Wealth to many people is closely related to happiness; however, this is not always the case. The fact remains that one’s wealth could have either negative or positive effects on his or her state of happiness and well being. How do you identify whether you are indeed a “rich” person or not?
Wealth has different meanings to different cultures and nations. In ancient times, wealth was equated with cattle, hence the common reference to the wealthy in many early texts. Today, the definition of wealth has evolved to include all forms of tangible assets. This includes not only livestock but also electronics, automobiles, luxury items, investments and so forth.
By simply thinking about the idea of wealth, it is easy to see that it has changed over time. In ancient times, wealth meant cattle, horses and other important possessions that could be tilled and sowed. In contrast, the wealthy of today are much more likely to be worth much more money than their predecessors. However, it is still possible to determine if the assets one possesses are in fact wealth or just another type of asset.
When people refer to wealth, they often use the term in a negative sense. For instance, it is common to hear phrases such as “richer than you, richer than you think.” On the other hand, it is also common to hear phrases such as “much richer than you think” when referring to the concept of wealth. The reason for the frequent usage of these two contrasting words is simple: wealth means having possessions and the concept of possession itself is based on value, unlike wealth being equated with lack of possession.
Most people are familiar with the concept of wealth accumulation. This simply means how much a person earns in a given period of time or how much money his or her net worth is. Net worth is a concept that is closely related to the concept of abundance. For instance, an individual who has a net worth of five million dollars will most likely live a relatively comfortable lifestyle. However, this does not mean that the person will be able to comfortably afford all of his or her possessions.
While the word wealth has different meanings to different people, there is a general consensus that it refers to the possession of things that are of value. People can differ in their goals for building wealth, but the end result is always the same: a person has more wealth than he needs. Therefore, a smart person will seek to maximize his wealth. He may choose to save some of his wealth for emergencies, retire some of his wealth for investments, or even give away some of his wealth to charity. When people understand that wealth can be a building block toward happiness, and that building wealth is a process that never ends because it is something that is continually changing as technology and society changes along the way, they may realize that wealth is something that they should embrace rather than keep to themselves.