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How to Live a Rich Life Without Lots of Money

“Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

Oscar Wilde

Does the race for riches leave you unfulfilled?

Does the thought of constantly chasing ever more cash leave you stressed, depressed even?

Does the whole idea of measuring your personal worth in terms of your personal wealth leave you deeply dissatisfied?

Poor in possessions and somewhat fiscally challenged, I never fit in with my richer friends.

And no matter how much I told myself that money didn’t buy happiness, I still felt worthless because I was worth less … financially.

So in my thirties, I finally caved in and chased the money dream.

Five exhausting, stress-filled years of ruthlessly pursuing more money.

But when I got there, it meant nothing to me. It didn’t make me happy. It made me miserable.

In those five years, even to the small extent I succeeded, the so-called riches that money can buy actually left me poorer in happiness, health, and relationships. My heart and head were as full as my work schedule, but not with the people and things that really mattered.

I discovered that rocking a 24-carat rock didn’t rock my world. And bling definitely didn’t make me swing.

So with no idea where to go from there, I found an empty journal and started a record of the True Riches In My Life. For each year of my adult life, I jotted down every experience, achievement, adventure, friendship won or lost, and every decision I could remember making.

What an epiphany!

I realized my life had been full of riches long before I started chasing financial wealth and material gain. I realized most of the truest riches in my life actually came when I didn’t have all that much money.

Sure, when money’s really tight, it’s not so easy to focus on much beyond finding enough for the essentials. When I was lost in the financial doldrums, struggling to pay my rent, and praying there’d be reduced food in the supermarket, it took up a lot of my mental energy. But I wish I’d known then that I would have felt so much better about myself, about my situation, if I’d recognized the riches I did have.

Whether I’d had enough money or not, I’d missed seeing all those infinitely precious things because I’d been looking for the wrong kind of riches. I’d been measuring my inner wealth by my external wealth.

I realized in that epiphany that no matter how much a part of me may have wanted it, I would never be materialistic. It just isn’t in my makeup; I am much more spiritual than material.

And even though you can have lots of money and still be spiritual, spiritual people measure true wealth in different terms.

So forget the race for riches, start your own True Riches In My Life journal, and discover your own inner wealth.

14 Infinitely Precious Things For A Rich Life

1. Authenticity

Forever staying true to yourself and being at peace with who you are is the greatest richness in life.

Each morning, tell your reflection that you are going to do yourself the greatest service of being you. This act alone makes me feel happier, regardless of my personal financial situation or lack of ‘status.’

Start your Riches In My Life journal with a declaration of the authentic, spiritually rich person you truly are.

2. Acceptance

Overcome your natural desire to control the uncontrollable in life, and replace struggle with acceptance and peace.

Every time you catch yourself wishing you could change the unchangeable, write it down in your journal, and say, “It’s okay. I accept this just as it is.”

3. Curiosity

Childish wonder is still within you. Forever questioning and experimenting is the sign of a rich mind. My most enjoyable days are always those marked by a discovery, where I’ve learned something new, however tiny, that I can’t wait to share.

Reignite your spark and excitement for life by reading different types of books, learning about different cultures, and delving deeper into anything of interest. Jot down these new discoveries in your True Riches journal—you’ll be amazed!

4. Creativity

Creating something from nothing is a courageous act that brings a valuable accomplishment amid the practicalities of everyday life.

Let your self-expression rule in your journal—start that book, paint that picture, or maybe just sketch out an idea or inventive solution.

5. Forgiveness

Letting go of anger or hurt rewards one with peace of mind—a priceless freedom. The act of forgiveness is a true testament to your inner strength.

Write in your journal and say, “I forgive you, [name].” Don’t worry if you don’t feel forgiveness the first time; it will come in due time.

6. Gentleness

Confucius listed gentleness as one of the greatest virtues, and it is a quality you can see in spiritual people from Buddha to Gandhi. The ability to be strong without being abrupt or harsh is a rare and valuable quality.

Next time the kids or a colleague act up, smile, speak softly, and note in your journal how you stood firm but gentle.

7. Patience

Being patient isn’t easy in this age of instant gratification. However, with patience, you can achieve things over time that may seem impossible. Journaling my ideas and projects has taken me from being “Missy, I need it right now or not at all,” to truly feeling the joy that more substantial, longer-term projects bring.

Next time you start beating yourself up over a missed goal, write a realistic time scale in your journal, and remember to be as patient with yourself as you are with others.

8. Gratitude

It takes dedication to notice what you have and be thankful for it. But acknowledging all the good things in each day will make you rich in happiness.

Challenge yourself to note one thing each day you might have taken for granted, and add it to your journal to build a treasury of blessings.

9. Generosity

Giving when you believe you don’t have enough yourself is true generosity of heart. And doing so leads to the realization that you always have enough to share.

Give someone your undivided attention for half an hour when you think you have no time. In this hectic world, your full attention is one of the most generous things you can give. Write these acts of generosity in your journal.

10. Kindness

Being kind brings its own rich rewards—inner peace, happiness, and the knowledge that you are making a real difference in the world, one people will remember.

Next time you feel unhappy or are beating yourself up, do one small act of kindness for someone, then do one for yourself. Note these in your journal.

11. Compassion

To understand and feel another’s pain is a truly selfless act. It allows you to appreciate the areas of ease and plenty in your own life.

In your journal, note all your compassionate thoughts and actions. I find these to be the most powerful of my journal entries; they wrap a security blanket of all that I’m blessed with round me each time I re-read them.

12. Love

Making that emotional connection with others, whether it’s your partner, family, or friend, brings an abundance into your life that money can never hope to match.

Each day, tell someone you love them, and write in your journal every time those wonderful words are said to you.

13. Vulnerability

Letting down your defenses and showing your weaknesses allows others to see the full picture, not just a silhouette. Being vulnerable builds trust in relationships. This is my Achilles heel, but by consciously letting others in, initially unremarkable relationships have blossomed into great friendships.

In your journal, record all your positive experiences of being vulnerable to help you build this rewarding habit.

14. Contentment

Realizing you already have abundance in your life brings serenity and contentment. Achieving this in a materialistic world takes a special skill.

In your journal, read through all the infinitely precious things other than money that you are wealthy in. Acknowledge all the wealth you already have because, as the proverb says, “enough is a feast.

Find Your Real Riches

Imagine being unconcerned about the race for riches.

Imagine no longer stressing over constantly chasing ever more cash.

Imagine measuring your personal wealth in terms of your personal worth, and feeling true contentment with the result.

Start that True Riches In My Life journal.

Embrace the genuinely spiritual person you are, and be at peace for the incredible riches you bring to the world.

About Laura Tong

Laura Tong is a regular contributor on The Huffington Post and other top blogs. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict). Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.

If we stop measuring our personal worth in terms of our personal wealth, we can live a rich life without lots of money.

How To Live a Rich Life with Very Little Money

These are the 3 ways you can make it happen.

It was early in the morning — 5 or 6 am. The sun was still asleep, and I could feel the pit in my stomach as reality began to set in.

The lights were shut completely off in my tiny apartment, so the room was pitch black. But I didn’t mind it. I needed a little bit of time to sit and reflect on the night before.

You see, I was in my sophomore year of college, right in the middle of my indoor track season. Less than 24 hours prior to this moment, I had finished the best track race of my career, dipping under 5 minutes in the mile for the first time in my life.

The second I crossed that finish line, a feeling of euphoria washed over me.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

Once the track meet ended, my team piled onto the bus, and our journey back to campus began. The hours ticked by slowly until I finally arrived back to my little studio apartment, completely exhausted. I went straight to bed.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. The exhilarating feeling of the night before had vanished. Suddenly, the constant stressors of my daily life re-entered my mind like a tidal wave.

I had pages and pages of homework to complete, difficult projects to work my way through, and of course, a pile-up of expenses to worry about. I was just another broke college student navigating my way through life.

But despite it all, sitting and reflecting in the blackness of that early morning, I felt grateful for everything I had in my life, and I was happy.

It was one of those moments that I felt truly at peace, and recognized one of the most crucial lessons in life — you don’t have to be wealthy to live a wonderful life. Thus, here are three ways that you can live a rich life with very little money.

1. Find the thing that makes you tick.

No matter where you are at in life, you should always have that one thing that makes you tick. Figure out what gets you excited to get out of bed each and every morning, and then do it as much as you can.

“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”

Even if it isn’t your full-time job, the hobby you love should still be a part of your life in some capacity.

One of my personal greatest passions in life is running. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. Running has gotten me through the toughest of times.

When I was stressed about homework, studying, projects, or final exams all throughout college, my daily run kept me sane.

The key takeaway here is to find a passion that will help you forget about all of your stress and responsibilities for a while. You need to have that one thing that boosts your happiness and helps you feel a greater purpose in life. Then, make time for it each and every day, knowing that it will help you be a better person and live a richer life.

2. Learn to be incredibly frugal.

You don’t have to be rich to be smart with your money. If you have very little money, but you are much more frugal with it, you will get a lot more while spending far less.

When I was in college, I learned how to shop for groceries on $25-$50 a week. I refrained from buying frivolous items I couldn’t afford. And I minimized unnecessary costs like $5 coffees or going out to eat as much as I possibly could.

But, this didn’t take away from my life at all. I still went out for dinner at the local diner with friends on special occasions. I participated in free activities like running and hiking.

And if your friends no longer want to hang out with you because you can’t afford to dress a certain way or go out to fancy restaurants every weekend, then they aren’t worth your time.

“We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.”

— Henry David Thoreau

The key takeaway here is to spend your money wisely. Save as much as you can now so that you are actively working towards a better future, and so that you’re well prepared for any emergencies that might come up.

3. Recognize that the following is crucial.

The single most important thing in life is love, and the relationships you form with others. There is no feeling more powerful. Until you recognize that, you will never be happy because power and money cannot fill the void.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

Life is a long and difficult journey, and what gets us through every single hardship is love. While it may look different to every individual, the fact remains that we all need love in our lives.

When I doubted my ability to break 5 minutes in the mile, my parents assured me that I wasn’t only capable of doing so, but that I absolutely would.

And when I lacked the energy to drag myself out of bed at 4:30 am to get my run in when that was the only option, my sister was there waiting to run alongside me.

The key takeaway here is that a life filled with love is a rich life. If you only chase money and power and neglect everything else, you will never live your fullest and happiest life.

Final Thoughts

A person’s happiness in life isn’t measured by money, success, or material objects. The richest lives are lived by those who care less about money and more about others.

I don’t have a lot of money right now. But I do have something far better — a rich life. The moment I stopped fixating on making money and focused on other things, like my passions in life, being more frugal with my money, and forming strong relationships, I started living a rich life.

I urge you to do the same. If you can honestly say that you’re proud of the way you are living your life in this moment, there is not a doubt in my mind that a rich and happy life will find you too.

It was early in the morning — 5 or 6 am. The sun was still asleep, and I could feel the pit in my stomach as reality began to set in. The lights were shut completely off in my tiny apartment, so the… ]]>