In pursuit of all things material & spiritual
Posted on March 13, 2011 | View 193
GIVING WEALTH AWAY SEEMS TO BE THE PATH TO HAPPINESS FOR BILLIONAIRES LIKE GATES & BUFFET
WRITING about wealth is tricky.To begin with one has to decide what wealth really means.The first and the most obvious thing that comes to mind that the more money you have the wealthier you are may not serve as a universally acceptable definition.Wealth means different things to different people.For some people wealth is abundance of material things in life,for others it is freedom and for some others it is a state of mind.
Focusing on purely the money aspect of wealth,it is very common for all of us to unconsciously form limiting beliefs around money at an early age.Some of the beliefs that we may develop at early ages are not always healthy and are created as a result of a traumatic or confusing experience.How we unconsciously and consciously view the world in terms of money is generally based on such beliefs.For example,beliefs such as Life is a struggle,Money is hard to manage and the most common one You need money to make money determine our attitude.
Having said that,we are faced with a very important question: what to strive for While from a spiritual perspective,material possessions are the cause of misery and salvation is best found through renunciation,not all are aiming for nirvana.Not everything that can be measured counts and not everything that counts can be measured,The best way to ensure wealth is to have gratitude and Real wealth is giving back more than what you have taken these are not statements from spiritual gurus but of Albert Einstein,Sir John Templeton and Warren Buffet,respectively.The wise ones are telling us that there is much more to wealth than money.
Good health,fulfilling relationships,a sense of purpose and ability to serve others are important parts of the definition of wealth.Most of us however do not look at wealth this way.We seem to be running mindlessly toward the singular objective of amassing as much as possible.The tricky part,however,is that you may have your brain to blame for this.
Why is it then that wealth eludes most people One of the reasons that researchers give is not having clear and quantifiable goals.A study often cited to elaborate this was the one done on a class of students graduating out of an Ivy League university in America.It observed that only 3 percent of the students had clear written goals for what they wanted to achieve financially.The study kept track of these students over a 20-year period and found that those who had clearly defined financial goals had not only achieved their goals,but were worth more in terms of financial wealth than the other 97 percent put together.
Just having a goal,however,will not get us there.Our perception about how remunerative an activity is also needs to be examined.While most of us wont turn to crime to make money,we do associate crime with making a lot of money.This is not necessarily true.Columbia University professor Sudhir Venkatesh in his book Gang Leader for a Day offers an indepth discussion of the economic workings of a Chicago drug gang,shattering the common misconception that all drug dealers are wealthy.His analysis of the financial records of a Chicago gang proved that while a few top gang leaders made money,most street-level dealers earned far less than minimum wage.
Osho Rajneesh,on the other hand,was another classic example of irony.Among the many questions he was often asked was about the 50-plus Rolls Royce cars he owned.On one such occasion when asked by a middle-aged corporate executive from the West,he replied,I am a man with a white beard wearing a robe and talking to people sitting under a tree in a third world country while you are a corporate executive and you have spent a major part of your life running after money.Look where both of us are today. The lesson here is that crime does not necessarily pay and being spiritual does not necessarily mean being poor.
Wealth is an important aspect of life,but we are never taught how to go about getting wealthy.What if someone told you that you could think and grow rich! Sounds preposterous at first,but this is the very title of a book written by Napoleon Hill that was first published way back in 1937 and has been selling ever since.One might dismiss it as some sort of psycho babble or spiritual mumbo jumbo,but it is often the case that what we consider ridiculous is often true for some people.The people in this case include greats such as Henry Ford,William Wrigley,John Wanamaker,George Eastman,John D Rockefeller and three US presidents,to name a few.Over two decades,Hill interviewed more than 500 people,most of who began in poverty.Yet,they all managed to become very successful at amassing staggering wealth.The central idea being that we create our future by the way we think.
It is not hard to notice however that the current times are replete with irony in the field of wealth.Giving ones wealth away is bringing a lot of happiness to many billionaires,including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.The question therefore is why make all that money if it is to be ultimately given away I dont know the answer yet,but hope that all of us get to experience this joy.The world sure will be a happier place with millions of millionaires vying to give it all away.