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What are the Biggest Misconceptions About Wealth?

To some wealth means being a millionaire or multimillionaire, whereas to others it is simply being able to afford whatever you want.

Are people who drive $300,000 sports cars wealthy? Do you need a big house or expensive clothes to be wealthy? Are people with thousands of social media followers wealthy? The answer to all of these is that it depends on what type of wealth you are talking about.

Wealth can be divided into four main types:

  • Financial: Amount of money you have.

  • Social: Your social status.

  • Physical: Your health.

  • Time: Freedom to do anything you want.

However, the greatest wealth out of these four types is health.

Accumulating fancy cars, social status, or old copies of valuable books doesn’t give you true wealth.

When Steve Jobs died, what do you think he would have given all his money and possessions for? Steve died at 56 years, from pancreatic cancer. What he and any billionaire want most is more time, and more time is a direct result of health.

The greatest financial wealth or social wealth is meaningless just before you die. You can hire people to cook for you, to clean for you, to fly you anywhere in the world, but you can’t have them be healthy for you, or to take away any illness you may get. My $20 shirt does the same job as a $1,000 shirt. My $30 computer bag does the same job as an $800 computer bag. My $10 wallet does the same job as a $400 wallet.

Top doctors around the world have listed important aspects necessary to experience happiness:

  • Sunshine: Important for physical and mental health.

  • Rest: Important for physical and mental health.

  • Exercise: Important for physical and mental health.

  • Healthy Diet: Important for physical and mental health.

  • Confidence: Important for physical and mental health and for productivity.

  • Friends: Important for mental health.

You may realize that all these aspects are related to health. The greatest investment you can ever do is in yourself. Take care of yourself: get enough sunshine, sleep, and exercise, eat a healthy diet, develop confidence in yourself, and have a social network.

Moreover, the second greatest wealth is freedom.

How many people are unhappy with their job and wish they did not have to work? When you own assets that generate money for you, and that money allows you to do what you want, anytime you want without working, then you have freedom.

So, a better definition of true wealth is to be healthy and have the ability to do what you want without working for others. True wealth gives you real happiness.

Do you think a single person in a 10,000 sq. ft. home is happier than someone in a 500 sq. ft. apartment? The feeling of loneliness is the same regardless of the size of your home. Material things don’t make you happy long term.

Epictetus said it best:

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

­ - Epictetus

What Could You Do?

Learn how to improve your health and how to create time wealth. Your wealth management should include a healthy diet as well as proper exercise and rest. Educate your kids not only about financial wealth, but also physical and time wealth so that they can have healthier and happier lives.

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