What does wealth mean to you? Lots of money? Or a life rich in experiences, full of loving family and friends. This week in Spiritual Growth Monthly, Kevin Schoeninger takes a closer look at how we define wealth, and how that determines if we attain the life we really want.
When I think of “the rich,” I cannot help but think of the faces of celebrities staring out of magazine covers in the grocery store line. Sometimes I think, “who are these people, anyway? What have they ever done to have so much money or deserve attention?” And since their tabloid lives seem so miserable, it doesn’t make trying to succeed in the world seem like a very worthwhile goal.
And yet, when I think of people whose lives are rich, I think of people all around me who spend their days in jobs they find fulfilling, creating fun with their families, and who give their time to make other people’s lives richer, too. Their lives are rich because they spend every precious day consciously connected to what they really want. They appear deeply happy, and they make us happy just by being around.
This kind of richness is what Kevin calls “an abundant state of wealth that is true to who you are and benefits others.” It may include financial wealth, of course, but as a part of the picture of a life well lived, not a singular fixation.
Continuing to examine the book “Conscious Millionaire” by JV Crum III, Kevin explains Crum’s view that monetary wealth can not only exist in harmony with higher consciousness, but is actually “a natural expression of living in alignment with your higher purpose.” The more abundantly we share our talents and gifts with the world, the more apt those talents are to be rewarded.
But to do that, we must take three steps. We must (1) know what we want, (2) focus on it as our top priority, and then (3) take the action based on what we are focused on.
Sounds like that should be easy, right? But many of us would have to admit that knowing what we really want can be difficult. And how can we focus our attention, if we don’t really know what we are after at any given time?
Learning what we really want vs. what we want right now.
Modern life seems to have robbed us of the ability to prioritize long term desires over what we want immediately. Every day brings us instant food, instant online shopping, and or instant tweets about what somebody is doing somewhere, all the time. We may decide we want to lose weight, but ignore our goal when faced with pastries. We may want to avert heart disease, but not enough to put down a cigarette, or take a walk. We want to save for the future, but suddenly forget about when we have a credit card and some new gadget before our eyes.
How do we decide what we really want?
Half of Crum’s book title is the word “conscious,” and his point, as Kevin explains, is that being conscious means having the ability to make decisions. We all are born with that ability, but seem to ignore using it.
How often do we think, or hear others wonder, “what happened with our lives?” It is as if we imagine it going on without us, letting us drift through, and never achieving anything that makes us feel fulfilled.
In a way we do drift along. But even drifting is a decision. Whenever we don’t seem to know what we want, it is not someone else failing to tell us what to do. It is ourselves not waking up to making up our minds.
As Kevin quotes from Crum’s book, “Choices are statements about your priorities and what you value,” (CM, pg 34). If we don’t consciously decide what we value, we will reach the end of our lives without any of the things that might have made us truly rich. This is true whether wealth to us means money, adventures, or days of laughter and joy. Memories of second best choices or drifting days do not appear to add up to a very abundant life.
Last week Kevin encouraged us to picture a perfect day. How do we really want to spend our time? This is an exercise it doesn’t hurt to do again and again. It can remind us to check whether or not we are really on our own right path.
Even before I read Kevin’s post this week, I was sort of already thinking about this idea. I kept hearing Billy Joel singing “It’s My Life” in my head. When we realize that it really is our life, to make rich or not, then we have make our own choices. No one else can get us where we want to go.
In the rest of his article Kevin explores the second and third parts of the “3 steps of conscious wealth creation,” focus and action, along with some of the pitfalls that get in our way. He has a wealth of good ideas to share, and I encourage you to read the entire article.
I am also going to consider some other benefits of “focus” in my next post here. So stay tuned.
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