In association with hhdlstudycirclemontreal.org

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
What Is Wealth?
by Ryan Holiday

[Listen to Audio!]

2391.jpgWhat is wealth? It’s having plenty, right? The variables in the equation are pretty simple. What you have, what you’ve got coming in, and what’s going out. If those are in proper proportion to each other, you’re covered. Except what we tend to miss in this equation is another set of hidden variables that most often take the shape of our relative needs and wants.

Most people accumulate their wealth by earning as much as they can. That’s why they work so hard. Why they take so many risks. Why they invest. But the reason they do this is not to be covered — it’s because they have told themselves that what they need is more, more, more, and that what they have already is not enough.

Seneca, himself a very rich man, did that. The astounding financial benefits of working for Nero had to be partly what attracted him to the tyrant’s service. If only he could have listened to his own advice (which he borrowed from Epicurus): “If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not add to his store of money, but subtract from his desires.”

For a virtuous person, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be wealthy. It can provide comfort, security and, quite possibly, a platform to do good for the world. The Stoics would just urge you to take a minute to think about what your definition of wealth is — and whether you might already have everything you’ve always wanted.

There’s more than one way to solve this tricky wealth equation, and in your case it may just be that subtraction is easier than multiplication. That changing your understanding of what it means to be rich might be more important, and easier, than changing the number of digits to the left of the decimal point in your bank balance.

About the Author: Excerpted from The Daily Stoic.

Share the Wisdom:
Email Twitter FaceBook
Latest Community Insights New!
What Is Wealth?
What is your definition of wealth? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced wealth through subtraction instead of multiplication? What helps you stay aware of the distinction between needs and wants?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: Wealth is a means to taking care of my basic survival needs such as food, shelter, and safety. It is a means and not a goal. My higher level needs such as need to belong to, self-worth, contentment, i…
David Doane wrote: Wealth is having an abundance of something valuable, often referring to money but not necessarily, and often means having more than what is needed. A simple example of my experiencing wealth through s…
Prasad Kaipa wrote: I have reflected on wealth and found that pigeons represent desires as seen in this photo. Click on the image for higher-res photo. …
Share/Read Your Reflections
Awakin Circles:
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.

RSVP For Wednesday

Some Good News

In Pursuit of Silence
The Religious Value of the Unknown
Parenting Advice from Kahlil Gibran

Video of the Week

While I Yet Live

Kindness Stories

Global call with Victor Kazanjian!
454.jpgJoin us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>

About
Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

Forward to a Friend

Awakin Weekly delivers weekly inspiration to its 92,083 subscribers. We never spam or host any advertising. And you can unsubscribe anytime, within seconds.

On our website, you can view 17+ year archive of these readings. For broader context, visit our umbrella organization: ServiceSpace.org.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: