Recently, I visited a local ashram. While the guru was preaching and answering questions of the congregation, one of them asked, “what is your opinion on wealth?” The guru answered, “Wealth is more than just accumulating money or assets (financial or real), it is more about the intangible.”
There is no denying that money is an influential contributor to leading a good life. However, money is not the only thing that will help you find happiness. Our ultimate goal should be to create ‘Wealth’ that can stretch to every aspect of our lives and lead to a positive outlook and happiness.
Swami Ji then described the following six dimensions of wealth.
The Six Dimensions of Wealth
- Physical and Mental Wealth: The widely common saying ‘health is wealth’ is a true treasure. Health can help you generate financial wealth. But, even an infinite amount of financial wealth won’t help you get your health back.
I have a cousin in a wheelchair, and the bitter truth is that no money in the world can give her good health. It is not easy to embrace this condition after being healthy for most of your life. Thus, the first step is to ensure you invest your resources to protect your physical and mental health.
For physical health, you need to exercise and eat healthily. To ensure mental wealth, focus on your environment; what you read, see, hear and absorb. You need to be surrounded by the right people that exude positivity and enthusiasm.
“No amount of money in the world can buy you good health.”
- Financial Wealth: Money is critical for the survival and enjoyment of human life. You need money to buy necessary resources and pay for things that can make working hard for it worthwhile. Furthermore, financial wealth is also necessary to ensure better physical health as you can spend more on things that can keep you healthy, such as healthcare, food etc. It can also allow you to live a comfortable life. To create financial wealth, you must practise delayed gratification, disciplined long term investing, and patience.
“If you were born poor, that is not your fault; but, if you die poor, that for sure is.“
- Professional Wealth: Your profession is a significant contributor to your financial and mental wealth and, ultimately, your happiness. Do your colleagues and friends tap you for solutions to their issues? Are you respected in your workplace? To create professional wealth, you must ensure that you choose a profession that you love and work with your colleagues to serve humanity. You must learn and evolve continuously to build a reputation as it is new wealth.
“Reputation is the new currency.”
- Social Wealth: If people around you don’t like you or hate you, any other form of wealth will have no effect on your wellbeing. No one can have a happy life without family, friends and people who love and care for you. To create social wealth, you must build loving, caring and meaningful relationships with people. Also, find time to engage in charitable activities, help people in need for society’s upliftment and you will experience an abundance of happiness. Once you are socially wealthy, you will know the true meaning of life and every other wealth dimension.
“Relationships matter, not your network”
- Intellectual Wealth: They say, “Knowledge is Power,”. However, knowledge is powerful only if used to create something valuable. You are intellectually wealthy if you apply accumulated knowledge and experience to create an impact. Our time on Earth is limited, and we need to use it most meaningfully and productively. Be extremely prudent about the usage of your intellectual wealth and time.
“Intellectual wealth has the power to seed and nurture all other kinds of wealth.”
- Spiritual Wealth: As spiritual beings, we wake up, engage in activities that make our lives, and that of our loved ones, as joyful as possible. For many people, this may translate to spending money on the things they like, as they believe happiness lies in materialistic things. However, this happiness is a temporary one.
At least once in your life, you may have gotten up from your bed and wondered, “what’s my purpose in life? Why am I here, on this planet?” We are here to serve and help humanity. Where we came from or where we will go is not known, but what we do matters. The happiness that comes from helping others is like chicken soup for the soul; it makes you feel good. This is the real spiritual wealth.
“We are not human beings going through the spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings going through the human experience.”
We have all but one life, and spending it without utmost happiness makes it unworthy. I have understood that happiness is not limited to a single factor of wealth creation but demands that you give equal attention to each one. One without the other is useless and undermines the whole idea of creating wealth.
Wealth is the single most vital thing that can push us towards purpose-driven actions and ensure we find joy in our limited time on Earth. From now on, make it your sole purpose to become wealthy across all dimensions. You can consider spending some time evaluating your life and ultimately ask yourself: are you wealthy enough?
If not, what would you change in your life to become truly wealthy?