Living a Rich Life

by Dennis Perry on September 22, 2011

When I speak to groups and talk one-on-one with clients I often ask them, “What does a rich life mean to you?”  Way more often than not, the answer is MONEY and lots of it!

The reality is, however, that having lots of money is, at best, only a very small part of living richly.  I personally know many people who have very little money but live wonderful lives.  My parents were excellent examples.

Growing up, we lived very sparsely.  We had all that we needed but almost none of what we wanted.   We got one gift each on Christmas Morning. Oh, we definitely got the socks and underwear also but only 1 toy.  We lived in a very small home with Mom, Dad, my brother, my sister, me, and always at least one dog or cat.

I now make more in a day than my dad made in a month and that included overtime.  But, I have to tell you, I never realized we were poor until I got to high school and saw how other people lived.

But in spite of our household income, we had wonderful life experiences.  My parents enjoyed every moment of their lives until their lives were gone.  I learned early that it was about the experience, not the money.

I also personally know many millionaires who are constantly worried that everyone is out to get their money.  They have no balance in their lives.  It is all about collecting as much money as possible in the shortest possible time.  They live by the motto that “he who finishes with the most toys and money wins”.  All too often, their millionaire net worth is mostly on paper.  It is tied up in real estate and other rather illiquid investments.  Even though they have a high net worth, they still live paycheck to paycheck. They do not enjoy cash flow which, in my opinion, is the real secret to money.  We’ll discuss this in a future article.

I have lived on both sides of that equation and I can tell you from personal experience, balance and richness of life and its experiences is a far better place to be.

Many people speak of balance between the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of life.  Garrett B Gunderson, author of Killing Sacred Cows breaks life down to 5 key areas: Financial, Physical, Mental, Social, and Spiritual.

Another teacher whose work I particularly like, Jon Butcher, in his Life Book program divides life into 12 areas: Health & Fitness, Intellectual, Emotional, Character, Spiritual, Love Relationships, Parenting, Financial, Social, Career, Overall quality of Life, and Life Vision.

The reality for you is likely somewhere in between.  Maybe you can define 5 key areas, or 6, or 10.  Whatever it is for you, you need to take some quality time and reflect on what is true for you.

I recently took off 4 days from my very busy practice and went on a personal retreat to the mountains and lakes of Tennessee, by myself.  During that time, I focused exclusively on what categories are true for me.  Once that was determined, I journaled extensively in all the areas and began creating the plan for living my life’s vision.

I urge you to take some time now or at least get it on your schedule and get to work on defining what your ideal life is.  For each category that you define as important and critical for you, ask yourself the following questions:

                 1) Where am I now as it relates to this category?

                 2) What do I believe?

                 3) What do I want?

                 4) Why do I want it?

                 5) What do I need to do to get it?

As you begin to answer these questions, you will get clearer about what a rich life means to you.  By answering the 5th question, you have taken a giant leap to creating the blueprint or the roadmap to your very own “Rich Life”.

If you would like guidance in this or any other area of your life, contact me.

Make this day great and make your life truly rich in every way!

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Rob Malone September 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Great post. Those five questions are great. I think many people overlook the importance of balance in their life.

Eva Palmer September 23, 2011 at 2:53 am

Having a rich life for me is about being with the people I love and having all the time and resources to do the things that I enjoy!

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Michael Paulse September 23, 2011 at 1:49 am

Dennis, I understand that it was about the experience, not the money. But I wait for the day that I experience the money.
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Neil Dhawan September 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

Hi Dennis ~

I like how you made how many categories a person would have would be unique to them. It seems many people try to build there life based on someone elses blueprint. Great questions to ask, reflect upon and journal about!

Stay Extraordinary and Do Great Things, Neil

Clare Delaney September 23, 2011 at 12:36 am

Good questions – they make tacking the issues easier to start.

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Michael D Walker September 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm

A great set of questions to be asking.

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Covert Hypnosis September 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Do you think that people who have rougher childhoods lead toward owning their own business, or do you think it just discourages them further in thinking they can not ever live “richly?”

Looking forward to more

Mark Hogan

Jennifer Battaglino September 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I love that you gave us those 5 questions… The beliefs section always gets me because it may hinder the goals. Limiting beliefs can be a threat to anyone.

Jennifer Battaglino
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Sonya Lenzo September 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Everyone has their own way of “keeping score”….what is success for them.For some, money is a big part of it. For others, it is simply being happy and being surrounded by friends. For those who have struggled to have it, it can be simply health.
Sonya Lenzo

The Knowledge Stylist: Music, Photography, Travel, Gadgets and More! September 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I’m always amazed at the super-high-earners who live paycheck to paycheck; I think some people are just wired to be on the edge whether they make 10,000 a year or 1,000,000 a year.


Annie Born September 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Chunking it down into categories makes – it so much easier!
I also love the 5 questions!
Thank you so much!
Looking forward to tomorrows update!

Cherie Miranda September 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I like the idea of categories. Thanks for the questions! Great and useful information as always.

Cherie Miranda

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Kevin Bettencourt September 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Money can remove some woes to be sure. It can also cause some new ones.

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Andrew Miner September 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Lot’s of great advice on this one. Knowing WHAT you’re striving for is critical and hopefully it’s not just money. Looking forward to more.


Phil September 22, 2011 at 9:27 am

I love your idea of breaking life into categories, sort of looking at the separate pieces one at a time, and deciding how I’m doing. I find that much more practical and “do-able” than some recommendations for balance or trying to make everything perfect all at once. I can work on my physical health. At least I know where to start! And I can spend more time with the family. I can understand that. But “balance”? There I’m not so sure. Thanks for this wonderful post!

John Moulder September 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

I suppose we all get to a stage in life where we question ourselves and where we are headed . As you point out , some people can only see the money . Poor sods methinks .…hould-have-one.html

Interpreting body language September 22, 2011 at 3:51 am

Dennis, this is a great post. Growing up my life was similar to yours. Thanks for sahring this formula.
Scott Sylvan Bell
Reading male body language
Now go implement!

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