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Does Money Make You Rich?

Posted By: Randy GageJune 1, 2010

Last week I did a post on money as a measuring stick. That started some interesting debate…

John asked, “Can’t you measure your success simply by knowing you’re living your life by the highest principles of spirituality?”   Sarah emailed me asking, “How do you measure the self-satisfaction, the joy, the sense of accomplishment, the admiration and love of others?”  Bernice brought up the example of a mother staying at home raising her children.

So how do we measure success?  And do you need money to be rich?

Many times I’ll be watching or reading an interview with someone famous and they’ll say something like, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.”  And I always think, “You’re a fucking moron then!”

Because I grew up poor, and I definitely know it.  I knew the other kids went to cooler places for vacations, got things I couldn’t have, had nicer, newer family cars and lived in bigger homes where four people didn’t have to share one bathroom.

I get that in these interviews these people are trying to convey that they had a loving family and they appreciate the simple things in life.  But I still think the answer is kind of disingenuous.

Money in and of itself doesn’t make you rich.  But the absence of it makes you poor.  Money is important to a prosperous life…

How many kids grow up with poor self-esteem because they have bad teeth that could be corrected with a few thousand dollars of braces?

Do you know how much less war and hatred there would be if all kids could travel abroad at an early age and meet different people and cultures?

How many marriages have broken up because of the stress and arguments over the lack of money?

Kids are dying of AIDS in Africa because their family is too poor to pay for medicine.

Yes prosperity is the free and simple things like sunsets, hugs and spiritual understanding.  But it’s simplistic and unrealistic to suggest that money and material things don’t play a part.

Music is part of prosperity.  As is dance.  And art.  But have you seen the price of opera tickets, ballet tickets and art school?  Yes you can get a scholarship.  Funded by someone who is rich.

I think it is very simple.  If you are prosperous, you are:

1)    Healthy
2)    Happy
3)    Rich

Two out of three ain’t bad.  But it isn’t true prosperity either.  I think true prosperity takes all three.  What do you think?

-RG

39 comments on “Does Money Make You Rich?”

  1. You know there's an argument to be made against being rich. Or at least living like you are. I grew up poor (and no, didn't 'know' it, not until I was a teen - but then, most my friends were poor) and because of that I started working at a young age, bought all my own clothes, shoes and 'wants' at the same time, learned priceless lessons about the value of a dollar, what earning really is, what a good price for strawberries in winter is, and stuff like that.

    So why are others in my generation now in massive debt, living in houses they couldn't afford to begin with? Maybe all they learned from their their not-poor parents was that you can buy whatever you want when you want it. I guess if it's paid in the future with money I might earn someday, maybe, you don't need to worry about it today.

    I'm not poor anymore, but I intend to raise my children like we are. They will share bedrooms and a bathroom, work if they want money, and get gifts from mom & dad only on birthday and Christmas, and pay their own way through college. I'm not buying them cars when they are 16. I'm not going to spend $150/month on a teenager's highlights, nada.

    I do pay for the best healthcare available, my kids will have braces if they need them, and go to the doctor as often as recommended for their age, of course. I'll also send them to good private schools that teach the religious values I want them to have.

    All that said, I completely agree with everything in your previous post about money as a measuring stick. That's exactly, in fact, the concept I want my children to understand. A thorough understanding of the "laws of prosperity" is one of the most important lessons a parent is responsible, I feel. And the sooner they start handling money, the better.

  2. Isn't prosperity a state of being? So when you're truely prosperous, health, happiness and wealth will be the natural outcome, correct?

  3. Very interesting what you wrote today, last night I had a discussion with my wife about this and today I read in your blog. We are going through an economic crisis like that of many families and so I'm working harder than ever as many families. But my wife told me she is not happy, that is not healthy and the absence of money that normally had, has affected much. I think the opposite, as I am in crisis, do things with more passion and urgency, I trained to resist physically stronger which has made me healthier and I'm working on is driving me rich, I think it is a matter of mentality. Money is extremely important in achieving happiness. My children will travel around the world and learn the differences and not have it and are doing so at an early age.
    MV

  4. I agree, I think you need all three to be truly properous.

    Money is just a tool. I agree with those that say that having money does not make you happy. But on the other hand, not having money will definitely make you unhappy.

  5. I have both been poor and rich and I do get your point but I don't agree with that being poor in monetary terms is as bad as you make it out to be. Sure, when you are in it it feels rotten but if you look for the lessons to be learned it might be the richest period in your life.

  6. Well said, and I coudln't agree more, you do need all three, you may be wealthy but if you're not happy or healthy.....what's the point??

  7. I'd also add love to the equation. Not only being able to love other people... but just loving life itself.

    Sounds a little corny, and I guess you could put "love" under happiness (or visa verse)... but I think love should definitely be part of it!

    Jeremy
    http://www.LocalBizHero.com

  8. Well...according to the law of cause and effect (and NO one disputes that one), if you are living your life according to the highest principles of spirituality, have a positive, abundance mindset, love what you are doing, and have successfully dealt with 'excess baggage' and 'deserving issues'; that is to say, you have your shit together 🙂 it follows by natural extension of logic that you will ALSO have abundance in all areas of your life, be it health, relationships or finances.

    Everything's more or less intertwined. So yeah, money's a pretty good barometer of success, though not at the exclusion of everything else.

  9. "Money in and of itself doesn’t make you rich. But the absence of it makes you poor. Money is important to a prosperous life…"

    I agree.

  10. Money is the result of prosperity.
    Love is the result of prosperity.
    Health is the result of prosperity.

    You have to change the inside first. Not easy at all, but the journey is worth it.

    That's another thing-

    I am all for goals, and think they are great tools. However, it should be more about the journey. If we do not reach our goal, we can at least enjoy the ride, and move on.

    My thoughts.

  11. Time and Money together is a measuring stick for success!!! Once you have your Time Back you can choose who to invest it in and what to spend it on.

    Time is the only thing we are all running out of and can't Buy any more of!!!!!

    Ian Kirk

  12. Randy,
    I think you are right. I would just add that I would be living most of my life in positive emotions. The positive emotions are joy,love,romance,and sex.

    I believe that it is our duty to live happy, healthy and rich. I also think my prosperity would include a conscious contact with my God on a daily basis.
    Thanks for a great post.
    Jim

  13. Instead of saying "just," how about if we say that money is a tool. We want to make sure not to use language that has negative connotations and repel energy.

    -RG

  14. I agree. I'm breaking "love" down into it's two faces--"loved" and "loving"...one giving and one receiving. I don't see how true/deep prosperity can exist without "loving"--of yourself and of others.

  15. From Catherine Ponder:
    * your potential wealth, health & happiness are within you…waiting to be radiated to the world as healthy, wealthy, happy thoughts, feelings, expectations and decrees…which in turn attracts like results
    * Poverty is a sin.
    * God wants you to be prosperous and God is the Source of your prosperity
    * You can not get something for nothing
    * there is nothing wrong with money or wanting money, it is a God-given medium of exchange

    I think love is part of prosperity...can you be happy if you don't love ypourself?
    Loving yourself is the key to loving others & receiving love.

    and I think you need to look at your core beliefs and change them if they are not what you think they are or not what you want...

    for example...
    changing "I am not worthy" to "I am worthy"
    changing "I am unlovable" to "I am lovable"
    changing "I am fat" to "I am beautiful and my ideal weight"
    changing "being poor is noble" to "God wants us to be wealthy/prosperous"

    Changing your thinking & imaging helps to manifest prosperity

  16. From Money as a Measuring stick: "...game the system"?

    The system is a game.

    “Kids are dying of AIDS in Africa because their family is too poor to pay for medicine.”

    Rather since it is a manufactured disease.

    Here’s the deal:

    There are universal laws you either apply or become a victim under.

    Most people don't know, understand and apply these laws, which pretty much sums up the world situation, with or without "conspiracies".

    Many people wonder how someone or something can get control of your mind for example.

    The real issue is self-responsibility.

    The "controllers" follow rules. They don't barge into your life, as some suspect. They design the circumstances which currently lead to the results they want.

    Usually, you do not see the trap. It may be so magnificently set that you may not even realize you are in a trap. In fact, it may be so inviting that you don’t even want to leave! This is mind-control, but you are not a victim, you are a willing participant.

    Be mindful of what you do and how you do it. Be wary of traps and pitfalls so that you maintain control over your own mind and life.

    Prosperity including health, happiness and money FOR YOU will follow!

  17. Randy...for prosperity you state that money is necessary. Yes, it is...but the question is how much or in what relationship to others. I concur that when many say they didn't realize they were poor, they weren't be entirely honest. Or they were emphasizing a different point. But at what point are you "rich"...or at what point do you truly HAVE money in sufficient quantity to be rich. I maintain that a rich level of money is more than enough to meet the lifestyle you want, and to support the people and causes you get fulfullment from funding. Many will require huge amounts of capital to meet that lifestyle and those funding desires...others with more modest ambitions or a simpler lifestyle will need less to meet and exceed that total. At minimum I would add AUTONOMY to your list of things required to be prosperous (for how successful are you if you work so hard at things you can't enjoy the fruits of that labor with loved ones and make some level of advancement in your spiritual and/or emotional journey?

  18. I like your definitions of being prosperous:

    1) Healthy
    2) Happy
    3) Rich

    However, we all of course have different ideas of what those mean.

    As one of the detractors from that last post, I just wanted to be clear that money is NOT a reliable yardstick of effectiveness for anything other than money-getting. Anyone in the US is rich in comparison to many parts of the world, but that does NOT mean they are effective, right?

    I want everyone on this blog (and any other) to be as Healthy, Happy, and as Rich as they want to be... and maybe just a little more 🙂

  19. Dude- I'm with you on some of this- and since its a manufactured disease, the people who make MOUNTAINS of money addicting people to their drugs are "prosperous" according to Randy's definition, but I would say differently.

  20. MONEY IS ONLY IMPORTANT IF YOU DONT HAVE ANY TO BUY THE BASICS, THEN IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT

  21. In America, one cannot be healthy or happy without security, which means money. That doesn't mean 'rich,' it means waking up every morning not worrying about the phone bill, the rent, how to pay for this necessity or that one. Constant financial stress debilitates health, as does the inability to afford nutritious food, the combination of which prevents happiness, no matter how much 'love' one has in his life.

    Henry Miller: "In America, to be an artist is to be a moral leper, an economic misfit, a social liability. A corn-fed dog enjoys a better life than a creative writer, painter or musician.' Which is why most artists are not happy - it's a life of struggle and strife and disrespect and, aside from the few who 'make it,' frustration and often anger.

    But the bottom line is really this: 'happy' is not a constant. Life is so challenging and so filled with unexpected curve balls, happy comes in phases - the key is being able to enjoy the happy when it happens, but to not expect it to happen 24/7. If it did, happy would be boring...

  22. So much to consider here. First, which is more valuable: prosperity or joy? I would choose joy, because it is something that I can control. All three of your "parts of prosperity" Happy, Healthy and Rich are fleating, but Joy can exist in any situation. Having said that: there is a great Bible verse that is always fun to throw into these kinds of conversations: Ecc. 10:19 - which says, food is made for feast and wine makes merry, but money fixes everything.

  23. Randy-

    Just curious...with your self-admitted health issues, do you consider yourself truly prosperous by your definition above?

  24. What I appreciate most about this post is the focus on balance. I'm saying the same as many others here, but with a different energy..
    I truly believe:
    There are many things that make us happy that require money and health...

    There are many things that make us wealthy that require our health and happiness.

    There are many things that make us healthy that require our happiness and wealth.

    Am I off in thinking they feed off each other in many ways? -which would be why Randy says having all three brings true prosperity.

  25. I think it is very simple. If you are prosperous, you are:

    1) Healthy
    2) Happy
    3) Rich

    Totally agree and to me when you are those 3 then love, faith...are integrally implied. In fact, they come before the health happiness and riches.

  26. It is amazing how much negativity is in our everyday language that goes unnoticed, at least by me when speaking it.

    I appreciate the feedback, I got baggage man 🙂

  27. Hello Jillian! I agree with your comments 100%. I grew up in poverty in a tough housing project in Brooklyn New York. Today I am financially Independent. I used my situation to motivate and inspire me to achieve success in all areas of my life. I believe that some kids today don't understand that you give value before you get. You don't become a prosperous person overnight. You have to work on your mindset daily. Have a Prosperous, Healthy and Happy Day! Karim

  28. I agree Randy, I grew up poor too so I know how it feels.
    I'll go for the 3

    1) Heathy
    2) Happy
    3) Rich

    HR

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  • 39 comments on “Does Money Make You Rich?”

    1. You know there's an argument to be made against being rich. Or at least living like you are. I grew up poor (and no, didn't 'know' it, not until I was a teen - but then, most my friends were poor) and because of that I started working at a young age, bought all my own clothes, shoes and 'wants' at the same time, learned priceless lessons about the value of a dollar, what earning really is, what a good price for strawberries in winter is, and stuff like that.

      So why are others in my generation now in massive debt, living in houses they couldn't afford to begin with? Maybe all they learned from their their not-poor parents was that you can buy whatever you want when you want it. I guess if it's paid in the future with money I might earn someday, maybe, you don't need to worry about it today.

      I'm not poor anymore, but I intend to raise my children like we are. They will share bedrooms and a bathroom, work if they want money, and get gifts from mom & dad only on birthday and Christmas, and pay their own way through college. I'm not buying them cars when they are 16. I'm not going to spend $150/month on a teenager's highlights, nada.

      I do pay for the best healthcare available, my kids will have braces if they need them, and go to the doctor as often as recommended for their age, of course. I'll also send them to good private schools that teach the religious values I want them to have.

      All that said, I completely agree with everything in your previous post about money as a measuring stick. That's exactly, in fact, the concept I want my children to understand. A thorough understanding of the "laws of prosperity" is one of the most important lessons a parent is responsible, I feel. And the sooner they start handling money, the better.

    2. Isn't prosperity a state of being? So when you're truely prosperous, health, happiness and wealth will be the natural outcome, correct?

    3. Very interesting what you wrote today, last night I had a discussion with my wife about this and today I read in your blog. We are going through an economic crisis like that of many families and so I'm working harder than ever as many families. But my wife told me she is not happy, that is not healthy and the absence of money that normally had, has affected much. I think the opposite, as I am in crisis, do things with more passion and urgency, I trained to resist physically stronger which has made me healthier and I'm working on is driving me rich, I think it is a matter of mentality. Money is extremely important in achieving happiness. My children will travel around the world and learn the differences and not have it and are doing so at an early age.
      MV

    4. I agree, I think you need all three to be truly properous.

      Money is just a tool. I agree with those that say that having money does not make you happy. But on the other hand, not having money will definitely make you unhappy.

    5. I have both been poor and rich and I do get your point but I don't agree with that being poor in monetary terms is as bad as you make it out to be. Sure, when you are in it it feels rotten but if you look for the lessons to be learned it might be the richest period in your life.

    6. Well said, and I coudln't agree more, you do need all three, you may be wealthy but if you're not happy or healthy.....what's the point??

    7. I'd also add love to the equation. Not only being able to love other people... but just loving life itself.

      Sounds a little corny, and I guess you could put "love" under happiness (or visa verse)... but I think love should definitely be part of it!

      Jeremy
      http://www.LocalBizHero.com

    8. Well...according to the law of cause and effect (and NO one disputes that one), if you are living your life according to the highest principles of spirituality, have a positive, abundance mindset, love what you are doing, and have successfully dealt with 'excess baggage' and 'deserving issues'; that is to say, you have your shit together 🙂 it follows by natural extension of logic that you will ALSO have abundance in all areas of your life, be it health, relationships or finances.

      Everything's more or less intertwined. So yeah, money's a pretty good barometer of success, though not at the exclusion of everything else.

    9. "Money in and of itself doesn’t make you rich. But the absence of it makes you poor. Money is important to a prosperous life…"

      I agree.

    10. Money is the result of prosperity.
      Love is the result of prosperity.
      Health is the result of prosperity.

      You have to change the inside first. Not easy at all, but the journey is worth it.

      That's another thing-

      I am all for goals, and think they are great tools. However, it should be more about the journey. If we do not reach our goal, we can at least enjoy the ride, and move on.

      My thoughts.

    11. Time and Money together is a measuring stick for success!!! Once you have your Time Back you can choose who to invest it in and what to spend it on.

      Time is the only thing we are all running out of and can't Buy any more of!!!!!

      Ian Kirk

    12. Randy,
      I think you are right. I would just add that I would be living most of my life in positive emotions. The positive emotions are joy,love,romance,and sex.

      I believe that it is our duty to live happy, healthy and rich. I also think my prosperity would include a conscious contact with my God on a daily basis.
      Thanks for a great post.
      Jim

    13. Instead of saying "just," how about if we say that money is a tool. We want to make sure not to use language that has negative connotations and repel energy.

      -RG

    14. I agree. I'm breaking "love" down into it's two faces--"loved" and "loving"...one giving and one receiving. I don't see how true/deep prosperity can exist without "loving"--of yourself and of others.

    15. From Catherine Ponder:
      * your potential wealth, health & happiness are within you…waiting to be radiated to the world as healthy, wealthy, happy thoughts, feelings, expectations and decrees…which in turn attracts like results
      * Poverty is a sin.
      * God wants you to be prosperous and God is the Source of your prosperity
      * You can not get something for nothing
      * there is nothing wrong with money or wanting money, it is a God-given medium of exchange

      I think love is part of prosperity...can you be happy if you don't love ypourself?
      Loving yourself is the key to loving others & receiving love.

      and I think you need to look at your core beliefs and change them if they are not what you think they are or not what you want...

      for example...
      changing "I am not worthy" to "I am worthy"
      changing "I am unlovable" to "I am lovable"
      changing "I am fat" to "I am beautiful and my ideal weight"
      changing "being poor is noble" to "God wants us to be wealthy/prosperous"

      Changing your thinking & imaging helps to manifest prosperity

    16. From Money as a Measuring stick: "...game the system"?

      The system is a game.

      “Kids are dying of AIDS in Africa because their family is too poor to pay for medicine.”

      Rather since it is a manufactured disease.

      Here’s the deal:

      There are universal laws you either apply or become a victim under.

      Most people don't know, understand and apply these laws, which pretty much sums up the world situation, with or without "conspiracies".

      Many people wonder how someone or something can get control of your mind for example.

      The real issue is self-responsibility.

      The "controllers" follow rules. They don't barge into your life, as some suspect. They design the circumstances which currently lead to the results they want.

      Usually, you do not see the trap. It may be so magnificently set that you may not even realize you are in a trap. In fact, it may be so inviting that you don’t even want to leave! This is mind-control, but you are not a victim, you are a willing participant.

      Be mindful of what you do and how you do it. Be wary of traps and pitfalls so that you maintain control over your own mind and life.

      Prosperity including health, happiness and money FOR YOU will follow!

    17. Randy...for prosperity you state that money is necessary. Yes, it is...but the question is how much or in what relationship to others. I concur that when many say they didn't realize they were poor, they weren't be entirely honest. Or they were emphasizing a different point. But at what point are you "rich"...or at what point do you truly HAVE money in sufficient quantity to be rich. I maintain that a rich level of money is more than enough to meet the lifestyle you want, and to support the people and causes you get fulfullment from funding. Many will require huge amounts of capital to meet that lifestyle and those funding desires...others with more modest ambitions or a simpler lifestyle will need less to meet and exceed that total. At minimum I would add AUTONOMY to your list of things required to be prosperous (for how successful are you if you work so hard at things you can't enjoy the fruits of that labor with loved ones and make some level of advancement in your spiritual and/or emotional journey?

    18. I like your definitions of being prosperous:

      1) Healthy
      2) Happy
      3) Rich

      However, we all of course have different ideas of what those mean.

      As one of the detractors from that last post, I just wanted to be clear that money is NOT a reliable yardstick of effectiveness for anything other than money-getting. Anyone in the US is rich in comparison to many parts of the world, but that does NOT mean they are effective, right?

      I want everyone on this blog (and any other) to be as Healthy, Happy, and as Rich as they want to be... and maybe just a little more 🙂

    19. Dude- I'm with you on some of this- and since its a manufactured disease, the people who make MOUNTAINS of money addicting people to their drugs are "prosperous" according to Randy's definition, but I would say differently.

    20. MONEY IS ONLY IMPORTANT IF YOU DONT HAVE ANY TO BUY THE BASICS, THEN IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT

    21. In America, one cannot be healthy or happy without security, which means money. That doesn't mean 'rich,' it means waking up every morning not worrying about the phone bill, the rent, how to pay for this necessity or that one. Constant financial stress debilitates health, as does the inability to afford nutritious food, the combination of which prevents happiness, no matter how much 'love' one has in his life.

      Henry Miller: "In America, to be an artist is to be a moral leper, an economic misfit, a social liability. A corn-fed dog enjoys a better life than a creative writer, painter or musician.' Which is why most artists are not happy - it's a life of struggle and strife and disrespect and, aside from the few who 'make it,' frustration and often anger.

      But the bottom line is really this: 'happy' is not a constant. Life is so challenging and so filled with unexpected curve balls, happy comes in phases - the key is being able to enjoy the happy when it happens, but to not expect it to happen 24/7. If it did, happy would be boring...

    22. So much to consider here. First, which is more valuable: prosperity or joy? I would choose joy, because it is something that I can control. All three of your "parts of prosperity" Happy, Healthy and Rich are fleating, but Joy can exist in any situation. Having said that: there is a great Bible verse that is always fun to throw into these kinds of conversations: Ecc. 10:19 - which says, food is made for feast and wine makes merry, but money fixes everything.

    23. Randy-

      Just curious...with your self-admitted health issues, do you consider yourself truly prosperous by your definition above?

    24. What I appreciate most about this post is the focus on balance. I'm saying the same as many others here, but with a different energy..
      I truly believe:
      There are many things that make us happy that require money and health...

      There are many things that make us wealthy that require our health and happiness.

      There are many things that make us healthy that require our happiness and wealth.

      Am I off in thinking they feed off each other in many ways? -which would be why Randy says having all three brings true prosperity.

    25. I think it is very simple. If you are prosperous, you are:

      1) Healthy
      2) Happy
      3) Rich

      Totally agree and to me when you are those 3 then love, faith...are integrally implied. In fact, they come before the health happiness and riches.

    26. It is amazing how much negativity is in our everyday language that goes unnoticed, at least by me when speaking it.

      I appreciate the feedback, I got baggage man 🙂

    27. Hello Jillian! I agree with your comments 100%. I grew up in poverty in a tough housing project in Brooklyn New York. Today I am financially Independent. I used my situation to motivate and inspire me to achieve success in all areas of my life. I believe that some kids today don't understand that you give value before you get. You don't become a prosperous person overnight. You have to work on your mindset daily. Have a Prosperous, Healthy and Happy Day! Karim

    28. I agree Randy, I grew up poor too so I know how it feels.
      I'll go for the 3

      1) Heathy
      2) Happy
      3) Rich

      HR

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