How to tell if you're rich

September 01, 2021

I recently watched an interview with a celebrity chef.  The interviewer asked him what the most driving force was when he first started out.  His response, "I just wanted to be rich", got me to thinking.  He didn't say he wanted multiple locations (which he had), or 12 New York Times bestseller cookbooks, or even a nationally syndicated cooking show.  He wanted to be rich.  But what do we define as being rich?  As this chef succinctly put it, to him being rich was all about the money.

There are many ways to be rich beyond the amount of  money in your investment portfolio or bank account.  There are thousands of people who have a lot of money but terrible personal lives.  Did you know you probably have bountiful wealth in your lives that is not defined by money?

Do you have wonderful relationships? Do you appreciate the people you surround yourself with, do you practice your ability to show love?  Family, friends, and acquaintances all contribute something to our lives that cannot be quantified by dollar signs.  Being rich in friendships and familial ties cannot be bought with money.

Do you have joy in your life? Do you laugh every day? If there is anything the last year has taught us is that the mundaneness of everyday life can be changed with just a few keystrokes.  TikTok, Instagram and the rabbit hole we call the internet has given us many moments of laughter.  From cats jumping away from cucumbers to seeing the universality of sports antics.  The connection we make through humor with our spouse, children or friends gives us a pattern to follow which turns out gives way to an optimistic view of life and that view is something money can't buy.

How about your health? While we can't control everything about our well-being, we can take care of ourselves in such a way that shows we care about our lives and our bodies.  Having a healthy lifestyle, exercising, and eating right is a gift money could never give us.  The adage of "I'd rather have health than wealth" rings true in this season of uncertainty.  

Huge gains in the stock market can't possibly match the feeling you get when you see your child learn to master a bicycle.  No amount of money can explain the feeling of seeing the American swimming team win a gold medal in the Olympics.  Having millions of dollars can't even come close to the feeling you get when you watch your child walk across the stage to receive their diploma.  Obviously, there are other ways to be rich that extend beyond family.  Doing something for someone else, treating people well and remembering that what is in your heart matters more than what is in your wallet.

Remember that the biggest trap with wanting to be rich is relying on that to bring you something elusive.  You may end up discovering that the money you seek hides the riches that are right in front of you.