“Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” ~Oscar Wilde
Does the race for riches leave you unfulfilled?
Does the thought of constantly chasing ever more cash leave you stressed, depressed even?
Does the whole idea of measuring your personal worth in terms of your personal wealth leave you deeply dissatisfied?
It did for me.
Poor in possessions and somewhat fiscally challenged, I never fit in with my richer friends.
And no matter how much I told myself that money didn’t buy happiness, I still felt worthless because I was worth less … financially.
So in my thirties, I finally caved in and chased the money dream.
Five exhausting, stress-filled years of ruthlessly pursuing more money.
But when I got there, it meant nothing to me. It didn’t make me happy. It made me miserable.
In those five years, even to the small extent I succeeded, the so-called riches that money can buy actually left me poorer in happiness, health, and relationships. My heart and head were as full as my work schedule, but not with the people and things that really mattered.
I discovered that rocking a 24-carat rock didn’t rock my world. And bling definitely didn’t make me swing.
So with no idea where to go from there, I found an empty journal and started a record of the True Riches In My Life. For each year of my adult life, I jotted down every experience, achievement, adventure, friendship won or lost, and every decision I could remember making.
What an epiphany!
I realized my life had been full of riches long before I started chasing financial wealth and material gain. I realized most of the truest riches in my life actually came when I didn’t have all that much money.
Sure, when money’s really tight, it’s not so easy to focus on much beyond finding enough for the essentials. When I was lost in the financial doldrums, struggling to pay my rent, and praying there’d be reduced food in the supermarket, it took up a lot of my mental energy. But I wish I’d known then that I would have felt so much better about myself, about my situation, if I’d recognized the riches I did have.
Whether I’d had enough money or not, I’d missed seeing all those infinitely precious things because I’d been looking for the wrong kind of riches. I’d been measuring my inner wealth by my external wealth.
I realized in that epiphany that no matter how much a part of me may have wanted it, I would never be materialistic. It just isn’t in my makeup; I am much more spiritual than material.
Just like you.
And even though you can have lots of money and still be spiritual, spiritual people measure true wealth in different terms.
So forget the race for riches, start your own True Riches In My Life journal, and discover your own inner wealth.
14 Infinitely Precious Things For A Rich Life
Forever staying true to yourself and being at peace with who you are is the greatest richness in life.
Each morning, tell your reflection that you are going to do yourself the greatest service of being you. This act alone makes me feel happier, regardless of my personal financial situation or lack of ‘status.’
Start your Riches In My Life journal with a declaration of the authentic, spiritually rich person you truly are.
Overcome your natural desire to control the uncontrollable in life, and replace struggle with acceptance and peace.
Every time you catch yourself wishing you could change the unchangeable, write it down in your journal, and say, “It’s okay. I accept this just as it is.”
Childish wonder is still within you. Forever questioning and experimenting is the sign of a rich mind. My most enjoyable days are always those marked by a discovery, where I’ve learned something new, however tiny, that I can’t wait to share.
Reignite your spark and excitement for life by reading different types of books, learning about different cultures, and delving deeper into anything of interest. Jot down these new discoveries in your True Riches journal—you’ll be amazed!
Creating something from nothing is a courageous act that brings a valuable accomplishment amid the practicalities of everyday life.
Let your self-expression rule in your journal—start that book, paint that picture, or maybe just sketch out an idea or inventive solution.
Letting go of anger or hurt rewards one with peace of mind—a priceless freedom. The act of forgiveness is a true testament to your inner strength.
Write in your journal and say, “I forgive you, [name].” Don’t worry if you don’t feel forgiveness the first time; it will come in due time.
Confucius listed gentleness as one of the greatest virtues, and it is a quality you can see in spiritual people from Buddha to Gandhi. The ability to be strong without being abrupt or harsh is a rare and valuable quality.
Next time the kids or a colleague act up, smile, speak softly, and note in your journal how you stood firm but gentle.
Being patient isn’t easy in this age of instant gratification. However, with patience, you can achieve things over time that may seem impossible. Journaling my ideas and projects has taken me from being “Missy, I need it right now or not at all,” to truly feeling the joy that more substantial, longer-term projects bring.
Next time you start beating yourself up over a missed goal, write a realistic time scale in your journal, and remember to be as patient with yourself as you are with others.
It takes dedication to notice what you have and be thankful for it. But acknowledging all the good things in each day will make you rich in happiness.
Challenge yourself to note one thing each day you might have taken for granted, and add it to your journal to build a treasury of blessings.
Giving when you believe you don’t have enough yourself is true generosity of heart. And doing so leads to the realization that you always have enough to share.
Give someone your undivided attention for half an hour when you think you have no time. In this hectic world, your full attention is one of the most generous things you can give. Write these acts of generosity in your journal.
Being kind brings its own rich rewards—inner peace, happiness, and the knowledge that you are making a real difference in the world, one people will remember.
Next time you feel unhappy or are beating yourself up, do one small act of kindness for someone, then do one for yourself. Note these in your journal.
To understand and feel another’s pain is a truly selfless act. It allows you to appreciate the areas of ease and plenty in your own life.
In your journal, note all your compassionate thoughts and actions. I find these to be the most powerful of my journal entries; they wrap a security blanket of all that I’m blessed with round me each time I re-read them.
Making that emotional connection with others, whether it’s your partner, family, or friend, brings an abundance into your life that money can never hope to match.
Each day, tell someone you love them, and write in your journal every time those wonderful words are said to you.
Letting down your defenses and showing your weaknesses allows others to see the full picture, not just a silhouette. Being vulnerable builds trust in relationships. This is my Achilles heel, but by consciously letting others in, initially unremarkable relationships have blossomed into great friendships.
In your journal, record all your positive experiences of being vulnerable to help you build this rewarding habit.
Realizing you already have abundance in your life brings serenity and contentment. Achieving this in a materialistic world takes a special skill.
In your journal, read through all the infinitely precious things other than money that you are wealthy in. Acknowledge all the wealth you already have because, as the proverb says, “enough is a feast.”
Find Your Real Riches
Imagine being unconcerned about the race for riches.
Imagine no longer stressing over constantly chasing ever more cash.
Imagine measuring your personal wealth in terms of your personal worth, and feeling true contentment with the result.
Start that True Riches In My Life journal.
Embrace the genuinely spiritual person you are, and be at peace for the incredible riches you bring to the world.
Woman with coffee image via Shutterstock
About Laura Tong
Laura Tong is a regular contributor on The Huffington Post and other top blogs. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict). Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.