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 Intention…

In some Arabic cultures, when someone gets something they have been hoping for, people say: “her intention was pure!” or “he must have pure will!” This signals to a deeply held cultural belief that the pure of heart will always be cared for by God. They do not receive miracles or luck by accident, but rather, due to their own goodness.

Intention isn’t everything… but it certainly plays a big role in shaping the lives we build for ourselves, as it feeds our actions. In pursuit of good friends and fun company, one will find himself out of luck if he himself is neither friendly nor fun. In pursuit of wealth, one will find herself penniless when she exercises greed towards others. In pursuit of love, one stands alone and disheartened if his primary intention is to take from love, and not give back to it.

If we are aware of our negative intentions and recognize the consequences, we can put them in check and gradually practice intentions that are better aligned with the path of happiness. But, if we decide to excuse our negative intentions, we cannot hope that nobody will notice, because they will. We cannot escape our intentions; we might as well plaster neon signs on our foreheads that tell it like it is.

There will always be people out there who are better off, and worse off, than you are. Be genuinely happy for their successes. Be genuinely sad for their pain. Be genuinely afraid for them when they get sick. Be genuinely excited for them when they get that promotion. If you are not genuine, they will be able to tell, and you will have missed the point of this life entirely.

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On Wasting Time…

Tick Tock.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing” – Annie Dillard.

It seems to me that we spend much, perhaps even most, of our lives waiting… and wasting time. I wish I could say that I’ve uncovered a groundbreaking plan to resolve this. Truthfully, I believe that the majority of people who claim to have such a plan are full of themselves. I think that all we can really do is try really (really!) hard to make the most of it.

I don’t have the answers for this one.

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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 Habits of Successful People…

When you hear yourself complaining about what appears to be a slow rise to success, I recommend immediately googling “habits of successful people” and really listening to the messages being shared on blogs and vlogs that are available, quite literally, at your fingertips. Are you engaging in these behaviours, or the opposite?

Here are a few that have worked well for me:

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On Faith…

Henry Ford is remembered for an innovative idea that revolutionized efficiency. You may also remember him for his foundational message about success: “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, either way you are right.”

Faith is a cornerstone that we cannot overlook when we are aiming for the stars. It is both internal, in holding the firm belief that one will be successful, and external, in holding a firm belief in the existence of a power greater than us: God.

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On Travel…

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust


Image property of Hack: Dream life [Marian D.] ©2018. All rights reserved.

At the time of this writing, there are approximately 7.6 billion people on Earth. How many have you spoken to?

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