When you think of someone as being rich, you think of them as having a lot of money and/or assets: an individual who has visible wealth.
Many often see this as an unobtainable feat – to be considered richand have this label applied to your position within society.
However, in this post, I want to address the word rich and take a look at a number of other meanings attached to it in order see whether its meaning can be a little more semantically flexible.
So, are you rich? Let’s find out:
One of the biggest assets you hold, and it’s entirely free. Time gives you opportunity like no other asset class. The most obvious benefits are such that it enables you to develop relationships, create memories or heal wounds both physical and mental. No matter your situation, time can be the greatest benefit to learn new skills and right any wrongs; so much is possible with time on your side even if you’re not considered rich in the conventional sense of the word.
From an investor’s perspective, time gives you a leg up over even the most experienced fund managers or brokers. With time, an investor can weather falls in the market, overcome recessions and create wealth with just a basic understanding of the financial markets.
The old cliché is that ‘time IN the market beats timING the market’, and no phrase holds more truth in order to take advantage of compound interest.
Time is your friend and an asset, use it wisely.
This one may be less applicable to everyone and may often be a result of luck in upbringing, but can also be the obtained through hard work and perseverance.
Opportunity ‘richness’ comes in many forms. You might be born with an abundance of opportunity that gives you access to the best schools and connections in order to benefit your future self. One may also have opportunities through connections with family and friends.
Opportunity can be an important tool in wealth creation and building skills. An individual does not need to be rich from the outset in order to benefit from opportunities presented to them. Whether they have inherited this opportunity or worked hard in order to realise opportunity, people from all backgrounds have the ability to become opportunity rich.
Financial independence is a case in point. People from all backgrounds and pay grades can achieve financial independence. It affords the individual the opportunity of choice; if you are no longer dependent on your next pay cheque, you release yourself from the chains of the material and no longer have to work to live.
Referring to an individual’s ownership of physical goods, being material rich may be the usual understanding of being rich – the more you own or the more expensive goods you hold, the richer you are perceived.
The word ‘perceived’ here is the real ‘kicker’ when looking at this definition of the word. You may own the nice house and the flashy car, but you could also be living pay cheque to pay cheque in order to be able to afford these luxuries. In this context you are the least desirable type of rich, and are susceptible to losing that label quite easily with one wrong turn.
This is another definition that requires an amount of luck, but also one that can be aided by a healthy routine and mind-set.
If we keep ourselves physically and mentally healthy we allow ourselves to benefit from both time richness and opportunity richness. This is, in essence, the most important definition within this post, and one that would be the most desirable to obtain and maintain to the best of our ability.
Obtaining health richness can come at an incredibly low cost too and often even be free. Walking, running or hiking can support building your health ‘net worth’. Of course, you may be unlucky with your health through no fault of your own, but building a healthy lifestyle gives you the greatest opportunity (there’s that word again) to set yourself up in good stead.
I suppose the aim of this post is to develop an understanding that being rich does not necessarily come in the physical form that we typically associate with being rich. Being rich doesn’t always depend on the ones and zeros in your bank account, or the shiny new car on your driveway.
Richness can come in a multitude of forms, it just depends on your openness to adapt your definition of the word in order to not always feel second best to your mate who just bought his five-bed house, while you’re still renting your one bed flat.
It’s all a matter of perspective and finding contentment with what you have and what you can do with the resources available to you; forget about always trying to keep up with the Jones’ because there might be more to them than meets the eye.