In ‘raises- are they for suckers’ I promised a followup on how to get rich. I have discovered it through years of painstaking research and the results may disappoint you. I am basing this on nothing but the accumulated reading of my life to date. So with no more buildup, here it is – how to get rich: Spend less than you earn. Stay healthy. Stay happy. That’s pretty much it. I discussed #1, “Spend less than you earn” Monday. Here are points #2 and #3:
2. Stay healthy. Getting sick is expensive. Staying healthy is cheap. I do not do all of the following, but I am convinced if I did I would become incredibly healthy and stay that way for a long time:
- Become a vegan. If not that, become a vegetarian. If not that, stick to fish and poultry. There is little value to eating meat other than the taste of it, but the cost to health, the environment and your wallet is out of proportion to the enjoyment. Try to cut back and enjoy fruits, vegetables, bread… it is possible to eat a meal without meat. Try it sometime!
- Eat natural foods (not necessarily organic, but nothing with aspartme, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, etc.). Not everyone can afford organic food, and in some cases it may be overkill. You can argue the actual effect of Nutrasweet or artificial flavorings – maybe nothing in the long run – but there certainly are no benefits. Read this book.
- Get mild aerobic exercise on a regular basis. Take the stairs. Walk in the park. Jog a bit if you’re so inclined. It doesn’t take much.
- Limit alcohol intake but drink a little bit on a regular basis. Have a glass of wine. Drink a weekend martini. Enjoy a drink with your food, and let it help you eat a little more slowly.
- Always wear a seatbelt. This piece of advice is a no-brainer. If you don’t do it, you are inviting poverty – through injury or death.
- Get regular checkups. Finding a health problem is never pleasant, but I am 100% confident that there is not a single medical condition that gets better the longer you don’t know about it.
You can argue with any one of those, but basically a vegetarian who always wear a seatbelt, visits the doctor regularly, jogs in the morning and enjoys a glass of port in the evening will probably live longer than most people. Maybe not – it’s just my opinion! Staying healthy will make you rich in several ways. It will save medical expenses, obviously. Being a vegetarian is cheaper than eating meat. If you are healthy, you will do better at your work or your business. The reasons go on and on, but staying healthy will help you be rich, period.3. Stay happy. Similar to my ideas about staying healthy, I can’t claim to follow all of these by a long shot, but each one will make you rich in two ways: first, you will be healthier with less strain on your heart and mind, and second, you will be richer in spirit. As a bonus, these ideas may even help you accumulate more money.
- Work at something you love. Find a passion and make it your life. Even if it doesn’t earn as much as some other work, your life will be richer and success will come.
- Work for yourself, not for someone else. Even if you work in a big company, you can still adopt a mindset of ‘working for yourself’ – but you have to love what you do.
- Live in an environment that optimizes your life. If you love nature, don’t live in Manhattan. If you love the cultural richness of a big city, don’t move to Smallville.
- Don’t allow negative influences such as TV in your life. Life is too short to fill your mind with horrors you do not intend to do anything about. Stay informed about issues that matter to you, but even if you are ardently anti-Politician X, you don’t need to read about his every move. Turn off the TV.
- Choose your friends wisely, then keep them. Having positive, supportive friends will help you with a million things: enjoying your social life, networking, providing a support cushion when times are hard and constructive criticism when times are good.
- Keep your family close. I know that none of the relationships I have with co-workers or any but my closest friends will ever come close to the lifetime of intimacy I share with my family, both my biological family and my married family. These people will be deeply entwined in your life, for good or bad. Make it for good.
- Stick to long-term monogamous relationships. I think this goes without being said, but you’ll be happier if you have an exclusive relationship with one partner. It’s hard for love and happiness to develop if you have multiple sexual relationships. I am sure people might argue that there is value in being single, and there is – but having a stable, loving, supportive relationship with your ‘significant other’ (I sound like Dr. Phil) is better in the long run.
I am convinced if you follow these three guidelines, you will be rich. Don’t look to a raise or an investment or to the lottery to ‘deliver’ you. Follow these three steps and you will always have enough for a rich life.