When many people think about wealth, they tend to equate it with money. In reality, however, wealth is about so much more than how much money sits in your bank account; it is about being prosperous and thriving in your career. After all, you could have a salary of $250,000 per pear, but if you’re in so much debt that you don’t get to touch a penny of that money, you’re not living a very wealthy life, are you? When considering wealth, it’s also important to think about your emotional well being, including your work/life balance. While wealth tends to center around having material “things,” it should also refer at least somewhat to a person’s emotional and social wealth, such as having a shoulder to cry on when you’re upset or people to support you in taking on new challenges.
With a broader definition of the concept of wealth, you can better understand and work towards a wealthier life. In fact, there are a few changes you may be able to implement as early as today to increase your own wealth, both financially and otherwise.
1. Start With Your Health
Being “wealthy” in the monetary sense means nothing if you don’t also have your health. If you’re working 60 hours a week in the hopes of securing that promotion or raise, you may eventually see that extra few bucks per hour, but your health will suffer in the end. Over-working yourself takes away the time you need to do things you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, and exercise important self-care activities. It may seem counterintuitive, but in order to be wealthy, you truly do need to put your health first. Prioritize getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, getting enough sleep, and eating nutritious meals. You’ll likely find that you’re more energized, motivated, and able to perform your job well when you’re also taking care of your body.
2. Become a More Positive Thinker
Many people are guilty of being negative thinkers; the truth is that it’s often much easier to prepare for a “worst-case” scenario in your head than it may be to expect the best outcome. If this applies to you, your mind likely tends to jump to negative conclusions as a protection mechanism. However, negative thinking also won’t get you anywhere in the long-term; instead, it will keep you in fear and prevent you from taking risks that could otherwise pay off. The key, then, is to train your brain to think more positively and react with optimism in various situations.
This can be easier said than done, but there are plenty of ways to gradually train yourself to become a more positive thinker. Consider, for example, downloading an awareness app on your phone or simply setting aside five minutes per day to be aware of your mental state and surroundings. If meditation is something you’ve always wanted to try, this is a great way to take control over your thinking as well.
3. Live Within Your Means
One of the biggest “secrets” to living a wealthy life (even though it’s kind of a common-sense idea, if you think about it) is to simply live within your means. With careful budgeting and planning, you can make the most of your salary and ensure that you’re able to pay for everything you need while still having money leftover to do the things you enjoy. This is the main idea of wealth; it’s exactly why there are people who make very small salaries but who lead incredibly happy and fulfilling lives—and why some of the most unhappy people you may ever meet are millionaires.
Living within your means is yet another tip that can be easier said than done. Seriously taking the time to reflect on your budget and spending can be challenging and time-consuming, but by avoiding unnecessary spending and doing the best you can with what you have, you’ll find yourself a happier and wealthier person.
4. Always Learn New Things
Wealth is also about striving for success and reaching new heights throughout life. A wealthy person does not tend to be happy staying in one place for very long; they’re always on the lookout for the next best thing and constantly want better for themselves. By taking on this mentality, you can work towards greater success and a more fulfilling career. Take some time to consider where you’d like to see yourself in one year, five years, ten years, and so on. Then, think about the types of skills you’d need to have in order to reach those goals. Finally, take steps to begin achieving those skills—whether it means enrolling in a class at your local college or self-teaching a new skill that will be useful in your career plan.
5. Reach Out to a Mentor
No matter what stage of your career you may find yourself in, there’s a good chance you could benefit from having a mentor of some sort. This is perhaps especially true for those who have recently graduated college or will be graduating in the near future, but the truth is, mentors can be beneficial in just about any capacity. Specifically, a career mentor is somebody who is considered a seasoned professional in your industry; they may currently hold a job you aspire to have one day, or they may simply have a lot of valuable insight and advice to help you get off on the right foot in your own career.
Either way, seeking out a mentor who is willing to work with you, answer questions, and support you in your career will pay off big-time later on. You’ll always have someone to turn to for advice, guidance, and a helping hand. This, in turn, can influence your career success and lead you to greater wealth.
6. Be Aware of Your Habits
Bad habits can prevent you from reaching your full wealth and potential, so knowing how to detect bad habits in your everyday life and break them is key. For example, if you know you watch too much TV and it’s preventing you from getting where you want to be in life, it’s time to start actively limiting yourself to an hour or so of watching per day. Changing bad habits can be very difficult, but if you’re able to at least identify bad habits in your life and admit that you need to change them, that’s an important first step. Once you do that, try making a list of ideas for overcoming those bad habits and implement them to see what works for you versus what doesn’t. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a friend or professional, if needed.
7. Set Goals and Pursue Them
The wealthiest people also tend to be goal-oriented; they always have something new they’re striving to achieve, whether it be career-related or personal (such as a fitness or weight loss goal). If you want to build your wealth, you should also be driven and goal-oriented. Sometimes, it can be helpful to begin by setting small and easily attainable goals when you’re first starting out. This will help you build confidence as you continue working to achieve larger goals. Keep in mind that your goals don’t necessarily have to be career-oriented all the time. Setting goals to improve relationships or even work on your health are just as legitimate.
8. Focus on Relationships
Speaking of relationships, you can’t be truly wealthy if you don’t have great personal relationships with friends and/or family. After all, friends and family members are the ones who will be there for you even if were to lose everything you have. With that in mind, now is a good time to evaluate some of your current relationships and see where they may need some work. This applies not just to personal relationships, but work ones as well. Being people-centered will put you in a position to be more successful in life. And this concept also applies to networking; by going out of your way to meet new people within your industry, you’ll have an easier time finding work and will have a greater chance for success.
9. Change Your Relationship With Money
Again, speaking of relationships—when you first started reading this article, did you immediately think of “money” when you saw the term “wealth”? If so, then you may need to work on shifting the relationship you have with money and realize that wealth isn’t all about how much money you have accumulated or how high of a salary you earn. True wealth is about what you can do with the money you earn, and how you can continue to climb up the ladder and work your way towards long-term success. All too often, people view money and finances in a negative light, and the people who feel this way tend to be the people who equate wealth directly with dollar signs.
There is no easy way to change your thinking about money, other than to understand that as long as you’re able to pay your bills and do some of the things you love, you’re doing just fine.
Everybody wants to live a wealthy lifestyle, but not everybody’s idea of wealth is the same. No matter what your concept of wealth looks like, however, following these tips will help you lead a more successful, fulfilled, and overall happier life. This is true not just in terms of your career and finances, but other important facets of life, such as your personal relationships.
- Forbes, S. (2014, September 30). Money is not wealth — but it helps create wealth. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2014/09/30/money-is-not-wealth-but-it-helps-create-wealth/#3e6fb0fbf910
- Holmes, L. (2016, December 12). 6 tricks to becoming a more positive thinker. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/12/12/positive-thinking-day-steps_n_5810744.html
- Kantor, J. & Crosser, A. (2016, March 11). Four key benefits of workplace mentoring initiatives. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-kantor/four-key-benefits-of-work_b_9432716.html
- Kolowich, L. (2016, January 13). Why overworking is bad for your health (and who’s to blame). Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/overwork-bad-health
- Success Values. (2017, August 15). 7 key networking tips for young professionals. Retrieved from http://successvalues.com/key-networking-tips-young-professionals/