Most dictionaries first define the word “rich” as having a lot of money or valuable possessions. The secondary definitions are always more expansive, like “something beautiful or valuable” or “having large amounts of something desirable” and “being well endowed with high value or quality”.
We do the same thing when we think of being rich. Our first thought is about having a shit ton of money and a bunch of cool, expensive, shiny stuff. Certainly though, when we think further, we come up with other things that can make us rich. In our American society, we define being rich almost entirely by how much money we have, but this is only conceptually accurate. It just takes one major toothache or migraine headache though to set one’s priorities quickly in place.
You may have just purchased your dream boat, secured a financial promotion with a huge bonus, or were able to pay for your kid’s college. But one diagnosis for even some mild form of melanoma and you’ll gladly trade most of your monetary accomplishments for a cancer free body.
So, beyond money, what makes a man rich?
15 things other than legal tender that will give you wealth:
1. Physical Health
This is perhaps the most obvious thing that makes you rich, especially if you are older and have faced some health issues. As a migraine sufferer, no one knows this more than I as I have had awesome days of surfing, vacationing, and great weekends ruined by a stupid fucking headache.
As the saying goes, “your health is your wealth” and I couldn’t agree more. This is why most people will spend every dollar they have earned all their lives just to live a few more days feeling good.
2. Mental Health
Depending on how important your mind and memories are, this could be an even greater mark of wealth than physical health. A clear ability to think and reason makes almost everything easier and better in life. Solid mental health enables big things like confidence, compromise, focus, control, and memory.
Just about everyone has felt crazy or out of control at least a couple times in life. It may be ok to get black-out drunk, say and do whatever your wasted brain wants here and there. But when you can’t keep your mind in line, you’ll be poor in many ways.
In this current world of exposed fake news and twenty-four-hour media influence, few things can be purely regarded as fact. Humans being social animals is one of these undeniable facts. Sure, there are a couple of guys who think they hate people and dream of living way up in Alaska where no one lives. And some people do exist alone almost entirely, but only a very few and for most, not very well.
Having at least a couple high quality, sincere, non-toxic, and non-judgmental friends is some of the greatest wealth a man can have. Genuine and accepting friends will enhance and improve almost every facet of life. Personally, I have more quality friends than money and consider myself a rich man. Although, who am I kidding? More money would be nice. Oh, and BTW, money can’t buy real friends. You have to earn them with things that are harder to have than some flow.
For many guys, a family is the greatest wealth there is. There is an inherent draw to our own blood and although relationships with family members can be the most challenging of all, they can also be the most rewarding and valuable.
You may be a guy struggling to pay the bills but have a wife that you love and a couple kids that you would die for. To me, that makes you richer than the guy sitting alone in his giant house with enough money to do anything he wants but has no one to do it with.
Being content with your life is maybe the rarest of all forms of wealth. Some guys are content though and it just comes easy to them. My dad was one of these guys. He was a failure in many ways as he was always broke, never accomplished much, and was dictated by alcohol consumption. Give that guy a six-pack of cheap beer and some food to make dinner and he was straight.
It seems to me that the more we have in life, the harder it is for us to be content. Possessing a higher degree of potential can make it harder to be content too. Chasing your potential all over the world won’t guarantee contentment. Neither will “YOLOing” every experience that you can get your hands on.
Learning to be good with your day, your week, your year, your decade, or your life and who you are is a true art form that most of us will never be able to do. Those that can accept who they are and how they live are some of the richest people there are.
There are about a hundred and seventy million dogs and cats in the US. That huge number is not because we have a serious rat issue or use dogs to work jobs. These tens of millions of domestic animals exist mainly for the purpose of companionship to humans. There are some advantages to using animals for companionship as they can be controlled and will love you unconditionally (as long as you feed them).
The highest level of companionship has to come from other humans though. Having someone that you share each other’s everyday life with, if non-toxic, can give you enormous wealth in many ways. Authentic, intimate companionship takes away loneliness, can give you purpose, satisfy you sexually (if that’s part of the relationship), can be mentally stimulating, motivating, keep you grounded and level, and teaches understanding and compassion.
Basically, solid companionship can enhance every virtue important to you. Having this makes you rich in living.
Almost all respect is earned in one way or another. Unearned respect doesn’t really count as the people receiving it know that they shouldn’t. A dude driving a Ferrari and heading a company sometimes gets respect. But if his dad built that business and his mom bought him that car, he knows it. The girl with natural beauty gets respect for being gorgeous. But she knows she never has to work out or eat well or spend hours doing her hair to look good, so she may enjoy the hot chick attention, but doesn’t enjoy the respect because she knows it’s false.
Earning and demanding real respect takes a lot of effort and, when received, makes you richer.
I’m not a fan of considering one person more intelligent than someone else but I will agree that some have an easier time with figuring things out. For me, there are many ways to have intelligence and we all have pluses and minuses for each. A person can have emotional intelligence, philosophical intelligence, mathematical intelligence, spiritual intelligence, social intelligence, or critical thinking intelligence just to name a few.
Identifying which intelligence that you inherently have, and then accepting and using it will make you rich in some ways. Not recognizing what comes easy to you and just focusing on what doesn’t come easy takes away some of your wealth.
9. Being Attractive
This is a broader consideration than just being a guy that women want to have sex with (although that’s a good one). Other people being drawn to you for one reason or another is an awesome and rich quality.
Some guys may have a shit ton of money, accomplishments, and maybe even aren’t bad looking but they are toxic in some way or ways which make others not want to be around them. The “Mr. Judgmental” religious zealot, the socially awkward guy with a smelly personality, the extreme narcissist living in his own world, and the angry drunk are examples of possibly decent human beings who are not attractive.
If you are easy to talk to, aren’t afraid of people, and willing to do whatever, you may be a very richly attractive man.
Being and feeling secure in almost every sense of the word is wealth. Secure with your manhood and limitations? Great. Secure with your looks and accomplishments? Nice. Feel safe where you live and where you go? Safe spiritually and financially? Awesome! Secure with your woman that she won’t be cheating on you or leaving you at her first opportunity? Good.
If you aren’t always having to look over your preverbal shoulder, then you are securely rich. How rich is the guy who has a bunch of cool and great stuff in his life but is worried as hell that it is going away or will be taken? Yea, that’s not worth it.
What monetary price would you put on whatever real happiness you have? Being happy is a tricky accomplishment that never lasts as long as you want it to. Short term as most happiness is, it’s good to be happy. Some guys are just happier than others and in most cases, has nothing to do with money. If you know what makes you happy and are able to do those things, you are a rich man.
12. Physical Ability
As a guy, there’s really only one thing that makes being young better than being older. Physical ability. Being physically able to work fifteen hours a day, climb Machu Picchu, drink like a fish for days, excel at a game, or look good at the beach with your shirt off are some examples.
Regardless of their age, some guys are just physically able to go do stuff and are much richer than the dude who can’t even get in his Lamborghini because he’s too fucking fat.
13. Mental Ability
It’s pure wealth to know how your mind works so you can put it to good use. I recently met a guy who can recite all the lines from all his favorite movies. He has a great time using his ability to remember to relate and entertain those around him.
I’ve always been good at numbers and some math so it’s fun and accomplishing for me to keep track of the numbers in my life. Some aren’t happy with their mental abilities as they focus more on what they aren’t mentally capable of. If you tuned into how your mind works and use it well, then you are richer.
Having a passion for at least one thing in your life will enrich the human experience to a high degree. Passion creates attraction and opens your mind. It gives you focus, drive, and purpose. Having a passion for something forces you to engage in living which is almost as good as it gets.
To get excited about something, even if it’s small or silly, makes you feel alive. A man can have a billion dollars but if his life is void of any passion, he’s broke.
Ah yes, I saved the best for last. There are times in my life when I thought I knew what love is, and there are times in life when I don’t think I know what love is. It’s possible that I am not capable of defining what it really is as it is fluid. I can say this though. When there is love in your life, you are richer. You’re also poorer. That’s at least been my experience with it.
In truth, love, no matter how you define it, highly enriches the human experience. Some guys have been severely burned by being exposed to love so they avoid it like the fucking black plague. I say, if you are looking to be the wealthiest man alive, you’re gonna have to live with love.