A Rich Life is Defined by How Little You Need

Tony Robbins visited Calgary Sept.25, 2013 and took over the BMO centre sharing his mantras with over 3000 attendees, such as “When you are having financial difficulties, the issue is not resources, it’s RESOURCEFULNESS”

This interested me as I often lament to myself “I wish I had more money!”

Having experienced a divorce several years ago, becoming a single parent of four children and then having to declare bankruptcy my main focus has been on acquiring more money every day. Looking for a better position in the company, a better company to work for, taking more education to make my skills more valuable and expecting that with more money, problems would be solved.

However, when I take a step back and consider what Robbins says I can see the truth in it and I can also see that a fulfilled life doesn’t have to be overflowing with cash. NOT having excess funds has forced our family to indeed become resourceful!

When we wanted to have a special weekend together we didn’t have the option to call up a hotel in Banff and spend a weekend away, but we have come up with many creative ideas that have enriched our lives and relationships with one another. We have made awesome picnics and spent a day at a local park. We have hiked through Nose Hill Park and spotted deer and we have enjoyed the entertainment of watching all kinds of canines at local off leash dog parks. Instead of a glamorous dinner out sometimes we have grabbed something from Peter’s Drive-In or Tim’s and parked by the airport to watch planes take-off and land. We have laughed together, discussed challenges, practiced multiplication tables and told jokes – there is no amount of money that could place a value on that kind of relationship building.

When it came to birthdays we had to be creative and actually THINK about the person and what would be special for them. We could never rush into Holt Renfrew at the last minute and pick up a gift pack of beauty products, we had to give the beauty within ourselves and that took concentrated effort. I recall one year it was the kid’s Uncle Adam’s birthday right after a slew of other birthdays and events and we really had almost no money to buy more than a Starbuck’s gift card for him. I had all the kids write a thoughtful card and describe what they liked about their uncle. When presented to him we could all tell how much he was moved to read the love and appreciation, it was priceless.

We are born with nothing, we die taking nothing with us, perhaps there are more important values than pursuing riches.

I recently watched the movie “I Am” on Netflix by Director Tom Shadyac. He also directed award winners such as Ace Ventura and Bruce Almighty. After a bike accident that shook him up he re-discovered a truth in life that is surprisingly similar to Robbins, he shares that “more money does not make us more happy”. He sold his mansion and bought a 1300 square foot bungalow and now rides his bike to work and has found a renewed delight for life.

Of course, we need the bare necessities. We need a place to live, food to eat, but compared with places in India or Africa even at our lowest we are rich! We are able to access education, there are many government resources available to us and we can always find soup and a sandwich if we are starving.

If you don’t have to be rich to be wealthy, then what makes a wealthy, prosperous life?

Perhaps being content with what we have, giving our love to others, being in relationships, accepting ourselves…. These are values that are priceless. Perhaps it is time to redefine wealth and prosperity as intangibles rather than the greenback?

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Benjamin Franklin

Is it possible that you have been rich all along but you just didn’t know how to define it properly? Think about it.

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