One of the most thought provoking pieces of advice I received came in the form of this question: “How much money do you really need to live a great life?”
The answer? Ultimately, it’s not about the money!
Many people have trouble understanding this and are consumed by making money to improve their standard of living, often feeling that money solves their problems. Of course money helps if you have bills to pay but it won’t necessarily make you happy. While financial worries can cause numerous problems, money isn’t the answer to living a successful life.
Consider this. I have seen orphans in Southeast Asia with nothing but their happiness to hold onto. Despite having no money, they were not concerned about material wealth and everywhere I looked I saw happy smiling faces.
Once our basic needs are met, what’s next? Does a pop star in LA really need a $7000 pair of denim jeans with gold stitching or could that pay for clean water in a village? It feels much better to know you have helped someone else less fortunate than yourself.
Here are ten simple points that I use as a guide to remind me that often its simple actions that can make the difference:
- Endeavour to create win-win situations, if all parties are happy then there will be no animosity going forward.
- Don’t be consumed by greed or material wealth or a win-at-all costs attitude.
- Build a TEAM. You cannot do it alone, no matter how good you think you are. Together Everyone Achieves More.
- Be thankful for what you have every day and appreciate the things people do for you. In times of need it will be those people that will support you.
- You don’t have to have ‘made it’ to do a good deed or support a charity (see #9).
- It’s not always about profit and loss and increasing the bottom line: believe in social enterprise. The hidden benefits are often intangible but usually far outweigh the cost.
- Find your passion and follow it. I am often asked how do you find your passion, how do you know. If you wake up every morning aiming to run at and knock down a brick wall and would do this through rain, hail and snow no matter what, then you have found your passion. If your work is your passion and you can earn money whilst living your passion then that’s a huge bonus.
- Think about the legacy you will leave: What will people say or think about you when you’re gone?
- We are not immortal. Time is the most valuable thing you have, so spend it wisely.
- Care for the environment. Our children and grandchildren will be the ones left to deal with the problems we and our forefathers have created.
So if you can afford a pair of those gold stitched denims, remember this – jeans will wash and fade but memories and the feeling you get from helping others you can wear forever!