Why do you want to be rich? This seems to be a stupid question. Most will answer, “Who doesn’t?”. But a blind quest to wealth is not a smart thing to do.
You need to know your definition of wealth and why you want to be wealthy. That builds a strong foundation for accumulating wealth – you know why you are working so hard for and that it will be worth it.
In the first few pages of ‘Rules of Wealth’ by Richard Templar, he helps readers find out their objective and definition of wealth. Here are the 10 things that he found that most people want to spend their money on:
This is the basic for survival: you want a place to live without the fear of having no shelter, enough money in the bank for your necessary daily expenses (transport to work and food to eat) and extra money in case of emergency.
When the ‘security’ requirement is fulfilled, you want comfort. These are things that will make everyday a little more comfortable and less of a struggle.
You want a bigger and prettier home, you may want a car to get to work instead of taking the bus, you want to hire people to do the dirty work that you don’t like to do e.g cleaning the house.
When you have comfort, you may seek for things that you want (not need). Exotic holidays, designer clothes, dinner at fine restaurants, front-row seat at sports events or theatre.
You want to be able to go to places: a uber ride to meet your friends, chauffeured to the next city for some good food, a flight ticket to Paris, etc.
According to Richard Templar, status gets you ‘prestigious invitations, access to important people and exclusive clubs, and perhaps even gratifying deference from others’.
Having influence means that what you say or do has an impact on people – they listen to your views and take them seriously.
Freedom is when your livelihood is not solely dependent on your boss, creditor, clients or customer. In fact, James Altucher mentioned in his book “Choose Yourself” that you should never let a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from one person to make/break your career. Richard Templar said, freedom is ‘not being a slave to the calendar, diary, or clock’.
Having time to do things, go places, and meet people that you like.
Perhaps wealth will help you with being liked – hence popular. Richard Templar define popularity as ‘being able to entertain friends, acquaintances, and contacts frequently and generously’ and said that it does wonder to ones social life.
The ability to make donations or spend time volunteering at the charity of your choice. Some people like to accumulate wealth to make the world a better place.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
- Which of the above do you already have?
- Which of the above do you want?
- What are the top three things that makes you happiest? (aside from security and comfort)
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Accumulating money is not easy. When things get tough, you will need to know what you are working so hard for. If you’re working towards what you really want, it will be easier and the sacrifice will be worth it.
Beides, money is often not the answer. It is the solution. What is the money for? Many people working for money only to splurge it on things they don’t even like. Then they wonder why they are unhappy and keep on spending money on more things in the hopes that they will find happiness.
EXERCISE: WHAT DO I WANT?
It seems to be nice to have everything mentioned above. But what do you really want (let’s exclude security and comfort). What is very important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice to be rich?
Perhaps it takes some soul searching to know. Perhaps what you think you want is not what you really want until you have gotten it. It happens to me many times.
I have thought deeply about what I want in life, and realise that the top three things that I want is:
I don’t mind luxury and indulge in some of them: designer bags and scented candles for example. But would I work day and night – driving to work (mobility), taking orders from an employer (freedom), and having less time to read or spend time with family and friends (leisure) – for more designer stuff (luxury)? No.
Selective luxury: Dining at Jiro is nice, but I doubt I would sacrifice mobility, freedom, and leisure to dine at these fine restaurants frequently.
But I understand many of my close friends will – they adore their luxury bags and cars – and would be glad to drive their fancy car to work and happy to have only weekends for their leisure time. It’s a personal choice. There’s no right and wrong here.
If you’re appreciate Leisure (more than Luxury), but you’re in a full-time employment, use your money to buy time not things. Instead of spending your money on a new piece of watch or jewellery, why not spend it on hourly maid or healthy food delivery?
Figure out what makes you happy (not your friends or even your parents) and what is worth spending your hard-earned money on. When you got that figured out – then put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get them.