The Wealth Paradox

$1,000 Fan 800Have you ever wondered what it would take to win with money?  I am talking about how to have true financial riches.  Have you ever thought about it?  Do you even believe it is possible?  Do you know that financial success is within your grasp?  The question is how do you become a financial success?

 

The Secret Revealed

If you are truly looking for how to win with money, you first need to understand one of the most powerful principles in personal finance, the power of contentment.  I Timothy 6:6-8 from the Bible say this: 

“6But godliness with contentment is a great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, andwe can take nothing out.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.

Before you exit this blog and move on with life take a minute to ponder with me.  Why are there so many stories of famous people that make millions of dollars that end up losing it all?  What about the lottery jackpot winners.  I have heard it said that within ten years of hitting the jackpot:  six out of ten file for bankruptcy, there is a four-fold increase in divorce and that blessing ends up becoming a nightmare.

What are the necessities of life?

According to the verses above food and clothing are a definite.  I think we can safely add shelter to our list of necessities as well.

I remember in college having needs vs. wants debate and stating (as an example) that air conditioning is a want.  How well do you think that went over?  All I know is I thought I was going to be tossed out the door by my peers because they couldn’t believe anyone could live without air conditioning.

Well, I could make that argument because I grew up without air conditioning in our home all of my childhood (yes even in the 90’s).  Some would argue that is what’s wrong with me.

What about cell phones being a necessity?  How did we survive back in the 70’s and 80’s without cell phones?  When I was in high school I had a cell phone with fifteen minutes on it…per month!  It was to be used for emergencies only.  There was no texting or smart phones back then.  Yet today, very few teenagers do not have a smart phone.  Again, I am not saying it is wrong to have a smart phone or for your teen to have one.  But too many times we call certain things in life a need, when in reality they are a want.

I am not saying that you should not have air conditioning, but what I have realized is that when you are content with what you have life becomes more peaceful.  At the end of the day isn’t that what we really want to achieve? 

Defining Wealth

Zig Ziglar says it this way, “If standard of living is your number one priority, quality of life almost never improves.  But if quality of life is your number one priority your standard of living almost always improves.”

I heard a pastor once say, “If you have anything above and beyond your basic necessity, you are wealthy.”  If we use that statement as one way to define wealth, then I think most American’s are wealthy.  If you want to know how blessed you really are check out this website.  If you bring home $50,000 per year, your household is in the top one quarter of one percent (0.28%) income earners in the world.  There is nothing wrong with having wealth, but it is about having a proper perspective and that will help you find contentment.

Putting it All Together

At the end of the day without contentment you will find it very challenging to build wealth and keep it.  More than likely, if you take this blog to heart, you will have hopefully realized how wealthy you already are.

What is your definition of wealth?  Why is contentment so important in the area of how we handle money?

Justin Bennett

  1. If you can’t be content with what you have, you’ll never have enough, even when you get more. Air conditioning is a want (unless you live in Texas :-)), I grew up without it too. I once remember economist Walter Williams saying that a microwave oven is a luxury item, try arguing that one! And you know how I feel about smart phones, and cable TV, and iPods/iPads, and so many other things that people with little money think they must have! Even second cars are more of a luxury than people realize.

  2. Thank you for writing this article. Redefining wealth is a necessity in our culture and you are providing a great service. While I agree that contentment is one neccesary ingredient of true wealth, I think that it must also be matched by an innate desire to be our best selves. Or in simple terms “don’t settle”. If our basic needs are met and we are content and stop there, we are neglecting our potential and hindering our success.

    By including the value of time in the definition of wealth we can affect an outcome that arrives at the intersect between contentment and destiny. The truly wealthy are content with the basics, but they are also masters of time. They are not enslaved to the ticking hands of a clock but instead engage in “hands-free” living. They do what they have to do first, so they can do what they were made to do when called, and they do it all within their means. By using the time and money they have available to achieve a balance between short and long term happiness (a vacation today and retirement tomorrow), the truly wealthy are minute-hand millionaires. This leads to my definition:

    wealth
    : achieving one’s best potential in an environment absent of time or monetary burdens
    or
    : contentment achieved by efficiently utilizing resources (both time and money) and balancing them with desires

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