Have you ever bought a lottery ticket hoping that you would score big and get rich? I will confess that I have probably bought enough lottery tickets in my day that I could have gone on a nice overnight stay in a hotel somewhere with that money instead. I have since shifted my mindset around lottery tickets - especially since knowing the stats - by the way when you buy a ticket for 649 you have a 1 in 28.6 million chance in winning. So honestly - save your $6 bucks.
I recently went to an event called the Atelier where I heard a number of inspirational entrepreneurial women speak and one of those women happened to be Melissa Leong. Now Melissa is the financial adviser to The Social and has been featured on many media outlets and has written for the financial post. She had such great wisdom to share that I bought her book at the conference and even stood in line like a groupie to have her sign it!
As soon as I saw what she wrote in my book I was so excited to dig into the pages - she signed it "Make Life Rich!" And I just knew that somehow gratitude would be somewhere in her book. I was right. In it she says “Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to be grateful for what we have, focus on the opportunities ahead of us and turn off our phones and get a life outside the glow box.
When you are constantly moving through life jumping from task to task it makes it difficult to see the true wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life. Not to mention if you’re constantly distracted by what you see online and in social media - you start to get stuck in the comparison trap of keeping up with joneses. You could even fall into that feeling where what you have is never enough. And that is where I want to start.
If you want to get rich or feel more wealthy it’s just a matter of stopping to look around you at what you already have and how far you’ve already come.
Now yes you could take stock of all of the “things you have” but in Leong’s book Happy Go Money she doesn’t point us in that direction. In fact, she touts study after study that demonstrate that true happiness comes from social connections and community with others.
So, let’s start by looking at the rich connections that you have with others. Now again this doesn’t mean that you look to your instagram or facebook account to see how many friends and followers you have - in fact it may be just a handful of deep connections with people that truly get you or that you feel joyful to be around. It’s in those relationships and connections where we find happiness - not in how much stuff we have!
Another way to get rich with gratitude is to look at the experiences that you’ve had in your life - or even just today. For example, I am grateful that I have created self discipline for myself on Monday’s to work on the Podcast and to add to that I am so lucky that the Quinne’s grandma lives so close to us that she goes to her house on Monday’s while I work on the Podcast and she gets grandma time. It’s a win win experience that happens every week and while I could sluff it off as being just part of the norm, I’m choosing to see the deep value in this Monday experience for everyone involved.
But you can think of any experiences that you’ve had. It could be the time you travelled with friends or the time you went to that museum exhibit that you were so excited about. Studies show that when we take the time to recall the experiences that have brought us joy in the past that we can actually ignite those joyful brain centres again and again while reflecting upon them! It’s like watching a movie of your own happy life whenever you want to!
In Melissa’s book Happy Go Money she recommends spending money on the following things - experiences, and time savers.
I love these categories so much because they can both be linked to gratitude.
Being grateful in the moment of an experience is an incredible gift that you can give yourself - even if it’s a daily experience like Quinne going over to grandmas. But you can also look at big life time experiences that you’ve done or maybe even something that you’ve gotten through and be grateful that it helped shape the person that you are today.
Spending money on time savers is something that I am a huge fan of but that some people resist. For example spending money on house cleaners or landscapers is one way that some people save time. I personally am not good at organizing or cleaning and therefore I have no problem spending money on having people come and help me do this. One reason I like to do this is because it also holds me accountable in that I can’t let the house get out of control and have to stay on top of tidying for the cleaners to be as effective as we want them to be. Now some people might say “wow, isn’t that so nice maybe if I had more money” And I get it it seems like a luxury but I look at it in a few ways - one it allows me to spend more time being happy and content with my family. When the house is a disaster I am irratble and can’t focus - clutter does this to me. I feel better and I am better able to connect with my loved ones when the space is clutter free and clean. Two, the people I am paying are in it to make money and I love helping and supporting local businesses to make money. Honestly it’s a win win! The fact is we have to get over the notion that we have to do it all - instead let’s be grateful that there is someone who is really specifically talented in an area that you or I am not and that we can hire them to benefit everyone involved!
Look all I’m trying to say is that if you want to be rich the fact is that you probably already are - and it’s just a matter of taking a look at what you already have and where you’ve already come from.
May you always have the courage to be yourself - until next time.