The other day I was watching a program that tried to figure out what most people thought was the level of financial income needed for a person to feel rich. Now if you think about it, -rich- is a pretty vague term so to some people it was in the neighborhood of a million dollars (net worth, I suppose). To others it was somewhat less, and others thought that with inflation it could be more like $10 million or more. I guess it depends on how much a person is starting with, right? If you live in an area where having a million dollar house is pretty common, then being rich is having more than that. It’s a relative term, to be sure. To me, being rich has a whole other meaning though.
What is really the definition of rich? If you check the dictionary, you may find the following definitions, among others: having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy. Also: abundant, plentiful, or ample. In other words, a whole bunch of something, but usually money, right? Or at least something physical that you can hold or touch, or keep in a bank vault, garage, jewelry case, etc. Well my definition is a little different. Although I don’t have anything against having large sums of money floating around, I still think an abundance of other things is more important. For one thing, time. Time to me is a very precious commodity! After all, if you have all the money, fancy cars, nice clothes, and other perks of an abundant lifestyle but no time to really enjoy them, what do you have? Not much, really. Without enough time to enjoy what you have accumulated in life, you have nothing. It’s right up there with health, but I won’t get into that today. I’m sure I’ll have ample time on my plate to give my opinion on health!
So if time is so precious, why do we waste so much of it? We just kind of float along in life, minding our lives as if we had plenty of it. Then one day we wake up as if from a deep sleep and find out we’re old and grey, one step away from retirement or even death, and haven’t accomplished many things we wanted to do in life! This cruel trick that life plays on us, giving us a false sense of having so much time, while the older we get the faster time seems to be speeding ahead. Are we consciously aware of how fast time is going? I think most of the time, probably not. I find myself thinking how fast my kids are growing up, how just 10 years ago I was moving into this house or doing this or that, and here it is as if yesterday in my mind. What can I do to make the most of what time I have left? This valuable commodity is slipping away from me while I live my life in ignorant bliss. As John Lennon famously was quoted as saying, -life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans-. But what shall we do about it, if anything? Should we try to cram more life into the time we have left? Shall we appreciate more of the time we have every day? Perhaps, we should be just enjoying life, and being happy, and not worrying about what transpires.
To tell you the truth, I don’t have a definitive answer. I think it really is a philosophical question best left to the individual, to do what seems the best for you. I would like to enjoy my time left by doing what I like to do, spending time with my family and friends, and of course working less. Do I enjoy my work? Of course, but there a few things I enjoy much more, so I plan on distributing my time more evenly amongst those things rather than doing the toil of a daily grind to make money. To me, being rich is all about having time, not money or things-
T o your continued success and happiness!
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