Would you consider yourself a wealthy person? What, indeed, do you consider wealth to be? Money? Status? Property? Possessions? Yes, in a worldly sense these things do make you a wealthy person. You have the ability to come and go as you please and potentially exert power on those around you. But what is wealth really? Wealth is an accumulation of what we find valuable. So it begs the question: what do you find valuable? Money and possessions? Or people, experiences, and growth? The truly wealthy people in this world are those who have a sense of purpose, those who recognise the value in the people they surround themselves with; people who do not store up treasures on earth that are in the long term, meaningless. Investing in others is the way to find true wealth.
It’s one of those things that’s either really obvious to you, or not at all. It depends on you as a person. I fall somewhere in the middle. Not because I don’t understand the value of investing in people, but rather because I’m not the biggest people person. I’m an introvert at heart and find company tiring after a while. I enjoy my own space and require it to recharge my batteries. But this doesn’t mean that I can’t invest in the people around me to enrich their and my life. And that’s just it: enrichment. People enrich our lives: interactions, relationships, friendships, disagreements, bargains, favours, families, challenges, and experiences. Our lives are made up of interactions with people. But when we make a conscious effort to get alongside these people, to really know and understand them, to share experiences and life together, we become truly rich.
During lockdown, I discovered a couple on Facebook who were traveling the world. Around my age and with some shared values, I instantly felt a connection to them. Initially, the vlogs were erratic and out of order, but it led me to find their Youtube channel where you could watch all their adventures right from the beginning. I was hooked. (And still am!) Kara and Nate decided back in 2017 to travel the world for a year, and they are still traveling to this day. Their zest for life, travel, and, most importantly, people, has created a life for them that they would never have believed possible.
And this is the things that has made it work for them.
Their ability to recognise that it’s the people they meet along the way that makes their experiences so valuable. Yes, visiting amazing destinations around the globe is special and to be valued, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as memorable or incredible without the people, relationships, and bonds they created along the way. Financial success has been brought their way through their desire to travel, but it’s the people they meet that makes their content, and their vlogs in general, so relatable and enjoyable. They invest in people, recognise their value and uniqueness, and find that their experiences are all the richer for it. And it’s not a deliberate action. It’s just who they are. Open, friendly, interested, and sincere people looking to store up for themselves treasure that will not decay or spoil.
Life is about more
No one is saying that money etc is not important. We need it to survive. But if you are seeking material wealth for status, prestige, or even security, I would humbly challenge you to reconsider. Life is about more than what we own or who we can impress. It’s about the people, places, experiences, memories, love, laughter, shared sorrows, and challenges overcome. It’s about growth, learning, understanding, caring, sharing, and supporting. Investing in others is a vital aspect of what our lives are about. When we realise that we have something in common with a person halfway around the world and who lives in a culture so different from our own, we begin to realise that we are not all that different. That we can share our lives, receive from others too, and enrich each other’s lives together.
I’m not suggesting you have to travel around the world to be able to receive this enrichment. Investing in people is something we can do every day of our lives by being more observant of the needs of those around us. By being sensitive to differing points of view, showing respect, appreciating varying values, reaching out to a need, showing praise, reflecting on growth, spending time with loved ones, respecting boundaries…I could go on and on. There are so many ways we can invest in the people we meet every day. We just need to decide where we want our wealth to lie. In stuff? Or in people?
Start investing in others today and see how much more enriched your life will become. I know I will be endeavouring to do so!