It has been blamed for everything from wars to infidelity, from destroying friendships to wrecking families. In the minds of the masses, the more ways they can demonize money, the more validated they feel for not seeking their own fortunes.
Instead of seeing the positive ways that money can enhance the most important things in life like our health, family relationships, and friendships, most people would rather scorn money and tell you how it can destroy the things we hold closest to our hearts.
Don't listen to negative people who don't know any better. The truth is money is not the most important thing in life, but it will make the most important things in life so much better.
A pervasive belief of the masses is that building a fortune requires seven-day workweeks, losing sleep and constant stress. If I believe I have to choose between being rich and being healthy, why would I want to get rich?
The truth is wealth gives you far better access to world-class healthcare, preventive medicine, and alternative treatments. If you need a specific cutting-edge procedure that's not available where you live, you simply fly to a place that offers it.
Another reason being rich makes you healthier is the elimination of the biggest stressor of the masses: money. The wealthy don't have sleepless nights worrying about paying their bills. Imagine how much healthier you would be if you didn't have to worry about money? How much healthier would you be if you never had to wake up to another alarm clock and could sleep as long as you wanted every day? What would be the impact on your stress level if you could afford to fire your boss? Being rich can positively impact your health.
The most common middle-class belief I have encountered is the mistaken idea that you have to choose between world-class success and a happy family life. The masses have been brainwashed to believe it's an either/or equation. This is rooted in a fear and scarcity mentality that says you must choose, because there is only so much time in a day.
If you love your family, get rich and give them more of your time, plus opportunities only money can buy. Figure out a way to be more efficient with your time because money can help your family live its dreams. Instead of using your family as an excuse, use them as your primary motivation to start earning more.
Don't listen to people who say money leads to dysfunctional families. Dysfunctional families were dysfunctional before money entered the scene; it's just that money magnifies whatever it touches.
Another common belief that keeps people from getting rich is the idea that they'll lose their best friends if they move into the biggest house on the block. After all, this belief assumes, what good is all the money in the world if you have no friends? It rarely happens. Will you lose a few friends due to jealousy and envy? Maybe. But a better question is: Were they really your friends in the first place?
I'm sure you have friends you've known for years, and you could care less about how much money they have. You gain far more friends than you lose when you get wealthy, and I'm not taking about people who befriend you because you're rich. I'm talking about how money opens up the world to you. You'll have the time and resources to travel, meet almost anyone you want, and gain access to the inner circle of some of the most successful, interesting people in the world. Wealth will bring you more opportunity to make friends than anything else in the world.
It's true, money doesn't buy happiness. But it will make you more comfortable, open doors, create opportunities, and make the good things in your life even better. It may even save your life or the life of a loved one. Decide today to make money a bigger priority in your life. As the late Zig Ziglar said, "Money isn't everything ... but it ranks right up there with oxygen."
Steve Siebold is author of "How Rich People Think," and a self-made millionaire who has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world's wealthiest people.
Three and a half years ago, I was in a desperate debt situation. My lifestyle was tied desperately to spending far more than I was bringing in – and I was finally paying the consequences.
I had let money become the most important thing in my life. It drove all of my choices and decisions. It chose my career for me. It chose my specific job for me. It chose how I spent my free time – I did expensive things to escape from the debts and the pressure-filled work, usually with a device on my hip that chained me to that job.
I was desperate and unhappy. I was in a prison made of money – and I knew I had to escape it.
Today, I realize something much more compelling. Money is not the most important thing in life. In fact, in a healthy life, money often follows behind many other elements in your life. If you put your energy and time into other things more important than money, money will follow. It will find a way to work.
Here are fifteen things I’ve found that are more important than money.
Hug someone. Kiss someone. Write someone a letter telling them how you feel. Run (or walk) a marathon. Spend all day making an exquisite meal and eat it by candlelight. Make love to someone. Face the thing you most fear right in the face. The rush you get from experiencing something amazing is one of the best parts of being human, and most of the time the financial cost is minimal.
If you think you know the answer, you’re far from wise. Keep learning. Wisdom comes from knowing how little you actually know. Spend some time learning something new, perhaps even becoming skilled at something. You’ll surprise yourself at what you gain, often far beyond the mere knowledge you hoped to attain.
Accepting another person wholly and intimately into your life is utterly life-changing. Opening up every part of yourself to another person is constantly challenging, but constantly powerful in how it changes you and makes you strive to be a better person.
The regular companionship and camaraderie of people you care about and share interests with is continually life-affirming. Friendships don’t revolve around the things you have or the activities you can afford – they revolve around people.and shared experiences.
5. Physical health
Health can’t be bought, but it can be helped by the personal choices we make. Exercise. Eating better. Making choices that are less sedentary. Getting involved with activities that get us moving. Practicing proper hygiene. Money pales in comparison to the value of the physical health needed to enjoy life.
6. Mental health
On the flip side of the physical coin is mental health. Expressing our feelings in a healthy way. Finding people to talk to and relate our problems. Addressing the issues that bother us. Seeking professional help when these options don’t change things for the better. Again, money is insignificant compared to the value of mental balance.
7. Personal passions
What activities make you feel truly excited and fulfilled? Those things are the spice of life – every one of us wins by digging into our passions. The best part? Quite often, seeking out and following your passions often means that money will follow in the wake.
The ability to express our thoughts and feelings to a receptive audience is truly invaluable. it enables us to share elements of our inner world with others, something that can’t be achieved by all of the material wealth on this planet.
Money comes, money goes. The ability to survive and even thrive with no money means that money becomes significantly less important. The ability to do things yourself reduces the need you have for money to solve your problems.
If we channel our efforts into creating a sefe and secure enviroment where we’re protected from our failures, we create a situation where our fortunes are much less tied to our ability to put money in our pocket. If we put effort into security now, we have true safety later, a type of safety that can’t be broken by ordinary material needs.
11. Helping others
For most people, the action of helping others provides a great deal of personal joy and satisfaction, something that cannot be replaced by any sort of material item. Helping others often requires no financial resources at all and can sometimes generate financial resources – free meals and such – plus goodwill in the community. Good karma has tremendous value.
12. Personal growth
Every single person has countless opportunities to improve as a person – their behavior, their beliefs, and so forth. Working to grow as a person only improves you and rarely costs anything, but it almost always improves your income potential for the future as well as naturally improving your outlook on the world and your self-confidence.
When you move from desiring the things that you do not have to being thankful for the things that you do have, your perspective on the world changes drastically. Your desire for having the latest things goes down while, at the same time, your contentedness with life goes up dramatically.
If you can discover personally fulfilling activities to fill your time, you introduce happiness into your life. Many people fall into routines by default, never asking if their choices introduce authentic happiness, then they try to chase a sense of happiness by purchasing things. Step back from this. Try new things, and dig into the things you genuinely enjoy. Often, it’s the simplest things – playing a game with our partner, going on long walks, collecting rocks or leaves – that bring us the greatest personal satisfaction.
Does our life have a purpose? Do we have a spirit? Is there something greater than we can comprehend all around us? Digging into these questions through reading, contemplation, meditation, and prayer can bring an incredible sense of calm, peace, and even joy that can be difficult to find in other avenues – and impossible to find with money.
The more of these elements you dig into and discover in your life, the lesser the role of money, materialism, and spending occupies. In the end, you’ll find that you’re no longer chasing money, but that instead money is following you on the path to a much better life.