On this week’s Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moments segment, John O’Leary reminds us what the real measure of wealth is.
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Are you wealthy? I asked a friend this question several years ago as we sat in his large, beautiful kitchen surrounded by lavish furnishings. Turns out, he’d over-spent during the good times and was behind on his house payments.
He went on to say, “It’s not our home and it’s just a matter of time before we are asked to leave it. I’ve got nothing.”
After listening, asking a few questions, giving him a hug and telling him I was sorry, it was time to shift gears. I asked him four questions I once used in a leadership discussion about real wealth, true success and proper perspective.
- Answer the question: Are you wealthy?
- Make a list of everything that truly matters to you.
- Circle every item on that list you still have (or could earn, enjoy, experience again).
- Finally, answer this question: So, are you wealthy?
We too frequently confuse status or square footage or retirement accounts as wealth. This question doesn’t ignore the benefit of saving for tomorrow or building a substantial nest egg, but it does remind us the real measure of wealth sometimes means realizing how valuable your life remains even if you lost all your money.
My friend, these questions aren’t intended to trivialize the intense struggles that come with financial stress. Far from it! Instead, they are meant to free us to own those struggles and the hope that in spite of the things we’ve lost, so much of what we value remains… And that the best is yet to come.
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