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There Are 8 Indispensable Elements of Real Wealth and 7 Aren’t Money

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Real Life Wealth

What’s the purpose of life?

That’s a powerful question that deserves your attention. My answer has drastically changed the past five to 10 years, and will continue to evolve. Success is part of life’s purpose but I know that on the other side of success is the quest for more success, more milestones, more achievements, more people to help and learn from, more money to be made. That’s great. Life becomes mundane and boring without goals and dreams to reach for but I believe there is more to life and real wealth.

Don’t get me wrong. Becoming a millionaire is a valid desire for everyone, but there is no higher success than building and maintaining a world class life with meaning and significance. Awareness precedes choice, and your choices determine the quality of your life. I’ve put some serious thought into what makes a world class life. Here are the eight forms you must adapt and start improving if you want to live an exceptional life with no regret.

 

1. A world-class inner life

Your outer world, who you are and the quality of your life, is 100 percent determined by your inner world. Your inner world consists of your peace of mind, the quality of your thinking and living authentically.

Are you living your true values or doing things based out of fear and worry? Your inner world determines your self worth and how connected you are to your core.

 

2. World-class health

Your health is a very important part of wealth. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. At the end of your life, the things you now perceive as the big things might be the little things. When we are young, we will compromise our health for wealth, but when we are old we will gladly sacrifice all of our wealth for just a little bit of health.

It’s extremely important to put health first, if you really want a world class life. We take our health for granted until we lose it, then we spend all our waking time trying to get it back. Those who don’t make time for exercise must eventually make time for illness.

 

3. World-class family life

Having loved ones around you, and being able to see your family whenever you choose, is a crucial part of success. Gary Vaynerchuk told me his business is extremely important, but a distant second to his family. The greatest support system in the world is good family and friends. You can’t be careless here, you need great relationships and those who make you better.

Remember, you can’t change your family, and trying to do so will cause you endless stress and frustration. Love them and appreciate them for who they are.

 

4. World-class profession/career

The attitude you bring to your days determine your destiny and it’s extremely hard to carry a great attitude when you don’t enjoy what you do. According to the new Gallup survey “71 percent of employees are activity disengaged at work.

Be patient and figure out your strengths. Purposefully choosing (or creating) your ideal professional is crucial to a world-class life. When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s important to get to the end of your career knowing you gave your best. Yes, unexpected circumstances do happen but you are in control of your own future through the choices you make.

Life is not easy nor promised, but it’s how you adapt and adjust that determines what happens next. Never settle.

 

5. World-class financial freedom

Less than 5 percent of our society will be financially stable by age 65. WTF? Money is extremely important and makes the world go round. It also gives you one of the most important aspects of a world-class life —freedom.

Money allows you the choices to do what you want, when you want, wherever you want, so you can live on your own terms. What’s your game plan to assure a financially free future?

 

6. World-class circle of genius

You become who you spend the most time with. Are the people you’re associating with holding you to higher standards and challenging you? If you spend time with people who are playing at a world class level, you drastically increase your chances of doing the same. Their ways of being will rub off on you. You’ll adapt their philosophies and perspectives.

Start surrounding yourself with people whose lives you want to emulate. Keep company with those who are thinking and acting at an extraordinary level.

 

7. World-class experiences

Ultimately, life is an adventure. Experiences and memories are what separate the elite lives from the mediocre. I’ve recently started focusing more on producing instead of consuming, and valuing experiences over material things. I like both, and appreciate the finer things in life, but after studying countless world-class people, it’s clear they are constantly creating memorable experiences.

What’s the point of doing something if you’re not having fun?

 

8. World-class impact and legacy

The worthiest aim of life is service to the world around us. How much difference are you making in the world around you? Are you adding consistent value that improves the lives of others?

Generosity the key that unlocks happiness. There is no greater feeling than when you help or give to others, asking for nothing back. Whether it is a compliment or a small gift, do something nice for somebody every day. Realize every tweet, every blog post and every conversation you have is part of your legacy.

I challenge you not to postpone your life. Most say “when I have more time I will take time for myself” but the reality is life waits for no one. Don’t postpone travel or chasing your dreams. Nobody knows when their time is up, so make the most of it by focusing on these eight forms of real wealth.

 

Article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

Peter Voogd is a 2x Best Selling Author, and the founder of the prestigious Game Changers Academy.  He’s been labeled the leading authority on Gen Y leadership. He’s been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, inc.com, Time, HuffPost along with many other international publications.  He’s trained over  6,000 young entrepreneurs personally and his podcasts, videos, websites, and social media reaches over 1 million people monthly.  He’s known for his No BS approach to life and entrepreneurship.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. TABOT SYLVESTER OBI

    Oct 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hi i am grateful for your 8 lesson i never know such think for the entire of my life.

  2. benjamin daniel

    Oct 2, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    All the 8points highlighted here are the key elements to real wealth. God bless you real good PETER.

  3. Tomika

    Sep 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Great post Peter!

  4. Hinti Claid

    Sep 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Peter you’re amazing. I love you.

  5. Heather

    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Hi Peter,
    Great thought provoking post. Number 2 is so true but yet so easy to forget as we really take our health for granted. And number 5 is quite scary – only 5% by the age of 65?! I had no idea about that statistic.

    As a society we’re increasingly focused on material possessions and financial wealth that it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. My greatest inspiration was and is my Granddad. He didn’t have much in the way of money or ‘things’ but he was truly happy with his life, loved his wife and adored his family. A great example of how to live your life well – and he certainly did for all 90 years of it.

    Thanks so much for sharing this – a great post to read this Friday morning! 🙂

    • Peter Voogd

      Sep 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you for the kind words Heather, and yes it’s very easy to forget the key attributes of living a world class life. It’s important to remind yourself daily what’s really important.

  6. Mustapha Ajermou

    Sep 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Priceless words Peter, thank you

    • Peter Voogd

      Sep 24, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Mustapha! I appreciate you reading.

  7. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 23, 2015 at 3:50 am

    These are the key elements to real wealth. I agree with every last thing you have said here. One of the biggest things for me that I consider to be real wealth is how big of a impact have people made on other peoples lives and on this world. I have grown to live for others and give my time, service, and money to others. Life is about love and gratitude, and the person who has the most of that, is the wealthiest person in the world. It may sound cliche, but it is so true. Experiences and freedom are big ones as well!

  8. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 23, 2015 at 3:39 am

    A very awesome post Peter,
    Real wealth is really not all about the size of your bank account or your investments. There is certainly more to being wealthy and the financial aspect is just one of them.

    Another important aspect being your HEALTH. There is a popular saying that “Health is Wealth” and that is so true. If you have all the money in the world but you’re not healthy then, life suck isn’t it?

    Also, your inner life adds to your wealth as well. Do you have peace of mind or do you always have sleepless nights because you have a lot bordering you? Your past life is hunting you?

    Great post Peter and i agree with all your points.

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

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