Photo courtesy Jan available on Flickr.
Getting rich or wealthy is a dream of many.
You would like that too, wouldn’t you?
Let us begin with the four pillars of wealth creation.
According to a dictionary, wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. Interestingly enough, we often think of wealth in terms of accumulated money or possessions. We forget that wealth is so much more than money.
Wealth creation is about habits, practices and systems that provide you with the abundance of resources. Of various kinds.
This can only be achieved and maintained through conscious thinking and actions.
Rich vs wealthy
Let me first clarify the difference I perceive between “rich” and “wealthy”. Even though they may be considered as synonyms, their meanings are different in the practical use of the English language.
Richness is about a series of events in which we earn money or receive money. We may think of a well-paid job (but not necessarily secure), investments, inherited money or lottery wins. When we hear “rich”, we think of “being rich” or, more frequently, we think of “getting rich”. Ideally, fast 😉 The later expression describes external events that help us to earn or receive money, or collect valuable resources.
Wealth is about a process in which we create and deliver value, maintain the resources we have and accumulate new ones. When we hear “wealth” we think of “creating wealth” or “maintaining wealth” which are about long term approaches that involve a personal change.
In my opinion, “rich” is to “wealthy” as external circumstances that force you or help you to grow are to a self-inspired personal transformation. The difference lies in the details: the level of consciousness, value creation, independent thinking, self-discipline and the set-up of right systems.
We are now at the core message here. There are four pillars of wealth creation. These are:
Your health is your wealth
As you know it is hard to fully enjoy life when health is poor. There are multiple limitations you will need to deal with, including low energy levels, possibilities for taking action and perhaps even the level of independence. Surely, you can achieve great things in any situation, but only when you take sufficient care of yourself first. When your health is compromised, you will spend lots of effort, time, money and energy to get yourself back on track.
Choose to become responsible for your health now. It may take some time before you get well, perhaps even years, but it is worth it. Even if you cannot become perfectly healthy, you can still create habits that support you in the optimal functioning on daily basis. Decide to take health as a life-time project and you will discover what serves you and what depletes you. In addition, you will learn to optimize both (maximize the former and minimize the latter).
Improvements will not likely happen overnight but they will come if you persist. Educate yourself on eating well, healing with whole foods, exercise, release of emotions (such as grudges, disappointments or anger), life in kindness and gratitude, meditation, prayer and rest. It is simpler than it sounds.
The challenge is that nobody can tell you what is right for you. There are theories, practices and guidance available. But there is a lot of confusion even with respect to the basic things: how to eat well or how to exercise well.
For any diet or recommendation you will easily find a diet with the opposite ones. E.g. raw food diet vs all-cooked diet, high-protein diet vs low-protein diet, eating small meals frequently vs fast-5 diet (eating only within five consecutive hours and fasting the remaining 19h – imagine that!), whole-grain based diet vs no-grain diet.
Obviously, the same holds for the exercising plan.
Finding meaning in chaos
How can you find out what makes sense?
I think that the first step is to learn about yourself. It can only happen through self-reflection and paying attention how particular food (or exercise) effects you during a day. Example questions to ask yourself:
- Are you usually warm or cold? (too warm? too cold?)
If you are too warm you may need to eat more raw vegetables. If you are too cold, you may need to eat more cooked and spicy food.
- What is your tendency under stress: anxiety or depression?
Anxiety is about confusion and expansion so you may need to eat food that encourages contraction such as naturally salty food (e.g fish) or drink herbal teas such as peppermint tea. Depression is about contraction, so you may need to eat food that nourishes and support expansion such as sweet root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, swede, sweet potatoes, pepper), lamb, lettuce or drink liquorice tea.
- How do you feel satisfied after a protein-rich meal? Energetic or sleepy? Hungry soon after or heavy stomach? How do you feel after a carb-rich meal? Energetic or sleepy?
Depending on the action of protein and carbs on your body you need to find the optimal ratio. Warm people are often slow metabolizers, so it is the best to include more carb-rich food in their diets. Cold people are usually fast metabolizers and it is best to include more protein-rich food in their diets.
- Which cravings or additions do you follow? Caffeine? Sugar or sweets? Energy drinks? Salty food?
- What climate do you live in?
Hot climates will need more cooling foods, eating in their raw forms. Cold climates will need more cooked foods (such as soups or stews) to warm up the body.
- What type of food depletes your energy soon after the meal?
- What type of food make you feel energized hours after the meal?
Pay attention to what you eat and how it effects you. Health is a complex project and only through self-education, experimenting, reflection and observation you can determine what is best for you.
Why is health so important?
I believe that taking care of your physical, emotional and mental health is the first step to wealth creation. Why? Because your creative power, clear mind and good performance depend on your being well both in the mind and in the body.
More importantly, in the process of learning how to optimize and maintain your health you will learn how to deal with confusing information, cut through chaos, find meaningful suggestions, experiment and test various approaches. This is all done in order to set up habits and systems that promote your well-being. It is not an easy process, but possible!
Having learned how to take care of your health will teach you skills that can easily be transferred to creating abundance in your life. In the end, the maintenance of your health is about the right habits and approaches to which you stick daily. It will prepare you to handle similar challenges, but now with respect to independent thinking, saving, investing and business.
I think that eating well is very important. What “well” means, however, depends on a person. One person’s healing food may be a poison to another. And I mean it.
I don’t advocate any particular diet because I don’t follow any to the letter. Moreover, it is a personal choice. I eat meat, even though I experimented with the vegetarian and vegan diets in the past. I drink green smoothie every day, self-made juices a few times a month and protein drinks most of the days.
I was very enthusiastic about the raw food diet and experimented with it for a few months, but I ultimately decided against it. Not because the diet is bad, but because it is not optimal for me. In the cold / rainy climate, where I live, I feel more nourished by warm, cooked meals than by raw meals. As I also long for leafy greens and vegetables, I eat both raw food and cooked meals.
When I cook I often follow the ideas from the traditional Polish cooking modified by the principles of the Paleo diet or the five element theory from the traditional Chinese medicine. I also use fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, pickles) in the kitchen and lots of herbs, where turmeric, wild thyme, ginger, basil, marjoram, cumin, cloves and black pepper and chilli are my beloved standard. They are pretty healthy, by the way.
There are a few books that are thought provoking. Please don’t take them as dogmas even though the authors have strong opinions. Avoid to be biased in thinking by beliefs of the authorities or gurus. take what speaks to you and adopt the ideas to your personal circumstances.
Five elements cooking / whole foods
Green smoothie and high raw diet
Health is your first foundation towards the wealth creation. Please treat it with respect.
Your education is your wealth
I understand education broadly as an inspired learning, not necessarily bound to particular diplomas or titles, schools or universities. All education is self-education as you will ultimately learn things by yourself. The help of mentors, teachers or masters will usually speed up the learning process or allow you to better understand the foundations. Mentors are not necessary though. Schools or universities provide teaching systems which will serve some but may be too limited for others.
The truth is that you can learn new things all the time by studying books, online learning, following courses, learning from a mastermind group or a mentor, training at university, and so on. And there is plenty available for free. Just look around!
You can also learn through observation, experimenting, reflections and discussions with others. There are many ways to enquire knowledge and put it to test. And yes, testing it is necessary to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
My experience is that new skills and new techniques add to your repertoire of life experience. A new skill creates new neuron connections in the brain. As a result, there are more paths for information processing. And you would rather choose to have your brain full of connections than empty, wouldn’t you?
Your intelligence depends on the recognition of patterns, observing the difference and connecting seemingly unrelated ideas. The more connections in your brain, the higher your intelligence. The more you know and can, the more interesting your life becomes.
Skills developed in one area can often be transferred (after some modification, obviously) to another area. This is a common phenomenon in science when new inspiration and creative solutions arise from the marriage of particular ideas in e.g. computer science and physics, neurology and computer science, organic chemistry and math and so on. But the same applies to our lives too.
Your knowledge on nutrition and cooking skills can help you to organize your clutter-free life. Your organization skills can help you to become a good teacher. Your talents with kids can help you to become an artist. Your musical trainings can help you become a good scientist. Your engineering skills can help you become a great climber. And so on.
Your knowledge and your skills are your valuable resources, your second pillar to wealth creation.
Always look for learning something new – there is no better way for increasing intelligence. Moreover, learning is fun.
Your relationships are your wealth
It’s hard to exist alone. It is certainly possible and even greatly serves a few individuals, but without community we lack both reference for our growth and a place where we belong. Relations create a context and a domain of knowledge. It is a matrix where we live in. They reflect to us who we are and help us develop. They also pose challenges, which we understand here as possibilities for growth.
Most importantly, relationships allow us to receive love and to give love to others and live in a flow. This is the optimal state of being in which we feel deeply alive. We keep balancing between the polarities of similarity and difference, independence and interdependence, giving and receiving, sorrow and joy. Without relationships we loose the meaning of life.
It is the quality and depth of relations that matter most, not the quantity. We long for meaningful connections with others, for the recognition of ourselves and own vulnerabilities in others. We are tired of surface courtesies and polite talk for the sake of keeping manners.
If this is true for you, start to meet people where they are – in their weak spots and in their achievements. Seek to understand first, listen actively and develop empathy. Cherish their achievements. Be kind. Volunteer to help. Spread love. And your life will become meaningful.
Seek to connect with inspiring and positive people and cut off draining relations. Find good teachers. Make friends with people who already have the skills you want to develop. Because it matters.
Recognize you are not alone. Your wealth lies in the matrix of people who are supportive of you. Appreciate that.
Your assets are your wealth
Assets as possessions are the usual ingredient of wealth. But there is some confusion about assets and liabilities. For instance a house or a car are usually considered as assets, definitely on the balance sheets. They are not necessarily so.
Let’s keep things simple. Assets are possessions or resources which bring us money. Liabilities are possessions which cost us money.
A house you bought with a 20-year mortgage is not your asset. It is your liability. First of all, you don’t own it. Secondly, you have to make repairs or investments as things worn out. The house costs you money. Even if you pay the mortgage, there are still taxes and maintenance costs – the house does not bring you income (until you sell it, obviously).
On the other hand, a house becomes an asset when you rent it and the monthly payments cover the necessary investments (and mortgage if there is one) and leave you some money on the top.
Clearly, a car is a liability. Its value deteriorates quickly with time and there are high maintenance costs. For this reason the best advice is to drive 2nd hand cars, and, ideally until the end. A piece of land that you own and lease to a farming business is an asset.
Saving accounts look like an asset because you seem to earn some money by interest. However, many banks do not keep up with the rate of inflation. For instance a bank may offer 1% interest while the inflation rate is 5%. Consequently, by keeping money on your account you basically loose money. Isn’t that ironical? It is usually much more profitable to invest the money wisely in a business or to buy gold or silver.
Please educate yourself on the subject of finances. Ramit Sethi, who also published the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich, is an example to learn from.
The biggest asset for wealth creation
It is you.
Yes, it is you.
It is who you are and whom you are becoming.
It is your being: your vision, your purpose and your integrity.
It is your doing: your traits, your skills and your actions.
Wealth creation is like farming. Improve your soil first (health and assets) so that you can plant quality seeds (education), support their growth (education and relationships) and collect your abundant crops. It is possible.