The Secret to Being Rich

What Is the True Measure of Wealth?

Family, friends, and the appreciation of both. You can have all the money in the world, but you can’t be truly rich if you don’t have love, laughter and support from people you love. It’s not only important to have this gift but to appreciate it. So many of us spend our lives chasing the almighty dollar, material things, and unnecessary perfection (such as a perfectly clean house, car, etc). We get caught up in this chase and miss out on the wealth that is right in front of our eyes.

How to Experience True Wealth

Passive Appreciation

Take an inventory of the people in your life who love and support you. Maybe you are blessed with a family that is wonderful. Maybe you don’t have great family, but you have a close set of friends. Maybe you have many friends. Or maybe you have your strongest relationships with the people you work with.

The labels of who these people are is not important. What is important is recognizing the people who give you love, kindness, and support. This doesn’t have to be romantic love or even familial love. It can be friendship love. (Don’t be scared of that word. If you need to think of it as “Like.”)

Active Appreciation

Take time on a regular basis to spend enjoyment time with the support people in your life. Commit to yourself that you will seek out some leisure time with friends and family on a weekly or monthly basis. Plan ahead. Make it happen. Simple is best. Here are some ideas:

  1. Family Fun Day – This is a new routine that we’ve implemented in our family. We are lucky enough to have 3 generations in my family living near each other so a few of us get together every Saturday and do something fun. This usually involves all of us packing in the car to visit a new place not too far from home. Some fun things to do: Nature walks, museums, park/picnic, sightseeing, driving to see new neighborhoods, going to the farmer’s market,…anything. The key thing is being able to have conversation and fun. Let go of work completely, let go of any grudges, and let go of your worries.
  2. Family Fun Night – I saw this idea on a PBS kids TV show. The family in the show made a commitment to spend one night a week as a family. No TV. This family had kids, so each kid got to either do a performance or talk about something important to them. Sometimes they would bake or cook together something to bring to a local homeless shelter, which made it into an opportunity to teach their children. You can really run with this. Even if it is all adults, you could play games that encourage conversation such as telling your favorite stories from your past, discussing the good things that happened that week or things you learned recently. Be creative. Plan ahead. It only takes 10-15 minutes to think of something. Just enjoy.
  3. Friends Fun Night – Have a potluck party. Invite a friend or 2 or more to dine on food, drink and conversation. Have some music ready for later too. If there’s enough people maybe there could be dancing. Or maybe get out a conversation game like Trivial Pursuit or Loaded Questions.
  4. Friend Fun Day – Same as Family Fun Day except with friends. The thing to remember is plan for it in order to make it happen.

Do these things. Trust me. You’ll feel GOOD! And you’ll feel wealthy. Please share your experiences! What is your favorite way to spend time with friends and family, Ilker, Liz, and Deborah? How about YOU?

Thanks to recent commenters: Tisha, Dee, and Oscar (no website to link to, sorry.)

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