True Wealth – Defined.

by Jason on August 23, 2010

True Wealth is a topic that’s been on my mind lately.

I think it’s because I have been challenged  over the last couple years by this and have been trying to sort through my own definition of true wealth and its implications for my life.

In 2007 things were going well.  Business was increasing, I was making more money and I had grand plans for taking it to the next level.

Then the 2008 Economic Tsunami hit!

And just like a lot of others, I had to deal with the aftermath.  I had to evaluate our spending, savings, and ultimately what was truly important.

I firmly believe God used the Great Recession to check my priorities.   In a weird sort of way, the recession was good for me!

And that’s when I realized that something needed to change.

I Can’t See, The Wipers Won’t Move Fast Enough!

Have you ever driven through a torrential down pour?

You know the kind where the rain is coming down so fast and is beating against the windshield so hard that it’s nearly impossible to see?

A few months back we were coming home from visiting some friends and we drove through a nasty storm on the highway.  It was freaky.  I wanted the wipers to move faster to keep up with the rain, but they couldn’t – I finally had to pull over because I couldn’t see a thing!

I’ll admit, during the worst part of the 2008 market meltdown, it was very tough for me to see beyond each hour of the day.

As a financial planner, I was feeling the weight of clients’ dreams, goals and investments on my shoulders – there were some days I felt so horrible that I just wanted to pull off the side of the road and wait for the storm to pass.

Every day, I heard story after story from panicked clients looking for answers to things that were so beyond our control and yet affected each one of us.

It was painful.

I don’t say that looking for sympathy, I simply want to give you an understanding of the journey I’ve been on to realize a huge life lesson that I hope others will learn too.

I Can See Clearly Now…

The rain is gone.  Thank you Jimmy Cliff for summing it up perfectly for me.

Once the markets began to simmer down a bit, I began to think critically about what I had witnessed.

We weren’t out of the woods yet in terms of the economic crisis, but I started considering what was most important in life and in business.

I started working through a definition of True Wealth.

I started this blog as an extension of what I was thinking through and as a way to help others with personal finance and more importantly, understand the foundation of building your financial house. 

I also reworked the mission and vision statements, revised the goals and reordered the priorities for my business to incorporate my understanding of True Wealth.

And I’d like to share my learning with you.

True Wealth and the 3 P’s

So here’s what I came up with:

True Wealth is not defined by commas or net worth – it is characterized by the quality of relationships; pursuing your passions and living life with a purpose. 

In other words – it’s the pursuit  of People, Passion and Purpose!

Or the 3 P’s as I’m calling it.

Understanding True Wealth encourages the pursuit of what’s most important, which improves happiness, enlivens the soul and blossoms contentment.

People

At the end of the day, life is about relationships.  Unfortunately, we seem to forget that truth so often just like Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart did as well.

Sadly, he didn’t realize it until he was on his death bed.

How are you doing with investing into your important relationships?  I know I need to continue to work on this.

Passion

What are you passionate about?  If you could do anything, what would you do?

Those are the things that enliven the soul.

Whether it’s helping the poor; giving time to charity; using your personal finance learning to help others understand how to save money; using your passion of capturing memories on film to start a photography business (like my wife did); or using your creative talents for woodworking, cooking, writing or any number of other things.

Use your natural creative talents to live life with passion.

Purpose

Lastly, True Wealth is taking those passions you’ve identified and figuring out what sort of purpose you have with those.

Why are you here?  What were you created to do.  We all have a purpose.

True Wealth is figuring out what that purpose is and using your passions to build into people!

So that’s my journey.  A long road, but a good one.  And a lesson that I hope I continue to learn and you do too!

What Are Your Thoughts?

What do you think True Wealth means?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin@OutOfYourRut August 23, 2010 at 7:06 am

I agree that true wealth includes people, passion and purpose, but it also includes traditional wealth. We all need a certain amount of it to function in the world, and at least to a certain point, the more we have the better we’re able to function.

I think the key really is balance. If you’re entire wealth metric is money you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Despite our best efforts, money is a moving target. It comes and it goes and you never have enough. That’s probably why it can’t buy happiness.

The balance part is that we need to diversify the sources of our happiness, that way when things aren’t going well in one area, we have the others to fall back on. If we have people, passion and purpose, we can have hope even when we don’t have money.

Brian August 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

I disagree. Let’s not redefine words that already have a perfectly good meaning.

Wealth DOES refer to material possessions. That is the meaning of the word. We can talk about spiritual wealth or a wealth of choices, but really we are relating it back to the basic meaning of “wealth”.

I agree with the underlying principle that you are putting forward; happiness is much more than the physical. In fact, often the physical situation and the mental/spiritual/emotional situation are only loosely related.

As a devout Christian, I believe that we must place our hope in Christ. We must also be careful to not subjectively redefine words like “love” or “wealth”.

I love reading your very thoughtful articles and I look forward to seeing more of your excellent work!

Mick Parker August 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

Build up treasures in Heaven; not here on Earth

Arohan August 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

What Kevin said!

But you are on to something here. And this is what I sincerely believe. If you have a purpose in life, and passion to go for it, and people to support you, you will achieve the monetary wealth as well. The key is to channel all your energies towards sustaining that passion and go towards your purpose single-mindedly.

But back to Kevin’s point, even beyond sustenance, you can do more good in the world if you have money than if you do not.

Todd @MoneyDay2Day August 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

Jason,

We constantly stress in our classes that being rich (possessing wealth) is not an amount, an income, or a lifestyle. It’s not about showing off. It’s not about envying and wishing. It’s about setting goals and then setting about to make your money work for you so that you can reach those goals.

Hopefully, as we also teach, those goals involve the important points in life, such as your 3 Ps. Money for money’s sake, like Kevin points out, is a futile quest. In this consumer-driven society, there is ALWAYS something new and exciting that demands our money. Even the 7th and 8th graders in some classes we facilitate can tell me in short order how they would spend $100,000 by the end of the week if they had it. Yikes!

The trick, as we say, is not how much you earn, but how much you keep. That doesn’t mean hoarding money, again for money’s sake. That means keeping it to use for what’s important to you.

Thanks for putting those important things into a handy, easy-to-remember package of Ps.

Best wishes on your own path to True Wealth. We’re all in it together.

Todd

Jason August 23, 2010 at 10:31 am

Wow! Lots of great comments everyone – keep it going. I may have to respond in another post to answer a lot of the coments here!

The Yakezie August 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

People, passion, purpose indeed!

The whole reason why I started The Yakezie network is so that a group of passionate bloggers like yourself can get to know other people, and have a PURPOSE greater than just our own online endeavors.

Our purpose is to seflessly help others, and that is what The Yakezie Scholarship vertical is all about.

Best,

Sam
The Yakezie

Ken August 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I agree with your thoughts. True wealth is definitely about putting the important people in your life in their proper place. It’s about leaving a legacy (values) that you would be proud of and want your children to pass on theirs. It’s about living by your plan not those of someone else. I think serving others has to be in there somewhere for me. I get a lot from helping others reach their potential. Great post!

Jackie August 24, 2010 at 6:46 am

I agree, true wealth is about more than money, and people, passion, and purpose are the most important. Too often we get caught up in worrying about money (either making more of it, or not having enough of it) and forget to focus on what really matters.

Khaleef @ KNS Financial August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Great points. If those 3 P’s are more important to us than money, we will lead fulfilling lives. While we do need money in order to function in this world, we need to trust God’s promise to supply all of our needs and basic provisions if we just seek after His kingdom!

Joe Plemon August 25, 2010 at 10:04 am

I believe it is possible to have monetary wealth without having True Wealth (as you define it). I also believe that if one really does focus on people, passion and purpose, monetary wealth will become a by-product. Why? Because serving others (people), having a passion for what you do and clearly knowing your purpose will energize you so much that monetary wealth will flow your way.

Thanks for helping us realize what is truly important in this life.

Moneyedup August 30, 2010 at 12:55 am

It is great how you recognized that the recession has been a big wake up call for you and that it can actually be a positive thing. Seeing the positive in a negative situation takes a lot of effort and strength, but it can help you to move forward on the path to true happiness.

Moneyedup August 30, 2010 at 12:55 am

It is great how you recognized that the recession has been a big wake up call for you and that it can actually be a positive thing. Seeing the positive in a negative situation takes a lot of effort and strength, but it can help you to move forward on the path to true happiness.

Anonymous August 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

Thanks Moneyed. Of course, I didn’t see the positive right away, it was only after further reflection once the worst of it was over, but now I can see what I needed to learn through it all.

Woodworking project plans September 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

True Wealth is figuring out what that purpose is and using your passions to build into people!

Joe Plemon November 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm

The windshield wiper analogy is an apt one. The flip side is to move through life by habit and never get out of your routine enough to really think through your passions, purpose and how they impact the people you come in contact with. Thankfully, the recession has been a wake up call for many of us at both ends of the spectrum.

Vijjupauls February 15, 2011 at 4:18 am

hai
thanks
good informations
can i get some financial help to grow up with my family

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