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How do you measure success and riches?

Posted by Anonymous. on February 13, 2003 at 09:18:54

In Reply to: Is anyone of you getting seriously rich out there? posted by tigress on February 13, 2003 at 01:18:43:

In the 90's I discovered that the $150 bucks or so I tucked away every month for me and my wife and kids for a few years, had blossomed into a neat $20,000. I was all optimistic about the future, and decided not to coninue putting on hold these needs we had had for so long. I was used to wearing 1 pair of jeans and the same shirts, making popcorn at home and bringing it to the once -a-year movie we'd wtach together, and now all of a sudden we were thinking about where to spend the holidays. We decided to live life, and not wait until some day when such and such conditions were met. I don't know if we were happier for it, but I know that we couldn't hold off on those needs anymore.

Soon, more lucky breaks came along and everything I had worked so hard to achieve for so many years started paying off. So we thought bigger and bigger. By the late 90's I owned a big house with 3 floors by the lake, and I was flying around to as many as 15 countries a year on a whim, smetimes with my whole family. Most people considered me "successful", and maybe in some way I was. But that depends on your definition of success.

What I didn't know then, was that I was lacking the foundation for good living, and I was hungry and trying to feed myself with all these distractions, these things I programmed myself to believe I needed and had to achieve. My kids grew up and left home, my relationship fell apart from my hyper-activity, and I continued with my expensive life-style for a few more years. Then I realized that all that just wasn't me. I wasn't happy. I was all empty inside. Soon, I started to purposely neglect my assets, and give them up one by one. At the height of my "success" I was not able to lean back and enjoy what I had achieved. I had to guard my assets, and work to maintain a lifestyle with high expenses.

I realized that everything that you own owns you back. Everything you touch touches you back.

I got my "success", my riches, and my wealth, and I got a little richer in broken relationships too.

You can achieve wealth and riches, if you save and work, it will probably come to you eventually. But if and when it comes, at what what price would it have come? And if and when it comes, do you have the temparament to handle it?

I know it's all cliche and we used to tell people these things when we were in the F., and pretend like we knew all the answers to people's lives, and we'd end such witnessing with a punchiline to forsake all and join the F.

In the end, the only things that really matter are your relationships with your loved ones and your family, and that's where the F. was totally wrong because they robbed you of any meaningful relationships.

My new definition of riches and success are: living with as much wisdom, health, happiness as possible, having loving meaningful relationships, reaching your full potential as a human being, understanding your purpose in your life.

And my punchline: the place you definitely don't find those things is in the Family.