Someone recently asked me, “What is your definition of ‘wealth’?”
This was on a podcast, so maybe I was supposed to proffer how “true wealth” comes from things money can’t buy and yada yada.
But, while we all know that’s true philosophically… it’s not how I answered.
I talked about money.
Because money is the resource that affects our daily life more than any other.
See, I remember very well the days of checking my bank balance before pumping gas into my car.
Stopping strategically on $12.00.
“Click… click…… click”.
I recall seeing people at the other pumps shove that nozzle into the gas hole and then setting the lock! Nary a care in the world. And thinking to myself:
Now that “someday” has arrived, my definition of wealth is simple: Upgrades.
- Floor seats at the concert with access to the private bar and the clean restrooms.
- Top shelf bourbon with a large cube.
- Uber Black.
I believe “little rewards” like these are important to our progress.
So important that I recommend finding ways to experience them now, rather than waiting on the day they arrive.
When I was starting out as a freelancer, my wife and I had a tradition…
After dropping the kids off for the first day of school, we would go to Marchand’s restaurant at the historic, 5-star Vinoy Resort for a fancy breakfast.
It was our way of celebrating the start of the school year and the few hours a day we’d have to once again feel like adult human beings instead of “chaperones.”
(Kids are great and all, but ask me one hundred times what I want to do today and not once will I say, “Let’s go to the zoo!”)
Marchand’s was not in the budget back then, so it was a special thing for us.
What I enjoyed about it most though was the idea of “visiting our future” – a time when a restaurant like this was realistically in our budget.
I would soak up the Marchand’s experience for all it was worth.
Noting the elegant manner of the servers; how they hovered nearby to keep coffee cups fresh and water glasses full.
How the other patrons dressed and the things they discussed.
The way it felt to unfold a linen napkin and the heft of the silverware.
I wanted these things to become routine in my life.
Not because I wanted to change…
Because I wanted to graduate.
And I believed it was possible.
With copywriting I was blessed to discover a skill that I felt uniquely qualified to excel with… and this one (unlike comedy) came with a proven path to earning good money.
Without that blessing, the odds of me becoming a regular at Marchand’s were stacked up against me…
- High school dropout.
- No formal resume.
- Blue collar pedigree.
But, hey… “bad odds” only make people like you and me more determined.
Let those private school thumbdicks meander through life expecting things to come easy, with their square jaws and perfect hairlines.
I’ll be out walking the streets all bald and bow-legged from carrying that giant chip on my shoulder, thank you very much.
People who know a life without means are far more likely to capitalize on what they get than those who have it handed to them.
Same is true for health, relationships, and opportunities.
Letting them slip away, or even get taken from you – as bad as it hurts – will lead to your ultimate success.
IF you meet that loss with resolve, and measure progress in your own reality.
It starts with believing you can get there, even if the evidence sucks right now.
Stay focused, work steady, and, once in a while, take yourself to a restaurant you can’t afford and act like you can.
Your subconscious mind will believe it, and soon enough, you’ll be living it.