Emotional wealth means that we are able to live in joyful abundance regardless of our financial circumstances.
Yes, money does make a difference in our lives. Up to a certain point, having money makes life easier and more comfortable. It allows us to achieve our dreams, help others, and live with fewer worries. Therefore, there’s certainly nothing wrong with working towards financial wealth.
However, in the real world, money comes and goes. No matter how savvy you are, outside circumstances can change your financial status. When you have emotional wealth, you weather those changes better. Moreover, regardless of the amount in your bank account, you feel happy more often.
What is Emotional Wealth?
Put very simply, emotional wealth is the ability to maintain a deep sense of contentment that is independent of finances.
This does not mean that money never matters. Of course, financial security is one component to a stable, fulfilling life.
However, it’s only one factor. Even if your bank account is thriving and you feel totally financially secure, that’s simply not enough for a fulfilling life. What makes you truly happy? Emotionally wealthy people derive fulfillment from sources that don’t require a specific income.
Traits of Emotionally Wealthy People
Emotional wealth truly defines the difference between rich people and poor people. Some common traits of people with great emotional wealth include:
- Authenticity; they are more concerned with their real life than putting on airs.
- Confidence and alues; a strong sense of who they are and unwavering commitment to their own moral code.
- Focus; they spend their time the way they want to whether that’s during work or play.
- Forward looking; they don’t hold grudges or dwell on the past, the practice forgiveness and move forward
- Resilience; an ability to take what life hands them and moreover to bounce back from tough times.
Research indicates that emotionally wealth people also tend to have a strong sense of faith. There is no particular religion or spiritual path that leads people to greater emotional wealth. However, it helps to have some type of practice with meditation, prayer, or ritual.
How Emotional Wealth Relates to Financial Wealth
Emotionally wealthy people are happy in their lives. They find joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment in everyday activities. Interestingly, taking the focus off of earning money can actually lead to greater financial wealth as well.
People who are living their best lives have the energy to give to work. They find the work that they love to do. In turn, this makes them want to give themselves over to that work. They focus on deriving satisfaction from the experience, regardless of the results. Nevertheless, the energy they put in tends to generate positive financial results as well.
The great thing is that the person is happy either way. Whether or not an endeavor is financially fruitful, it is worth the effort. It is icing on the cake if it also pays off with money.
It Doesn’t Mean Ignoring Money
Having emotional wealth doesn’t mean that you never think about money. Responsible adults do pay attention to their finances. They create a budget and live within their means. In fact, they use money as a tool. They realize that money shouldn’t be the aim of all activity. Nevertheless, they don’t use that as an excuse to engage in money-wasting behaviors.
Think of it this way. Someone who wants to feel stable and secure does not want to have stress. Financial problems create stress. Therefore, it is important to pay enough attention to finances that they feel under control. It is also important to balance that with attention to non-money sources of pleasure.
“Financial wealth offers a security in the material world … yet if you do not have emotional wealth — a deep sense of personal purpose and well-being — you are robbed of the opportunity to fully enjoy material wealth.”
How to Increase Emotional Wealth
There are many things that you can do today to increase your own emotional wealth. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Deepen your connections with friends. Invest time in the people you care about.
- Get a pet. Many people find that this adds joy to their lives, despite costing money.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Learn to set boundaries. For example, don’t answer work emails after dinner on weekdays.
- Make the decision to be happy. Ask yourself honestly what will get you there.
- Read books, listen to music, attend plays, and play games. In other words, have fun.
- Place value on time more than money.
- Practice gratitude. Say thank you and express gratefulness for all that you have.
- Spend more time enjoying free and low-budget activities with your family.
- Spend time in nature regularly. It is a very healing experience.
- Surround yourself with people who are more interested in emotional wealth than in “keeping up with the Joneses.”
- Volunteer. Focus on helping other people outside of yourself.
Ultimately, the goal is to find what makes you feel most fulfilled. Do you know what those things are for you? Share some in the comments below to stir up this conversation!
- The Real Difference Between Rich and Poor
- 10 Ways to Increase Joy Without Spending Money
- Spiritual Frugality: Would Finding Faith Help Me Save Money?