How to be rich

By glblguy

Patrick from Cash, Money, Life has been writing a series recently called How to Become A Millionaire. The series is a great read that provides some dead-on information on the basics for becoming a millionaire. I often read through my the blogs in my feed reader early in the morning. I then throughout the day ponder the various topics and content I’ve read that morning. Patrick’s posts have been giving me a great deal to ponder over the past few days.

At the end of his first article, Patrick asks a question that really made me think: What will your millionaire story be?

The millionaire dream

In American society, the milestone for being considered rich and independently wealthy is to be a millionaire. When I was young, I used to dream of someday becoming rich by starting my own software development company. I looked to Bill Gates as the example of what I could potentially be. My dream of course was to not only run a great software company but to also be rich…a millionaire if you will.

While I still have that dream, the reality is that it will most likely never happen. That’s okay as I have made intentional decisions throughout by life that have pushed that dream farther from my reach. I’ve also matured a great deal and my goals have changed and new dreams have surfaced. For example, I think I would far rather be writing here on Gather Little by Little than running my own software company.

As it is for most young people, money and financial success were a huge focus for me when I was younger. I thought at the time if I was a millionaire, I’d be rich! While I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to be a millionaire, that in and of itself as a focus for my life has gone away. As I continued to ponder this whole topic over the past few days, I gained some significant insight about myself.

I am rich

Sometime over the years, my definition of rich has changed. When I was younger, rich equated to nothing more than how much money I had. If thought that if I had a million dollars, I would be rich. Plain and simple right? Now though, the equation is far more complicated. I’ve matured enough to realize that being rich isn’t directly proportional to how much money you have in the bank. Being rich is how abundant you are. Being rich is instead about the value of the people and things around you.

As I write this article downstairs early in the AM, my wife and 6 beautiful children are upstairs asleep. I’m sitting here in my leather easy chair, surrounded by our modest, but lovely home. I’ll soon be getting ready to drive my not so pretty, but highly reliable, Nissan Sentra to my stable job as an IT manager where I am pretty highly compensated. I’ll spend time with the great staff I have and then return home to be greeted at the door by my kids yelling “Daddy” and my wife saying “how was your day?”.

I also have great friends, a father and step mother that I have a very close relationship with, and most importantly I have a personal relationship with God and have walked in that relationship for the past 20 years.  Looking at all of these things together I realized: I am not a millionaire, but I am rich.

I am rich far beyond anything I ever dreamed as a child, student, or young adult. One of the definitions for the word rich on is “abounding”. I am abounding. My life is abounding. My life is rich with family, friends, joy, and love. I have everything that i need, what more could I want? If what I have right now is all I’ll ever have in life, than I have far more than I ever deserved and far more than I ever thought I would have.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a millionaire and have money. Just don’t make the mistake of measuring what you have in life by the amount of cash in your bank account. Look around you and you’ll most likely find that there are people and things in your life that are far more valuable than money could ever buy. The equation of being rich is far more complicated than just being a millionaire.

Proverbs 13:7 – One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

Are you rich? What are these things in your life that you value? Add a comment.

Photo by: paulhami

18 Responses (including trackbacks) to “How to be rich”

  1. Ryan @ Smarter Wealth Says:

    I like how your definition of rich has changed. Sometimes being rich can mean having great relationships (something no amount of money can buy). This is an important thing to get right

  2. [email protected] Says:

    I have to agree. People in America tend to place value in the wrong things, and I’m not saying that I’m completely innocent here. But you’re right, we ARE rich in so many ways, and even financially. Just ask yourself, would most of the people in the world think you were financially rich?

  3. Sheila Says:

    Beautiful post!

  4. "Mo" Money Says:

    Despite what you hear from the Presidential candidates, America is a country of wealthy people, just like you they have much, especially when compared to the rest of the world.

  5. Patrick Says:

    I feel the same way, actually. To me, wealth is not just a number in my bank account. Wealth is my family, health, happiness, and everything else that is important to. My wife and I have been truly blessed and I am grateful. I consider myself wealthy, even though I am not a millionaire. To me, that isn’t necessary to consider myself wealthy. But it’s also not a bad goal to have on the side. ;)

  6. Coupon Artist Says:

    Great Article! I too have changed my priorities as I have gotten older, and realized that being rich is so much more than having a large bank account. In fact, so many of those who are extremely financially rich seem to have lives that I wouldn’t want for anything in the world (look at celebrities and their constant divorces and problems with addiction, or even consider the suicide and chemical dependence rates of some of the traditionally lucrative professions like dentists and lawyers).

  7. Chelsey Says:

    I’m 22 and just graduated from college. I have an internship that ends in a few weeks, but I just found out yesterday that I got a job for when the internship ends. The pay isn’t wonderful, but the hours are good. And when I think about the future, I think about how I’m going to love this job. I don’t think about money. I think about how wonderful it will be to see my boyfriend more (right now I work at nights and never see him), and how I’ll get to spend more time with my family, and how I’ll get to go to the gym with my friends. I think about how happy I’ll be.

    And most of all, I know that God is in control, and that’s all the abundance I’ll ever need.

  8. Dan Says:

    I agree that a wealthy life is a good thing, wealthy in spirit, that is. However if you limit your definition to the material world, the question is what is rich? A million dollars in cash? In net worth? Ten Million? How much do you need to acheive your goals in life?

    To me, the best definition I heard was from Bob Brinker, who hosts the radio show “MoneyTalk.” Bob always told listeners that your financial goal should be what he called “critical mass.” That was the total wealth you needed to accumulate in order to live off your assets and never dip into your principle. Hypothetically, this meant that as soon as you reached that place you could quit working for the rest of your life and never have to sacrifice your lifestyle.

    This to me has been my definition of rich in a material sense. Once I can accumulate enough that I can live off my investments (considering that I’ll have to weather a bear market or two), my time will be my own to do with as I please. I can go on missions, spend time with my family, start my own business, or continue working. It will be my choice to make entirely. Financial freedom is my goal, and critical mass is how I measure my progress.

  9. Garden flags Says:

    Thank you very much for the great information…This is an important thing to get right

  10. marci Says:

    My greatest wealth is time.
    Far more precious than money ever.
    And more precious as the years go by.

    Great post! :) Thanks.

  11. Value For Your Life Says:

    I feel wealthy because I’m truly happy and thankful for everything I have. I value the fact that I live in a safe place, have a family that loves me, and that my education will give me the ability to live and work anywhere. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

  12. Movingonup! Says:

    I’m pretty rich, but I’m broke. I have a lot more in life than I ever dreamed of having.

    I will feel financially rich when I can I leave a job I dislike or go on a vacation to Greece without worrying about money.

  13. Art Says:

    To be rich is to be able to have almost all the things you like in life. Money is just one of them but the most important thing is to be rich in terms of happiness, contentment and attainment of goals in life. To be rich is simply to help the poor by being not one of them.