People talk a lot about how to get true wealth and wealthy people.  The 1%.  The wealth gap.  The top 100 wealthiest people in the world—of course Forbes has a succinct list of them all.

However, I don’t buy it.  I don’t believe that the wealthiest people in the world are really wealthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly they all have insane amounts of personally accumulated money.

But I don’t believe for a second that all of them are truly wealthy.

Hold on, what?

The question is: how do you define wealth?

I am the first person to say money (not wealth) is an important entity that helps us sustain our lives in this current form of human existence (wasn’t true in the Stone Age!).   And that having more makes our lives easier.  True fact.  This blog, even, is all about in-powering women to pay attention to their money and start using the system we live in, instead of being used by it.

So, I’m not saying money isn’t important.  I’m merely saying having money is not having wealth.

True human wealth is prosperity, and prosperity is a choice.

Prosperity

The textbook definition of prosperity is: a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition especially in financial respects; good fortune.

Do you see how it says “in financial respects” after successful, flourishing and thriving condition.  Those are the important words I associate with wealth–and they are also three human emotions that are a choice, not an external something that happens to you.

Sure, others will say you succeeded because you got a work promotion.  But anything can be a success if you say it is.  For example: I totally bombed that birthday cake I just made—what a success! I learned tbsp does not mean the same thing as tsp and that Ubereats is crazy fast.  (This may or may not be a true story).

It’s all about the will

Scientists have been proving this point for decades: Prosperity (aka wealth) is a choice. A positive worldview creates a positive and prosperous life.  Wealth comes from giving. Wealth comes from being exposed to people of different colors, backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations. Wealth comes from loving.

As humans with free will we choose to look at our lives as successful and flourishing (wealthy) or as miserable and failing.  It’s a mental game.  I choose wealth, because miserable feels exactly like it sounds.  No thanks.

If Wealth is a choice, then Money is a choice

Have more to say about this, you may ask? Absolutely:).

The definition of prosperity includes a financial thriving condition.  It’s one thing to say money doesn’t buy happiness, but it’s another thing to say we can live on air and eat “flourishingness” (yes, it’s not really a word).

When we choose prosperity that INCLUDES choosing to take care of our financial lives using the same positive lens that creates success and flourishingness.   That means rejecting the fear of finances. That means acknowledging there is a systemic problem in our American system that inherently biases women against finances.  That means not playing the victim about money (it’s just so complicated!), the naive (I have someone else do it), or the fearful (they’re all just going to take my money!).

That means saying: it’s our time.  I have a brain. I can learn.  I can figure out how to navigate the financial world and make it work for me.  It’s already happening, we just have to do it as a collective.

This is imperative for women

I can’t tell you how important it is that women listen to this point.

Women have historically been pretty good at staying positive.  However, with the increase of our participation in the work place, our happiness and stress (anti-prosperity) has increased.  This doesn’t mean that if we all go back to being secretaries and housewives our happiness index will jump back up.

How to get true wealth? It means that we have to get our mental game right about our lives. We have to embrace true wealth from all sides of the coin: we are successes because we are alive.  We are thriving because we love ourselves and others.  We have control of our lives because we are not tied to a job or external people for self-esteem.  And we are financially sound because we’ve been paying attention.

I choose life, I choose wealth.