Do you know anyone who is wealthy? I do. Do you know anyone who is really rich? If “really rich” means the person is a multimillionare, then I don’t personally know anyone. Of course, I know names of very rich people, like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, etc., but I don’t know them. I just know of them.
Probably, by what I stated in the first paragraph, you can see that I am not using the word wealth in the sense that Adam Smith did in his book, The Wealth Of Nations. I agree that many, if not most people, consider wealth to be directly related to a condition that is reached through money. A person might work real hard and through her/his efforts attain a lot of money and therefore, be considered wealthy. Or, the money might be acquired through cheating, lies or even betrayal and still, the person could be wealthy.
Looking at wealth from only a monetary point of view, leaves most of us with a future of never being wealthy. But, if we look carefully at all of the variations of the definition of wealth, we can find hope that allows all of us to be wealthy. Consider the following secondary definition of wealth: “an abundance or profusion of anything; plentiful amount.” Now, let’s use that definition and consider non-monetary important aspects of life, like: leisure, good health, peace of mind, happiness, good relationships, purpose, loving what you do … Immediately, I get a different view of wealth. Suppose I have an abundance of good health, peace of mind and good relationships? By definition, I am wealthy and frankly, I think that is an excellent way for all of us to attain wealth.
Suppose you reduce all of your “needs” until you have only the minimum required for a healthy life. Perhaps you give up a full-time job and after reducing your “needs” you are able to get by on part-time work. Now, you have more leisure time. Instead of being in the rich class and/or working class you now are in the leisure class. You have an abundance of leisure or a plentiful amount of free-time. You are wealthy!
The point is that there is more than one way to become wealthy. You can become wealthy through money by working, inheriting, scheming, stealing, betraying, playing, cheating and lying. Of course, this list is not complete and the chances that you actually attain the status of being wealthy are low. Most people on earth will never be wealthy due to the amount of money they have. On the other hand, most people could be wealthy, if instead of money, they based their wealth on health, peace of mind, leisure, good relationships, and/or …
Do I know anyone who is wealthy due to the amount of money s/he has? No! Do I know anyone who is wealthy through good relationships, peace of mind, leisure, health, …? Absolutely!
Are you wealthy?