What is your definition of 'rich'?

Can you define it? What does it look like?

Source: Medium | Photo: Unsplash

Most people, if they answer honestly, would say they want to be ‘rich’. But an individual’s definition of ‘rich’ differs significantly to others, depending on their upbringing, current lifestyle, influences, etc. Humans are often not content with what they have, and continually strive for more; but when is enough, enough?

Humans, no matter how much money they make, adjust their lifestyle expectations in conjunction with their rising bank balance, therefore their level of happiness (for most). This tendency in humans is known as the hedonic treadmill, or hedonic adaption. It shows that humans gain no permanent increase in happiness, even if they, in this context, make substantially more money than they have in the past.

An example. You have a job that pays you a salary of $80,000 a year. Life is good, but you want that little bit extra so you can splurge when and where you want. You work hard toward that elusive $100,000 a year job; you just need to get that promotion at work. You work hard, and, eventually, you get there. You’re excited.

You have the extra money you dreamed about. Life is great.

Then what happens? Over time, you naturally adjust your spending to accommodate that extra $20,000 a year (lunches every day, expensive shoes, you name it), and you find yourself, again, wanting more. That newly achieved happiness is gone.We always want more than we have.

Where does it end?

My thoughts...

Do you need to be financially filthy rich? To me, ‘rich’, from a financial perspective only, means not being stressed about money. Does that mean I want ten million dollars in the bank? Well, I mean, yes, I guess I would like that, but no (although yes). To me, it means having investments eventually take over and pay me an income that can sustain my life, and my family’s life. This means I won’t need to sell my finite time for money, and could instead spend it doing things I want to be doing.

Although it takes a lot of hard work and sacrificing in various areas, ultimately I see it being worth it. If I can reach that goal, I can, instead of selling my time, spend it with my family and loved ones.

To those who can only foresee selling their time for money for the next 30, 40, or 50 years, I ask you: Would you rather be doing what you love for the rest of your life?

You have to adjust your thinking... Does ‘rich’ to you mean sailing on your private, staffed yacht?

Or does it mean having a house you love, a family who loves you, good health, quality food?

You can achieve that on a normal salary, it might just take adjusting your financial mindset and setting a clear path to get there. Instead of spending that extra $20,000 a year you worked toward, save it. Even better, invest it. Live like you still make the $80,000 a year, and have the extra $20,000 work for you.

In the longterm, you’ll thank yourself.

Write a list of what makes you, and your loved ones, truly happy. This list is yours, and everyone’s will differ, but keep it to the fundamentals (not ‘updated Porsche each year’ or ‘travel back in time and party with Elvis’).

Examples could be:

  • Spending more time with family

  • Vacationing once a year

  • Eating healthier

  • Putting kids through good schools.

The things on the above list are tangible. You can define what they are, and you can certainly put a plan into place to achieve those things. Learn to take control of your finances, and achieve your goals.

Redefine your thinking and your goals, then get out there and achieve those goals.

Source: Medium | Photo: Unsplash

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