My goal in life is to be filthy rich. Now, before you wonder what happened to me, hear me out because I am truthful when I tell you that I really do want to be rich. I want to be rich in knowledge, adventure, laughter, health, family and rich in love.
How about you? No doubt you’d like to join me in being rich in all those areas of life, wouldn’t you?
Well then, let’s figure out how to do it and be outrageously successful.
I don’t think it is all that hard these days to be rich in knowledge–it just takes time and a few good books. Now you might think this knowledge work takes time away from the “fun” things you like to do like go to a ballgame or watch TV or work on your car or needlepoint, and up to a point it does, but consider the financial value of the hours you’re busy doing other things and not spending time building your knowledge bank.
Of course, you should enjoy some activities with friends and family outside of your reading for knowledge and learning, but be aware that surveys tell us one quarter of all Americans don’t read a book at all and the rest maybe read a book a year. It’s going to be hard to be rich in knowledge if you don’t pick up a book or take a class or learn something on your own time besides sitting through hours of sports reruns.
The only reason I’m asking you to turn off the TV and take a Saturday afternoon by the lake with a good book instead of being in the bleachers for your team or on the putting green for your favorite player (heresy, I know) is that to be rich in knowledge, it’s going to take a little bit of time on your part to build your knowledge bank account. So promise me you’ll pick up a book or two (or five) when the season of your favorite sport is over, because I want you to be filthy rich in knowledge, and that only happens when you make the effort to learn something new. Knowledge pays dividends beyond any money you have in the bank, safe or mattress today. Knowledge is a lifetime gift that pays for itself over and over.
How about being rich in adventure? What would that look like for you and your friends and family? Surveys tell us that the most traveling people do these days is during the Thanksgiving holiday. According to travel articles, Thanksgiving is the most popular time for families to travel, and Christmas travel comes in second.
Good for you for going somewhere at the holidays with and for your family, but what about that summer camping trip you always wanted to take to see the Grand Canyon, or that spring fishing trip to Alaska, or the vacation you thought about to go and see the world’s largest ball of string, or visit to a ride-filled theme park with the kids or grandkids or walk over the hallowed ground of an American battlefield? How about something as adventurous as going to one of our national parks or to visit our nation’s capital to see the monuments and museums? Make a plan to go, and add some points to your adventure bank to build your wealth of experiences.
On another note, I was fascinated to learn that most Americans only take half of their allotted vacation time, leaving many days unused. Without a doubt, it is hard to get away, but if you want to be rich in adventure, then we need to get you and your family packing for an opportunity of memory-making on your next vacation.
I must say, to be rich in laughter might be the best gift of all that you can give or receive. And while we know that laughter is good for your health, it is surprising how much a funny incident can create a rich experience of positive emotions and feelings of well-being that will last a lifetime.
Speaking of being rich in laughter, we need to perk up and take notice of the everyday miracles and funny moments that create a rich tapestry of stories and laughter of our lives. So with that in mind, consider writing down some of the funny things that have happened to you that you can share with others.
I’ve got a true and funny story to share with you. A while back when I was on Greenville City Council, I happened to be at my chiropractor’s office, and he had the lobby TV tuned in to the City of Greenville channel; while the loop showed downtown, the bridge, main street and restaurants, occasionally a photo of each current council member (which I was back then) would flash up on the screen. Well, my photo came back around, and as I was puffing up with pride from seeing myself on TV, I had an odd sensation of seeing my face but hearing a song in the background that made no sense. Behind my smiling photo, the music track was the old song by Sonny and Cher, “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.” Yes, my photo was on the screen with that song playing quite clearly in the background. To this day that story makes me laugh. I would say that being filthy rich in laughter might be the best bang for your buck for a long and happy life.
Speaking of a long and happy life, I can think of no other gift of wealth than to be rich in health. Just like a good belly laugh can boost your immune system, relax your body and protect your heart.
Statistics show over and over that being in good health enhances the mind, feeds the soul, and nourishes the spirit in so many ways that it is in itself a wonder drug (without any drugs). I read a while back that one of the new definitions of wealth in America is the ability and the time to get enough sleep. Being fully rested is now considered one of the markers of good health and a successful life.
Think of all the resolutions you’ve made for your health in the past and didn’t quite live up to; instead of being discouraged, consider the option to try again, and this once, view your time and effort to accomplish your goals for health as money in the bank for your outrageously rich future.
When I think of being filthy rich in family, I am reminded that I’m blessed to have been adopted at the right time and by the right family to afford me an amazing life. Yes, I for one am rich in family. To tell friends and family of my adoption, my mom didn’t send out what one would see as a birth announcement. No, she found a sweet card that she mailed out that said, “I wasn’t expected – I was selected,” and thus I joined the family as the little sister.
Family– for so many people, that word doesn’t bring up the best thoughts or memories, but would you consider stepping out of your box for a while to rest in the fact that you are here, you are successful, you are as wealthy as you choose to be in regard to being rich in family and leave it at that?
As we grow older, family members pass away, and the only wealth they leave us are the memories of a life well-lived. If you had an elder who poured into you the wealth of their life, you are rich indeed, my friend; in fact, you might be wealthy beyond measure!
And finally, I trust that you are rich in love. Whether you are married or single, find those who love you and return the favor, understanding that the gift of love is a precious gift and when given it is life-changing. And if you don’t have someone to love at this time in your life, ah, friend, don’t worry. Learn to love yourself.
I mentioned in last week’s message that it is not selfish to make time for you to help you heal, grow, thrive or just be; in fact, it might be one of the wisest things you do for you. So if you have the good fortune of loving someone, love deeply and with great energy. And if you’re single, then celebrate the love of friends and family and yourself for being wise enough to understand that rich in love is seen in many ways that bring comfort, strength and understanding to you and the world around you.
Friends, join me in my quest to be filthy rich in all good things that make this life such a grand adventure. I’ll see you at the bank!