May 1, 2011
I always thought money was a vehicle, designed to get you and your family from one place to another in relative comfort. Unfortunately, most of my patients treat money as a destination. The problem with money as a destination is that you can never quite get there. When is enough really enough?
Today, I met a truly “wellthy” man. He is an executive in a large corporation with lots of responsibility and a salary to match. He lived in a large home with lots of land and taxes to pay. He drove a car befitting his status as a corporate giant. He was wealthy financially but unhappy with his job. Money was his soul destination until he realized he was on the wrong journey.
This brave sole decided to be “wellthy,” not wealthy. He divested of his large house, mortgage, and taxes. He’s living below his means now. He has realigned his goals and started on a new journey with inner peace and happiness as his destination. Downsizing his life has enabled him to begin the second leg of his journey to “wellth.”
His friends and neighbors probably think he is nuts. After all, he was living the American dream: big job, big house, family! What’s this nonsense about job satisfaction? If people enjoyed their jobs, wouldn’t they call it play?
I think he is one of the sanest people I have ever met. I think he is a teacher with a precious lesson to be taught. He is young and energetic. Why shouldn’t he go for happiness? His critics focus on income as a measure of success. They think it’s insane to give up such a good, income producing job. My patient thinks being happy and content with his work product is more important than money. So do I!
“Wealth” is an intangible, defined by each individual. Some feel “wealthy” if they have $50,000 in the bank; others feel poor with a measly $4,000,000. “Wellth” is a state of mind where a person’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and nutritional wellbeing is every bit as important as their financial solvency. I think we would all be better off realizing that, without health, money is worthless. That money is only a vehicle designed to help us find our “wellth.” If money is your destination, change course. If you can’t change course, stop along the way to take care of your other needs. Don’t spend all of your health obtaining your “wealth.”