Aug 29, 2007

When Are You Rich?

Let me ask you a question - are you rich?

Most Americans would never admit that they are rich. But if you make over $34,000/year, that puts you in the top 5% of the world's income earners. Most of the world would look at us and think that we were rich.

What would it take for us to be rich? How would we know when we've moved from being one of the middle class to finally make it to the rich club? And how would one know when that happened?

The Gallop organization polled people regarding this topic and here's what they found. "Among those who earned $30,000 or less, a household income of $74,000 was 'rich.' For those who earned between $30,000 - $50,000, it took $100,000 a year to be rich."

But here's the thing. If you were to ask people making $74,000 a year if they were rich, I doubt anyone would say they were. I mean, they have mortgages to pay, there's the kid's college and tuition, and they live in neighborhoods where plenty of people make more than $74,000 a year. I doubt anyone making $74,000 would say they were rich.

And if you were to ask the people who earn $100,000 a year if they were rich, I don't think they would say they were rich either.

In fact, I don't think those who make a million a year would say that they were rich. Because they know plenty of people who make more money than they do. In fact, the really rich crowd said that one would need to have everything paid off and have an asset of at least $5 million dollars that was generating at least $200,000/year to be rich. But I bet you, if you were to ask those people if they thought they were rich, most of them would say that there are far more rich people.

So again, the question is, "When does someone become rich?" When does someone cross that mysterious line that separates all of us from the rich?

And here's why this question is so important - AS LONG AS WE DO NOT SEE OURSELVES AS RICH, WE WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED.

And if we are never satisfied, we will never be content. And if we are never content, we will never be happy.

This must be why we're surrounded by such grumpy people all the time!

There is nothing wrong with striving to be better. But until we come to understand that our worth is not based on how much money we make, but how much life we make, we will always be a nation of unhappy miserable people. It's not about how much stuff, but how much life we make by adding value to the people around us that counts.

The magic line separating the rich is not defined by dollars, but the lives that we were able to touch by adding value to them.

So, let's be rich. Add value to your spouse. Add value to your children. Compliment them. Tell them how much you love them. Add value to your neighbor and coworker. Go out of your way to be kind and respectful. When we live like that, we are rich - and the smiles around us will prove it.

And you can take that to the bank!

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