For some people it’s having a private jet.
For some people it’s living without debt (but no biggie if they have no running water).
Let’s figure out what being wealthy means to you.
Your money story is a big indicator as to whether you feel wealthy or not.
The people you grew up around gave you clear indicators as to what is enough and what isn’t.
The awesome news is that you don’t have to live by those lessons learned in the past.
You get to decide right now what wealthy is.
Let your body help you decide.
What are the core feelings you want to have in your life?
There is no right or wrong answer.
Mine are connectedness, kindness and humor.
When I want to feel an abundance of humor, I can go right to Youtube and there are thousands of videos that would take me a year to watch that will make me laugh until I cry.
I am definitely wealthy in the humor department.
Connectedness… I have sought out and feel wealthy there too.I live in a walkable neighborhood. I chose it because I love walking down the street and seeing my neighbors and getting to know them. When there is a neighborhood dinner, I go. When someone needs me to watch their dog, I do. It feeds my feeling of connectedness. And I feel very abundant and wealthy with connection.
Kindness I have cultivated with purpose. I grew up thinking that clever trumped kindness. But about five years ago I realized this was one of the core values that made me unhappy. So I changed it.
I surround myself with kind people and make sure to read the newspaper articles of kind people doing kind things.
I can have a million dollars and feel poor or a million dollars and feel wealthy.
With money, I choose to feel wealthy.
I haven’t always been successful… I’m still working through my own scarcity thoughts, but it’s like a muscle. I am building that practice.
Because I know that $100 to someone in Somalia can buy them food for a year.
And I know that for a billionaire $100 is the tip for one dinner.
Wealth is all in our minds.
I am wealthy in so many ways and I am seeking more wealth.
Just because I am wealthy doesn’t make someone else poor.
It’s not a zero sum game.
It is joyful to be wealthy.
Humor begets humor.
Kindness begets kindness.
And wealth begets wealth.
I believe that everyone is secretly wealthy.
You just have to notice it.
In what ways are you wealthy?
Sometimes I worry about greed.
I worry that people will think I’m too greedy if I buy myself nice things.
The dictionary says greed is, “Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”
I think you have to be careful about the word selfish.
People throw around the word selfish like an accusation.
I find that the real problem most women have is not that they are greedy.
The bigger problem is that they avoid being selfish or greedy.
Imagine this rabbit hole:
You are worried because someone called you greedy for wanting things.
You feel guilty.
You wonder if you really are greedy.
So you pull back and don’t ask for as much and don’t try to get as much money.
As a result, you aren’t your best. You are trying to please other people so they won’t think you are greedy.
You live a smaller life.
And your family and loved ones aren’t getting the best you.
All because you are worried about being greedy.
I don’t find this to be a problem so much with men.
It’s considered a woman’s place to put other people first.
When women say things like, “I love to make money,” People accuse them of being greedy.
Warren Buffet loves to make money. He is the third richest man in the world. He is 90 years old and still goes to work every day.
He doesn’t need the money but he wants to make it.
No one thinks Warren Buffet is greedy.
They think he is smart. And charitable.
Only you can decide if you are greedy.
Don’t let anyone else decide for you.
It’s ok to want money.
In fact it’s awesome to want money.
You don’t have to have any grand design to help other people with it.
Because when you are making money you are exchanging value for it.
Your value is going out into the world.
If someone thinks you are greedy, that is on them and their thinking.
Let them be who they are.
You? You are creating value.
You are living an expansive life.
A life with results.
Guilt doesn’t serve anyone.
On you or on anyone else.
Love your money and your future money.
Let your life big as big as you want.
The world and those who enter your orbit will be better for it.
My Dad, the banker, used to point out houses to me in the neighborhood.
They were huge mansions.
And my mother would chime in, “Those people can’t afford that house. They are in foreclosure.”
No one else knew they were in debt up to their eyeballs. But my parents who, bless their hearts, were terrified that they would lose everything, knew because of his job.
And they wanted to save my sister and me from that fate.
They wanted to instill the fear in us so we wouldn’t make a big mistake and overextend ourselves.
That was just one of the money stories I was taught growing up. You can never tell how much money someone has by what they have or flaunt.
There are a lot of people living a façade. They can’t really afford the house they live in. And when they lose it they will be in worse condition than if they hadn’t pretended… if they hadn’t been hiding from their money truth.
Most people are trying to keep up with the Joneses.
They think that to be as good as other people, they need to have the same things and do the same things.
It’s a form of people pleasing.
“Other people will like me better if I have a new car.”
“Other people will think I am the bomb if I have the latest fashions.”
“Other people will judge me if I don’t take a trip over Spring Break.”
But what’s REALLY going on underneath all of those thoughts is that YOU are the one who is judging yourself.
You are thinking, “I won’t be as good if I don’t have a new car.” “I won’t be as good if I wear an old dress.” “I won’t be as good if I don’t travel.”
It’s never really about them. It’s about what you think about you.
Something happened to me the last time I went to my college reunion. It was definitely meant as a compliment. But a good friend said to me, “I am so impressed that you are here without wearing any makeup. You are so natural.”
And yet, I was wearing the makeup I wear every day… tinted moisturizer, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner and blush. For me, I had my full face on, but I thought it was interesting that she had projected confidence on me.
In actuality she was thinking about herself.
She was thinking that she didn’t have the hutzpah to go without foundation.
It really wasn’t about me at all.
You never really know what the other person is thinking.
They might be admiring you for your simplicity.
So if you are trying to keep up with the Joneses, you are only trying to impress someone whose thoughts you are imagining.
Because you have no idea what their thoughts really are.
Even if they tell you.
Or you may be trying to make yourself feel better about yourself.
And one thing I can tell you for sure is that things don’t ever make you feel better.
It’s an inside job.
That’s the work to be done.
Buy things that make you feel abundant.
And don’t buy things that make you feel like money is scarce.
Even if everyone else has it.