On Affluence & Poverty…

This morning, I woke up thinking about affluence and poverty. I think we can all agree that wealth is a matter of perspective. You can be making 50k or 200k a year and consider yourself “poor” if you like keeping up with the Kardashians.  Meanwhile, in comparison to most people on Earth, you are exceptionally wealthy if you are making 50k independently. Social status is funny in this way; the measure of wealth and poverty is in constant flux depending on where you are standing.

For some reason, it seems more and more people around me are complaining about money these days. Perhaps it’s just a natural phase as things begin to change and evolve in our lives. There is a very clear rejection of the “rich” although, for all intents and purposes, I would not classify any of my friends as poor. In fact, I wouldn’t classify most people in this country as poor. I’ve seen poverty, and it isn’t the inability to purchase a BMW. Yet, oddly enough, I hear the phrase “we’re poor” being tossed around by people who are even more educated and have higher paying jobs than me.

I am often taken aback by such statements. “If I do not consider myself poor, how can you?” I wonder how little of the world they must have seen to so confidently complain and insist that they lack, all while I can very clearly observe their outrageous spending habits.

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On Big Breaks…

Have you considered that, like everything else, money is energy? It is said that more money makes a person more of what s/he already is. If you come into significant wealth, you will see your values and thoughts reflected even more powerfully in your actions.

I often hear people say things like: “His nouveau-riche status spoiled him!” Or “She got a taste of money and then went after her siblings for a bigger chunk!” But, if you dig a little deeper, you will discover that he was always a little lazy, and she was always a little selfish.

Money is energy, and it makes you more of what you already are. This is why, before seeking it, we must be intentional about who we choose to be and what we value. Building wealth is not a one-shot deal, even for those who are blessed with a one-shot “win” or gift.

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On Debt…

Are you in what seems to be an endless cycle of debt that you cannot crawl out of?

Does it feel like the bills keep coming and the salary never rises to match?

The first question you should be asking yourself is: “What kind of debt is it, and how is it serving me?”

If your debt is not serving you strategically, you have fallen into the consumer trap. I’m talking about credit card debt that you’ve collected over the years for purposes that you can’t even recall. I’m talking about home renovation debts or car debts that are out of your means. I’m talking about that student loan that, despite serving its purpose a long time ago, you never got around to paying. I’m talking about your habit to purchase the newest model of that gadget you love annually. If you are seeking to cultivate good luck in your life, these debts need to be snuffed out.

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On What We Wish We Knew… at 18

I set about on a mission to collect some insights for my younger readers who might feel overwhelmed by big decisions for their future.

In the Western world, 18 is the “right of passage” age. We make many of our most fundamental decisions at 18: what to study, where to live, where to work, who to date, how to balance work and play, etc. Of course, we keep making these decisions and many others throughout our adulthood as well.

At 18, I was preparing for launch to University; my parents moved halfway across the world, and I couldn’t go with them. Many of my friends, now in their late 20s to late 30s, faced similarly challenging events around that time. Some moved out. Others went to university or trade school. Others went straight to work. Some had kids. Some got married.

Here are some of the tips they wish someone would have shared with them when they were 18:

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On White Dollars & Black Days…

When you plant a seed in your garden, it takes weeks before you see a hint of green. You water the soil every day and sometimes question yourself, unsure if there’s a pulse in the dirt.

And then the stem peaks its head and you finally know that your time was worth investing.

When you decide to have a baby, do you expect to be holding the precious little one in your hands by tomorrow afternoon? No. You toil for months in the creation process.

We all understand these two facts to be true. There is no way to rush a plant into growing or a child into being. So why is it that we expect to become wealthy overnight? Why is it that, when we meet someone wealthy, we assume that Lady Luck smiled down on them more than the rest of us?

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