I had heard of Felix Dennis long before I heard his interview on PBS. He is the owner and publisher of a magazine empire of a dozen titles, Maxim being their flagship publication. He is quite wealthy—almost a billionaire. The interview was on the occasion of the release of his book “How To Get Rich.” (You will note that the title of this blog is not “how to get”, rather it is “how to be”.) The interviewers said, somewhat hesitantly, “People have said something about you that I don’t know if I can ask you on radio.” He responded, “I’ve heard them say that I’m a mean son-of-a-bitch when it comes to business.” She said, “Yes.” And he went on to say, “Well, if you’re going to be wealthy, as opposed to being comfortably poor, I suppose that you have to be.” She then asked what it means to be comfortably poor. His response was classic and puts it all into perspective, “Oh, you know, the person that has three or four million.” That’s comfortably poor!
My friend Dr. Stan DeKoven, president of Vision International University (Vision.edu), asked me one day, “How would it affect your lifestyle if you came into a large sum of money?” I said, “Not much. I’d probably drink a little better wine and take a few more vacations, but other than that, not much.” And it wouldn’t. Felix Dennis would think me less than comfortable, but I live in a nice home, drive a nice car, wear nice clothes, and live a good life. By my definition, I’m rich.
The first step to being rich is defining rich. That means that you have to define what is really important to you in life. Money is certainly important. I’ve written extensively on how to attract money into your life using both practical and metaphysical principles. I like money. You should too. But having money is not the same thing as being rich. Things may be indicators of wealth, but there are those that have things that are not rich because they went into debt to buy the things. And there will always be someone with a bigger, better thing. The only things worth having are the things that you really want. So how do you define rich?
Rich is whatever you say it is. One old friend used to say, “I sit down and pay all of my bills on the first of the month, that way I’m rich for the rest of the month.” You’re the only one that can determine what rich is to you. Think about it. What is rich to you?
Be realistic. One of the reasons that people live a self-created poverty mentality is that they have unrealistic expectations, expectations that go unmet, festering in their soul, and eventually erupting in a seething mass of avarice and envy. The prospering person knows that prosperity is progressive. They set realistic expectations and increase in expectation as they meet their expectation. They enjoy the process because they’ve defined what rich really is.
Define what rich means to you. If you’re not there you have something to work towards. Do let other define you. Remember—there is someone in the world that thinks Felix Dennis is comfortably poor.
It’s one of the oldest clichés, and one of the truest—“You’ve got to stop and smell the roses.” I actually do. If I see a rose bush along the way I generally stop and smell the fragrance of the flowers and lose myself in a moment of richness.
Learning to live in the moment is one of the great secrets to being rich. Too often we are in a hurry to get nowhere fast, and not only miss the richness of the moment, we’re moving so fast we miss the opportunities that abound all around. Stop. Take a deep breath. Is it needful or is it just busyness? Will it make you richer or poorer? In life? In time? In money? Find you moment of Zen ((The Daily Show), live in the moment, and you will be rich.
Had to take a dinner break. Local upscale Chinese, Mala Beef, spring roll, a golden IPA, lovely. I wrote an entire blog on great meals that I have eaten and their meaning. My friend Ken Troutman said, “Doc, I could never remember all of those meals.” I do, because eating well makes me be rich.
Now you may think “be rich” is a moment of bad grammar, and I suppose that it is, except that rich is a state of being. You be rich the moment you find that state of being. And I’ve often found that state of being over a good meal with good people. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal—I scheduled a meeting with the pastor of a Georgia mega church at a local greasy spoon telling him, “I only bring my favorite people here.” We’ve been good friends ever since. And eaten in some really good restaurants with him since. We both “be” rich, in food and fellowship.
Eat well. Wherever you’re eating, whatever you’re eating, take time to taste it. Savor the moment. Think about all of the people working on your behalf that brought together the ingredients that make up the meal. Give thanks for it—I sometimes bless a meal two or three times, just because I’m thankful for the last bite. It makes me be rich.
One of the great secrets of being rich is the secret of “adding to.” If you a conversant with scripture you probably know the story of Joseph and Pharaoh. Joseph’s name means “adding to.” Through a combination of spiritual realities and business acumen he made Pharaoh the richest man in the richest kingdom in the then known world. And became the second wealthiest in the process. You may be thinking, “But he was second wealthiest” to which I would say the second wealthiest in the known world isn’t too shabby. He knew the secret of “adding to.”
I have had a measure of long term success in life (at least by my definition of success) because I have always practiced the principle of “adding to.” Whether it’s a church where I’m speaking, or in the life of an individual I always asking myself how can I “add to” and then added accordingly.
What are you “adding to” the place where you work, the people that you know, to yourself? If you want to be rich learn to “add to.”
Now that you know how to “be rich” you need to know how to “get rich”. That’s what’s “Behind The Door” where I’ll be sharing some of the things that wealthy people know and do to get rich and stay rich. While these things may not make you a multi-millionaire they will certainly help you to have mo’ money and greater prosperity in your life.
When you sow a seed of any amount into this ministry we’ll send you the password via email that will get you “Behind The Door.” Just hit the button that says, “Sowing”. You can sow any amount, the default is set at $20 but that can be raised (many do) or lowered. Remember, “What you sow is what you grow.” I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”