If we're honest with ourselves, we all love money. It can make life easier in many ways and at the same time more complicated. That's why it's important to also focus on increasing our wealth in ways that don't involve cash.
My dear friend Sarah Peck, an expert in the fundamentals of psychology, behavior, and habits, shared some thoughts with me on that focused on this very topic.
Wealth can be created across more areas than just financially. Sure, monetary wealth can be a beautiful thing, and I’ve got aims to grow wealthy in money. But there’s three areas that are more important to me for wealth than just money.
The length of your life, your enjoyment of it, and the way you experience it directly relates to the quality of your experiences. When you’re young, travel. Seek out new opportunities. When you’re any age, really. As we slow down and move into habit and routine, we can lose time simply because we aren’t aware that it is passing.
Experiences are the foundation of connection, conversation, memory, and growth. When evaluating opportunities, I think: Will this add to my wealth of experiences?
Richness is friendships. I want to be full, overflowing, satiated, bursting with love for my friends and my family and my colleagues. I want to take on the heartbreak and the sadness and the pain that comes alongside love and laughter and joy, because it means I’ll be there with them, and they’ll be there with me.
True friendship can be inconvenient, it can be messy, it can be laborious (driving hours each way to see someone; giving up other opportunities to make time, whatever it takes)—but it’s also a wealth worth building. At the end of the day, I want someone to hold my hand and tell me we did enough, that our time mattered, and that we were lucky to spend it alongside each other.
Education is never-ending. One of my favorite ways of framing my own personal education is thinking about life in two-year spans. It takes two years to really dig in deep enough to an area to learn about it and find an intermediate level of mastery of the material. I have, ideally, quite a few two-year spans in my life.
My journey into storytelling and marketing was a two-year self-guided journey into reading 85 different books on positioning, storytelling, communications, and more. It has served me dividends already in all of the work that I do. My parenting journey is another education; my business, yet another one. Never stop learning, or investing, in your education.
Yes, I love money (and I love writing that!)—and I also want to be wealthy in experiences, friendships, and wisdom.
Above: Sarah Kathleen Peck © Noa Griffel 2015
Sarah K Peck is an author, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Pregnant, a media company documenting untold stories of what it looks like to be a woman in leadership, life, and work. The Startup Pregnant Podcast shares long-form stories of parenting, business, entrepreneurship, and growth.