"Gold! Gold beyond measure, beyond sorrow and grief!" - Thorin Oakenshield, The Hobbit.
What is wealth? Is it simply the accumulation of money and possessions? Or is there more to it than that? According to the philosophy of MJ Demarco, author of "The Millionaire Fastlane", real wealth is not just about money, but about having a rich and fulfilling life that includes family, friends, health, and freedom. Integrity is important too. The pursuit of ever more wealth at the expense of your integrity, your friends, your family and your health makes a poor person of you in all the areas that matter most. I have known many so-called wealthy people over the years. Some are lovely, but others are sad and lonely human beings. Their staff despise them, they miss their family growing up, they lie, cheat, deceive and manipulate, all for a few extra quid. Is this true wealth? I think not.
Are you wealthy if you have no friends? No family? No health? Are you wealthy if you spend every waking moment working in a job you hate?
We all come into this world naked and penniless, and we shall all leave this world naked and penniless. What matters is the dash between the dates and how you lived it.
In Demarco's view, wealth is not just about having a lot of money in the bank. Instead, he argues that true wealth is having the freedom to live life on your own terms, without being tied down by financial obligations or the need to work long hours just to make ends meet. This means having enough money to cover your basic needs and to pursue your passions and interests, but not necessarily accumulating vast amounts of wealth just for the sake of it. Certainly, using tactics that lessen you as a human being are not worth it. Would you rather be alone and old, rattling around in your mansion with no friends and no respect, but a large bank account; or would you prefer to have enough, but be surrounded by loving friends and family and a legacy that people look up to?
Wealth is not just about money and financial freedom. According to Demarco, real wealth is about having strong relationships with family and friends, good health, and the freedom to pursue your passions and interests. Without these things, no amount of money or possessions can make us truly happy or fulfilled. The attraction of wealth through deception, thievery and bad conduct is also to be avoided. You might sit on your pile of gold like a dragon or a dwarf lord, but everyone can see you for what you are. They see the emptiness and the greed a mile off, and they see how poor you really are.
This philosophy is grounded in the belief that life is about more than just the pursuit of money and material possessions. While money can certainly make life easier and more comfortable, it is not the key to happiness or fulfilment. In fact, the pursuit of money at the expense of other important things in life can actually make us poor, both financially and emotionally.
In conclusion, real wealth is not just about money, but about having a rich and fulfilling life that includes family, friends, health, and freedom. Pursuing money at the expense of any of these things, trampling on people and being greedy, can ultimately leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled. By prioritizing the things that truly matter in life, we can achieve true wealth and live a life that is rich in every sense of the word.
So, when creating your Financial Plan, remember you need balance. The pursuit of every penny isn't the answer. The pursuit of happiness, balance and TIME is the true wealth!