The Two Paths to Wealth

I have two images of wealth in my mind. 

One looks like what most people envision. A lavish lifestyle, a big plastic mansion, a luxury yacht, 8 sports cars… You get it.

Then there is this second image. 

In this picture, there is a place called home. It’s quaint, rustic. Filled with messy, silly, somewhat annoying children. There are a lot of friends and family nearby. A wonderful community. Maybe some dogs. Actually, there are definitely some dogs.

Dogs are the best. 

But it isn’t without money. That image still appreciates its importance. The need to provide. To first survive before we thrive. But it also understands what enough is. It understands true contentment. It’s not clinging to anything. Or feeling like it has to have more. It’s ok with less, provided it feels fulfilled in the other areas.   

The areas that really matter. 

Of course, we aren’t human doers at the end of the day. We are human beings. But to be, we must first do. This is the paradox. We must first put food on the table before we can relax and savour and enjoy. 

However, provided you do enough – and you know what enough is – after you’re done doing, and you know how to let go, I believe you’ll see that being is the true embodiment of wealth

And I think we really need to ask ourselves what we are making money for. If you’re not content with your lot now, what makes you believe a bigger house or fancier car will solve that? If you’re incapable of being still and appreciating what is, what makes you think more money will allow that to happen? 

This is why I believe we need to ask ourselves what enough actually is.

And I mean strip it right back. What is just enough to be comfortable, for having a roof over your head and putting food on the table? Really, what is enough? How do you get it? And I’m just talking about having enough for your retirement or 10 years from now, but today.   

Now. 

Do you not have enough in this moment?    

Chasing monetary gain is one way to think about wealth. But another way is to think about it is in terms of time. Freedom from having to do so much all the time. Is anyone else tired of trying to be a goddamn hero 24/7?    

If you’ve defined enough in a modest way, if you reframe your perspective, you might find you’re already sitting on a mountain of gold. Although it is hard to change our conditioning, I believe this is the quickest and easiest path to wealth. 

And these are the two paths: You can keep earning money to buy more things – you can keep chasing the big orange carrot that’s always just out of reach – or you can teach yourself what enough is and then give yourself more time to be with those you love and to do the things you genuinely love. 

And who are those people? What are those things? Can you do them today? Can you see them now? Do you not already have it made? 

If you ask me, freedom is the real measure of wealth in this world. That’s freedom from feeling like you are racing against the clock. When we keep chasing and striving, the real problem isn’t our inability to see that we already have enough, but our inability to switch off.  

Someone incapable of being, who has spent so much time doing that they can’t switch off, even if they’re already sitting a mountain of gold, might just be the poorest of us all. 

***

You can find more of AP2’s writing here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

You can also find him on Medium at: https://anxiouspilot2.medium.com

Or on Twitter at: @AnxiousPilot

13 thoughts on “The Two Paths to Wealth

  • I don’t see mansions and sports cars when I think of wealth. I see life without having to trade my hours for money. You see, right now I’m not very wealthy because if I lost my job and had no income, I could only live for about a year. When I can go the rest of my life without a job, I’ll consider myself wealthy. I’m talking money-wise of course. We can be wealthy for having a happy, healthy life and family, too 😊

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    • I think money is important but we need to be careful. The ego is never satisfied- it always wants more. Understanding what enough is and doing something that gives you that, which you also happen to enjoy is a good yard stick for wealth. Add to that good health and meaningful relationships and you have it made. Of course we can be rich in our relationships but poor in money. I’d rather this than be all alone in a mansion. It’s important to see what real wealth actually means. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Ang 🙏🙂

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      • True. Wealth isn’t really only money, it is having loved ones near you, a peace of mind and happiness. And you are right we ought to understand when to stop, when to realize that this is enough otherwise like you rightly wrote everything will always seem elusive and contentment will be far far away.

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  • I’ve always been thinking about this, especially since I didn’t have a very good relationship with money growing up. I guess my version of ‘enough’ is being able to provide for my family and taking care of them. But even that’s hard to quantify sometimes. Now, every time I see my doggo being happy, then that’s when I know what ‘enough’ is, for a brief moment. Thanks for this post!

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  • This was a wonderful motivational Monday post. I think you nailed it with your pragmatic and realistic view of money. We need money to have the things we want in life. But the real wisdom lies in recognizing when is enough.

    Now that I’m in my 40s, I don’t feel the need to chase this lavish grand life. I am happy and content with grateful for what I have – and also recognize that it was done by working and making money. But I don’t need to constantly chase more. That’s truly one of the most freeing realizations one can have in life!

    Thanks for making me feel wealthy today! And wishing the same for you! 🙏

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  • To be content in having ‘just enough’ – that’s worthwhile to contemplate.
    It used to be a dream of mine to have a ‘nice little house in the country’ – I got it . . . and found that living in the countryside wasn’t without its problems. One of my favourite sayings has become ‘Bloom where you are planted’ and I’ve had a fridge magnet with those words on it or some time now to remind me. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  • Lovely post but you forgot the essential. Its not about the dollars but when you don’t have enough to survive then it is. I know. I like the simple things. I value family but I fight every day to survive. I don’t have the luxury of choosing. However it is a great post.

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    • I appreciate there are two ends of the spectrum. Those who have far too much who always want more and those who are doing everything they can just to survive. There is a correlation with money and happiness, but only up to a point. Once you pass this point there is no correlation with more money and happiness. But of course we have to put our survival first and foremost. Thank you for sharing Barb. Wishing you well 🙏

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