An Excerpt The Heart of Money by Deborah L. Price
I often ask couples that I work with to tell me what they believe would make them happy. Invariably, some will say, “We’d be happy if we were rich.” Yet, when I probe a bit deeper and ask them to describe to me what “being rich” would look and feel like, almost every couple has a different picture. Clearly, what it means to be rich is subjective and has more to do with our deeper desire to be free and experience a more fully engaged life. Too many falsely believe that only the wealthy can afford to live their lives dedicated to the pursuit of their purpose, dreams, and personal happiness. This is true only if you believe it is.
If you believe that you cannot have or do something (anything, actually), then it is unfortunately a fait accompli, already your destiny. This is why I highly advise you to monitor your thoughts and suspend your disbelief, choosing instead to focus on creating what you want and believing that it is possible.
Although having a lot of money is useful on this human journey, I have found that with enough passion and determination, we are all capable of living a rich life, regardless of our financial circumstances. Over the years, I have met many people who have made an art out of living. These people are gifted in what I call the art of living rich. Their lives are tapestries of their own invention woven out of their passion for life and a commitment to doing what they love, being of service, expressing their gifts, and/or making a difference in the world. Some of the attitudes and attributes they share in common are a deep faith and belief in something bigger and greater than themselves; a vision that is mission and purpose based; and a deep passion for something that is meaningful to themselves, their families, or their communities. These people live in alignment with their values, and they never let having or not having money deter them from being or doing what they came here to do. Because these adventurous souls were so willing to move through life without a safety net, not only did they live rich lives, but sometimes they became wealthy as well. However, financial wealth was never their cause; rather, it was the result of their living intentionally and in alignment with their vision, values, and purpose. The wealth they acquired was a bonus for their efforts but inconsequential to their journey.
Cultivating a Rich Life:
Living a rich life is quite different from being rich. Living rich is a state of mind and a way of being, not the state of your bank account. While you can always become rich by attaining more wealth, that is not a guarantee for manifesting a truly rich life. The art of living rich is not something you can buy; it is something you become. We sometimes hear stories from our parents or grandparents about a single prized possession they had — a silver mirror, beautiful china, a vintage car that they proudly polished on weekends. These were treasures that they cherished and enjoyed for years no matter how little money they had. It is unlikely that as they enjoyed these treasures, the owners were lamenting how little they had. They were absorbed in the joy of the moment. The treasures that make us feel wealthy may not even be material objects. A yearly vacation to the coast, visits across country to be with loved ones or friends, or just hanging out in the company of loved ones can also give us a sense of having and living a rich life.
I’d like to suggest that you give yourself more of whatever it is that allows you that expansive feeling of being wealthy and living a rich life. This usually has little to do with what you have or how much — it’s about how the experience touches you and makes you feel connected to something larger than yourself. That is the secret of feeling and being truly “wealthy.” When some part of your spirit is being reflected back to you by an experience, person, or object that you are enjoying, it is truly magical. Having more and more things will not give you that experience, nor will it make you truly wealthy. Landfills everywhere are full of broken toys and abandoned things that we once thought we needed. What we greatly need more of is to feel engaged with our passion, our purpose, and people to connect with and nourish our lives and spirit in ways that are enriching. When you and your partner discover what this is for you and allow yourselves to live and express more of this in your daily life, then together you will most certainly be wealthier.
Deborah L. Price is the author of The Heart of Money and Money Magic. She is the founder and CEO of the Money Coaching Institute, providing coaching to individuals, couples, and corporations.
Excerpted from the new book The Heart of Money ©2012 by Deborah L. Price. Published with permission of New World Library.