelter – all things that I should feel lucky to be able to experience.

Instead, I was feeling a little bit down on my life: my job has become less collaborative, as I’ve taken on a solo project, and I don’t talk to too many people at work anymore. I haven’t hung out with my family as much as I would have liked, and lately, I haven’t been exercising as much as I would have liked either.

I’m a bit worn out, and not feeling the best mentally or physically.

I could have $100,000,000,000 in the bank, but if I’m not happy with my life, then what’s the point?

The email from my amazing reader was a wake-up call.

I’m incredibly fortunate to be in the position I’m in, and I should be thankful and continue to help others.

How to Become One of the Wealthiest People in the World

wealth is a mindsetI’m a strong believer in living with an abundance mindset; a mindset where you can win, and I can win, and a mindset where everything and anything is a possibility.

You can do anything in this world if you put your mind to it.

Being wealthy is a mindset. How can you become one of the wealthiest people in the world?

Easy:

  • Help Others without Expecting Anything in Return
    • Amazing things happen when you put yourself into the world – be it your time, your effort, your money, your personality, whatever it is!
    • The energy you put out into the world will come back to you in unexpected ways – but it will come back to you!
  • Practice Gratitude
    • For me, I’m incredibly lucky to have been born in the United States. Just by being born in the United States, I’m already ahead of over 50%+ of the entire world in terms of quality of life.
    • I’m also lucky and thankful to be born into a loving and supportive family, and thankful for the opportunity to work for a great company
    • What are you thankful for?
  • Appreciate Others and Congratulate them on Success
    • If you win, that doesn’t mean that I’ve lost.
    • If one of my friends or family members succeed in something, then it’s time to celebrate! 🙂
  • Remember through education, reading, learning, and growth, you will become more valuable
    • You know that feeling when you talk to your grandparents, or someone much older than you, and they tell you stories back when they were young? There’s always a fantastic message somewhere in that story, and it didn’t get there by accident.
    • Giving your time or money is a piece of the giving puzzle: knowledge, wisdom, and a personal touch can go a very long way as well.

Concluding Thoughts on Building Wealth

Wealth is a mindset; wealth is the ability to experience the world in a happy, full and free way.

True wealth is success in your relationships, family, friends, work, knowledge, and money.

Putting yourself out into the world and doing so to provide value to others is key to living a wealthy life.

Give to others and you shall receive everything you’ve ever hoped for.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Readers: are you building wealth in all areas of your life? Are you living in abundance or scarcity? What is your definition of wealth?

Erik

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Comments 14

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  1. My definition of wealth is pretty simple. The happier you are, the wealthier you are. My ultimate measuring stick for wealth is happiness. Plain and simple.

    There is no point of having all the money when it doesn’t make you happier.

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  2. That is the type of email that truly puts wealth into perspective, and also further highlights why we do what we do (personal finance blogging).

    Wealth is ultimately what we determine it is as individuals. Wealth for me could be having $1,000,000. Wealth for you could be having 3 loving children. Wealth for anonymous could be working at a job they love.

    The essential priority in wealth is discovering what it means to YOU, and not what it means to others. That’s where people get in trouble and end up living a life they end up regretting.

    Great post!

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      Author

      Thanks Sean for stopping by and the comment 🙂

      Personal finance truly is personal!!! While getting your financial situation helps a lot with the other stuff, it shouldn’t distract from becoming truly happy in other areas of your life 🙂

  3. Great post, Erik. I love your philosophy and especially the list for becoming wealthy. Good stuff!

    That said, as someone who was widowed in her early 30s and left with $400K of debt to deal with, I have learned that it’s a lot easier to be happy with money. Money = options, regardless of what life throws your way. My definition of wealth isn’t limited to money, but it certainly includes it.

    I often hear the argument that you can have all the money in the world and still be miserable. Conversely, you can be perfectly happy without a dime to your name. Both statements are true, but neither negates the important role that money plays as a means of protection and liberation. I’ve been happy and broke, and now I’m happy and well off. I can tell you which I prefer!

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      Thank you Doris for stopping by and I’m really glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      I’m guessing you prefer happy and well off 🙂 I love your words of wisdom. While you had a tough experience in your early 30s, you are now much better off and I’m very happy you’ve been able to come so far. Now, it’s awesome you are looking to inspire others!

      Thanks for sharing your story Doris and looking forward to reading more about it on your blog!

  4. What an amazing email to receive from a reader! I wish I had such a positive outlook towards my life. I have a solid foundation with work, money, family, friends, etc. but I do catch myself having a bad attitude over the small stuff sometimes.

    Great reminder to look at the whole picture and not only on one aspect, thanks Erik.

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      Author

      I was feeling down on myself a little bit, and then I read that email.. my day did a complete 180!

      Thanks for stopping by Sarah – do you think you can change your outlook?

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