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power points

Grappling with work-life balance inevitably leads to considerations of money. How much money do we need to accumulate to have a full and healthy life? In essence, we’re balancing different forms of wealth that together form a bountiful life.

Robin Sharma, the Canadian-born author of the best-seller The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and life coach, who moved from Richmond Hill, Ont., to a farmhouse in Italy three years ago to be closer to his speaking engagements in Europe and the Middle East and farther from our winters, says there are eight forms of wealth. His delineation allows you to evaluate your own life – the trade-offs you are currently making and what tweaks would be wise.

“Financial prosperity is only one of eight forms of wealth. I’ve mentored many billionaires over my nearly three decades of working with many of the world’s business titans, professional sports superstars, film icons and movement makers. And I can safely tell you that, for too many of them, money is all they have. They are cash rich yet life poor,” he writes in The Wealth Money can’t Buy.

Here’s the full scorecard:

  • Growth: Humans are happiest and he argues genuinely wealthiest when we are steadily realizing our personal gifts and talents. The best way to start, he says, is to start – take the first step to growth in some facet of your life. Eliminate “I’ll try” from your vocabulary because it means you won’t commit and aren’t fully invested in growth. He tells his clients: Small, daily, seemingly insignificant improvements, when done consistently over time, lead to stunning results.
  • Wellness: If you don’t feel good physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, everything else you possess will mean nothing. Your genes, he insists, are not your destiny. Commit to installing healthier practices like early morning exercise or meditation, walks in nature, proper breathing, eating chemical-free and unprocessed foods, consuming less alcohol and taking a day a week away from digital devices.
  • Family: All the money in the world, he says, means nothing if you are alone. A strong, joy-filled and happy family life is vital. “To practise being more loving, create a love account. Each day, make a few deposits in this very special reserve by doing something small to add joy to the life of a loved one around you,” he writes.
  • Craft: All work is important and has dignity and purpose. It’s not a ball and chain but a possibility to make your potential real and contribute to the wider community. “Good things happen to people who do their jobs like they really care and are devoted to making a difference – even and especially when everyone around them is a checked-out cyberzombie,” he says. Stop following the pack and start leading the field.
  • Money: Yes it counts, but use money to serve you rather than becoming a captive to the pursuit of cash. What really makes you wealthy is finding the feeling of enough – you have enough income to focus on the other forms of wealth. Heal your money wounds, the false beliefs and emotional injuries formed through the years that limit you today.
  • Community: Beyond family, you want a strong network of good people to support, encourage and champion you. A single conversation with one of them can change your life. “Select the people who populate your social network well. It’s an essential form of wealth,” he says. To maintain the friendships, always do what you say you will do.
  • Adventure: Joy comes not from material goods but magical moments that flood us with feelings of gratefulness, wonder and awe. Add more wonder to your life – be it travelling to new sites, reading a book that transports you to new places, starting a garden or learning to write poetry.
  • Service: Be helpful. “Being good to people makes you a wealthy person,” he writes.

There it is: Growth, wellness, family, craft, money, community, adventure and service – the eight measures of your life’s wealth.

Quick hits

  • Entrepreneur Sahil Bloom suggests at the end of your work day writing in a journal or digital equivalent three simple points: One win from the day; one point of tension, anxiety or stress; and one point of gratitude.
  • Young poet Amanda Gorman, who dazzled at Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration with her lyrical call for togetherness, says her definition of success has changed from “How much can I achieve?” to “How much can I honour myself and my needs in the face of my achievements?” A successful day now is when she gets enough hours of sleep and can check in on a friend, take a long walk or write something meaningful.
  • If you don’t value your time, don’t expect others to respect it, warns Ottawa thought leader Shane Parrish.

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston-based writer specializing in management issues. He, along with Sheelagh Whittaker, former CEO of both EDS Canada and Cancom, are the authors of When Harvey Didn’t Meet Sheelagh: Emails on Leadership.

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