What Actually Brings You Health, Wealth & Happiness?
Most of us have heard the phrase “health, wealth, and happiness.”
But what actually brings health, wealth, and happiness? Is it a success, and success alone?
My poor dad was a successful man.
He had a Ph.D. and was well-respected and accomplished. But he had poor health, very little wealth, and was rarely happy.
He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, eventually dying of lung cancer.
He made a lot of money as a government official but never invested it.
He wasn’t happy with his success. In his mind, he needed to accomplish more.
So, my question for you, as we are all facing challenges with health and wealth is, “Are you becoming healthy, wealthy and happy?”
Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Health is primarily about diet and exercise, and wealth is about earning and investing. But happiness is a bit more mysterious. We know to think positively, but thinking positively instead of realistically can have tragic consequences. For example, positive thinking won’t prevent you from going bust if you’re foolish with money, and it won’t reduce your percentage of body fat. In fact, it’s often the pursuit of happiness that causes the most problems with health and wealth. Many people are obese because they eat and drink to feel happy. And others shop to feel happy, even if it means maxing out credit cards.
Many books discuss the subject of being happy and the factors that affect happiness. One factor, in particular, helps entrepreneurs lead happier, healthier, and wealthier lives: self-control. I’m happier if I have the self-control to do the right things even if I don’t want to do them. In business, sometimes that means studying more instead of working more.
Sometimes we make business decisions because they make us feel happy in the short run. But in the long run, we become less healthy and less happy. Sometimes doing the right thing might not make us happy temporarily, but we feel better later.
My cardiologist Dr. Radha Gopalan has been nudging me for years to meditate, reminding me that doctors and medicine are fake health and that inner spirituality is real health.
He ﬁnally got it through my thick head that I was sacriﬁcing my health and happiness for wealth. Being a Type-A person, I loved what I was doing. Every day was fun. Every day was challenging. Every day was stressful—and I thrive on stress. The problem was, my ego was running me, not my spirit, and I loved that, too.
Until Radha nudged me to “wake up,” meditate, read spiritual books (not just ﬁnancial books), and practice yoga, as well as go to the gym, I was nothing but a little dog trying to become a bigger dog. I was unaware that I was destroying my future health, wealth, and happiness as I roared off to work every day.
As a little dog trying to be a big dog, I was working harder and harder, banging my head against my self-imposed glass ceiling, and turning my fairytale life, my marriage, and my business into a nightmare.
Now, almost every morning, I follow the wisdom found in The Miracle Morning, written by Hal Elrod. Almost every morning, I practice a yoga routine for about 10 minutes, meditate for 30 minutes, read a spiritual book for 10 minutes, and journal, sharing my innermost thoughts on paper, to myself. This early morning hour is the most important part of my day. This hour determines how I will handle the day and the quality of my future.
Wealth is Important Too
Let me first say this: you can’t have wealth without health, and you can’t have health without wealth.
Rich dad believed that life was more important than money, but that money was important for supporting life.
He often said, “You only have so many hours in a day, and you can only work so hard. So, why work hard for money? Learn to have money and people work hard for you and you can be free to do the things that are important.”
To my rich dad, what was important was:
- Having lots of time to raise his kids
- Having money to donate to charities and projects he supported
- Bringing jobs and financial stability to the community
- Having time and money to take care of his health
- Being able to travel the world with his family
“Those things take money,” said rich dad. “That’s why money is important to me. Money is important, but I don’t want to spend my life working for it.”
Most people find the same things to be important that my rich dad did. I know my poor dad did The problem for my poor dad, however, was that his attitude towards money kept him poor. And because he was poor, he didn’t have the ability to fully do the things that were important to him.
The truth is that money isn’t everything, but it does help us do everything we love. And perhaps that’s the real thing to learn from the crisis that’s happening today.
It’s not money that brings happiness, but rather it’s the things that money allows you to do that does. It follows then that before you make money, the key thing you need to do is to determine what is most important to you and how money can help you achieve those things.
How to Prepare for the Future
So the question is: What is important to you? It’s not just money or health. It’s the things that money and good health can mean to you and your family. Money affects all the things that are important in our lives.
Many people are resilient and strong. Again, the problem with strong, resilient people is they do not grow or learn and fall behind as the world churns on into the future.
I will leave you with this quote, ancient words of wisdom that the authors of The Coddling of the American Mind use at the start of the book’s ﬁrst chapter, “The Untruth of Fragility.”
When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.—Meng Tzu Fourth century BCE
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily