There are some marvelous books out there that can guide us to new ways of thinking about our lives, our happiness and our success. One of them is called “7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness” by Jim Rohn. One of the ideas Rohn introduces is the value of enriching our lives even if monetary income remains the same; it’s a matter of resetting priorities and revisiting what we view as valuable in our lives.
When most of us started working and earning our own money, we only saw that money could buy us things that our parents would not, like candy, soda, the latest toy. As we grew older and became responsible for families, children, perhaps college, we saw that money had to be gathered and saved in order to pay those bill. But now that our careers are underway, do we find that we still spend our available money on “the latest and greatest” or “candy,” such as a run to a fast food restaurant, or Starbucks, or bakery, where we purchase a temporary feeling of satisfaction?
Would not a change of view about the value of money lead us to something that would enrich ourselves, such as tickets to a play, a concert, a restaurant we’d never been to? Would not new experiences and exploration translate into a “richer” lifesstyle than the same ol’ places and activities? Do you find yourself that much more satisfied going to Panera Bread now that you can easily afford it? Or is that satisfaction a temporary thing? What are we spending our hard-earned money on? And would we spend it any differently if we had more of it?
Most of us say that if we had more, we would spend it differently. But don’t we have more now than we did as a teenager? Have our spending habits really changed? Doesn’t something we’ve saved up for mean just a little more to us? I know some folks who take great pleasure in keeping track of airline miles so that they can take a trip to a destination they’d never visited before. How cool is that? And what a wonderful use of those miles!
But how about all those dollars that go toward the trinkets, the sales, breakfasts, lunches or snacks that we suddenly feel in the mood for? How about saving those dollars for dining on cuisine we’ve never tasted before at a 5 star restaurant? Would we cherish that a little more? Or perhaps see a new play with friends at a local playhouse? Or a traveling exhibit by a world-renowned artist? Wouldn’t those experiences help to stretch our imaginations, increase our knowledge and enrich our lives?
We don’t have to be as rich as Donald Trump to experience some of the things that constitute higher living. I remember my parents, who lived very frugally, purchased season tickets every year to a concert series at the Kennedy Center. It was just one of the enriching programs they enjoyed. As a teenager, I asked them why they attended these concerts and their answer was, “Because we don’t play cards and we don’t like the movies they’re making anymore.” (They never held back their opinions, haha).
“The key to Happiness is not more.
Happiness is an art to be studied
In his book, Jim Rohn stresses that there are riches all around us that we take for granted. We must learn the”art of designing a lifestyle…” starting right away and not “when I have more money,” or “when I get rich.” Rohn explains that although he lived in Idaho, which borders Yellowstone National Park, he had never visited it. Likewise, I knew people who lived in New York City who had never visited the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Many people living in my hometown of Washington, DC had never toured the Capitol Building, the White House, or the Smithsonian except on a field trip with their school.
It’s important to obtain a new lifestyle mindset so that we can enjoy any monetary riches that we do make, otherwise, we will just do more of the same things we’ve always done.
My favorite quote from this book is from Jim Rohn’s own mentor, a businessman named Mr. Earl Shoaff: In answer to the statement, “If I had more money I’d be happy,” he replied, “The key to happiness is not more. Happiness is an art to be studied and practiced. More money will only make you more of what you already are…. So if you’re inclined to be unhappy, you’ll be luxuriously miserable with more money….. On the other hand, if you master the art of lifestyle and happiness, more money will help you to amplify your happiness and inner wealth.”
Do you have some thoughts about this? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. We can all help each other get to where we want to go, and be the people we want to be!
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