Think about it. Most people go through life consumed by the day to day and they seldom take time to reflect on what‘s really truly important to them. When they’re asked what would make them happier, a common response is ‘more money’.
Many people consider having lots of money, in other words wealth, as being their route to happiness and a better life. Well, for me, real wealth extends far beyond the amount of dollars I have in the bank.
Over the years I’ve met lots of people, years into building careers or businesses, who are unhappy – even though their business or career has brought them what is perceived to be tremendous levels of success and wealth. They’re often tired of the same routine – slave, save, retire, exist then run out of time – and regularly say to themselves ‘there just absolutely has to be more to life’.
Because when they look back on the journey they’ve come on, whilst they’ve accumulated lots of money, it’s often been at the expense of failed marriages, missing many of the wonderful experiences they could have as their children grew up – for example, missing school sports days. In many cases, they’ve been so consumed with making money, that they’ve missed out investing time in quality friendships. And when asked if they’d exchange some of their wealth to get these experiences back, guess what, they always answer yes!
Fundamentally, the reason they’re unhappy is that they have moved away from fulfilling what’s really truly important to them, they’ve got the balance wrong.
For me, regularly taking time out to think about what’s really important in your life is fundamental. What was really important to you a year ago, may be less so today and if you’re going to make decisions on what you do next, what you want to be, do or have, then you need to do so against the robust framework of how it fits in to what’s really important to you. Otherwise it’s very likely that you won’t have an emotional connection long term to follow through. And, let’s face it, if something is really important to us, we’re more likely to make decisions that get us closer to achieving it.
So, ask yourself, what is really important to you right now?
Are you spending your time and energy focussing on the important things?
Is the balance right?
Don’t fall into the same trap that so many others do – focus on what makes YOU truly happy, not your bank manager!
Stefan Wissenbach is an entrepreneur who is passionate about personal growth. He grew up in a poor but happy household before going on to build and sell several companies and create a successful consultancy business, providing advice and guidance to wealthy private individuals. He attributes his success to learning basic principles that anyone can master. He believes that everyone should have the chance to Take Control, Achieve More and Love Life and created Magic Future to make this possible.
* Originally published as Issue #220 on September 25, 2013