I am reading a book called, “How To Be Rich” by Andy Stanley. The premise is that we, in the United States, or in Western culture more broadly, are generally rich. If you earn $37,000 or more annually, you are in the top 4% of wage earners in the world. If you earn $48,000 or more annually, you are in the top 1%. But most of us aren’t very good at being rich. Stanley’s goal is to show how we can be good at it.
Very few of us feel rich or believe we are rich. Rather, according to Stanley, we define rich as someone who makes roughly twice as much money as we do. It is always a moving target.
Stanley makes an interesting comparison with anorexia. People with anorexia are absorbed in the effort to get thin, so they do not recognize when they are thin. In the same way, the pursuit to earn more money in order to buy more neat stuff, and then spending most of what we earn, stops us from feeling rich. It is hard to notice what we have when we are always pursuing more.
I have written about the pursuit of excellence before and am very drawn to the concept of pursuit. I like to be motivated, to move forward in life, and to pursue new things. I want to learn more, write more, exercise more, and eat better. Sometimes the lack of progress toward something better is really disappointing. In all these efforts to become something more, I lose sight of who and what I actually am.
Sometimes it is important in the pursuit to stop and just be. The pursuit, even of positive things, can be a huge distraction from the beauty of where we actually are. I am rich, and by looking around and realizing that, I can be so much more satisfied.
Make it a good week!