A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a large group discussion. Thinking I was in a group of like-minded people, I was surprised to see the conversation quickly shift to a predominant focus on wealth creation, wealth-building, and monetization.
There’s nothing wrong with wealth creation and, as an entrepreneur, I understand that monetization is not only desirable, but necessary.
But money is not the end, and when it’s made the end – or, the primary conversation point turns to making more of it – things quickly get off track. After the conversation had ended, some others in the discussion confided in me how put off they’d been. They felt like they were constantly being sold by others. They felt as though they had been pulled into a money-making scheme. They lost trust in the host and that he had their best interest in mind.
Wealth is an abundance of what is truly valuable. In many regards, money is valuable, in many others, it’s truly not.
True wealth is greater than money. In fact, money doesn’t make you wealthy at all. Money can support your wealth, but it can’t create it and it may even take it away.
True wealth consists of the following freedoms:
Freedom to live your values
Values are those things in our lives that are core to our being. We believe that they are foundational, goods in and of themselves. Regardless of the ramifications, we adhere to them. True wealth provides the freedom to live our values consistently.
Freedom to be who you are
We can allow ourselves to be defined by others, by ourselves, or by our very nature. But who we are is really the only thing we have in life. True wealth allows us to be who we are, who we are called to be, and who we want to become. It gives us the freedom to be ourselves.
Freedom to relate with others
At the end of the day, it is our interactions with others – the community within which we live – that makes us human. Our relationships with others are far more valuable than any possessions we could ever collect. True wealth provides us with the opportunity to be in relationship with those that we love.
Freedom to pursue your passion
Passion is associated with what we care deeply about. Pursuing our passion brings joy to our lives. True wealth exists when we are able to recklessly pursue our passion. It is the freedom to do what we love, for the sake of itself.
There’s no doubt that each one of these freedoms can be supported by money, but if money becomes the ultimate end, it can also take these freedoms away. We can become slaves to our pursuit of money, and in the conversation I experienced a few weeks ago, this is what many people began to notice. The passionate pursuit of money for its own end had begun to take away from the true reason why money had any worth. It seemed to become more important to some than the freedoms it had the potential to afford.
Have you gotten intentional about your values, your life, your relationships, and your passions? Do you know what it is you’re pursuing, or are you caught in the pursuit of money, thinking that it will buy you what you’re ultimately after?