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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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12 Responses to The Secret to Being Rich

  1. The Thinking Blog May 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm #

    You really want me to write a long, long comment – don’t you?

    To me, wealth is happiness with my family and friends. Without it, my life would be meaningless. Other than that.. there is very little I can share about my personal life 😉

  2. Ginene May 13, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    The true meaning of wealth is being happy and able to provide for your family without going into dept. You can be rich and miserable. Google “lottery winner bankrupt” Its about 8 people who won the lottery for millions and their lives became worst.

  3. Cade May 13, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    Appreciation is so important for both sides of the party. There are many people I know in my life that have made a difference and I should recognize what they did. I might be independent, but there are a lot of people that have allowed me to be that way. Second it is just as important for them in their lives to know they made a difference. Who has impacted your life?

  4. Dee May 13, 2007 at 7:25 pm #

    Excellent post.
    Sadly not many people realize this kind of wealth, and only tend to realize it once they’ve lost it. Everyone should take the time to appreciate their family and friends before it’s too late.

  5. agentsully May 14, 2007 at 12:04 am #

    So true Dee. I think the key is to keep it simple and then we can find ways to make sure we appreciate them before it’s too late.

  6. K-drama Addict May 18, 2007 at 11:40 am #

    I agree that all people want to be rich or somehow do well in life. And the feeling is empty once you don’t have money. The secret, however, is to have family and friends around you. I always want my family with me and let them feel how happy I am that we are together Even if we don’t have enough money.

    I like having my friends, too. I am making sure I spend good times with them and I hear some of their problems.

    Money is useless if you don’t have someone to share it to.

  7. K-drama Addict May 18, 2007 at 11:44 am #

    Just a follow up— thank you for sharing some ideas how to have fun with my family and friends. I really have a hard time right now with my parents and siblings and I want them to feel fine amidst our problems. maybe it will take me time to do some of those things but I am sure I will.

  8. AgentSully May 18, 2007 at 4:12 pm #

    K-drama, Thank you for all your comments!

  9. Investing & Passive Income March 16, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    great advice.

    life is for enjoying yourself. it isn’t about working or living in guilt. on the same time you need to make sure you take care of your responsibilities.

  10. Thanks for making me “stop and smell the roses”. 🙂

  11. Angela Martens August 10, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    A lot of people wants to be rich but the most important things in life are friends, family and lots of fun


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