Can wealth only be measured by dollars and cents? Are there investments you can make that cost nothing materially and still yield great gains. The answer is yes.
1) Time with your children. I’ve heard it said that children spell love T-I-M-E. You don’t get a do over when it comes to parenting. We all get one shot and we best get it right. There’s a lot at stake if we don’t. Our children deserve our support, time, and attention. As I was writing this post my 3 year son asked me to toss ball with him. I put my pad down and entertained for a few minutes. Let’s not get too busy and forget the valuable investment of time with our children.
2) Time with spouse. As the father of two children I can tell you quality time with my spouse is hard to find. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely. My decision to marry meant that I should put the needs of my partner above my own. While I don’t practice this daily, I do try to communicate well with my spouse and work with her as much as I can. My children will only be around until their early 20’s (hopefully). I plan for my wife to be around for the rest of my life. I need to invest in our relationship as much as I can. Don’t neglect the needs of your spouse. You made a commitment when you said “I do.” Do your best to honor that. Your marriage will only improve when you do.
3) Time with God. I am a Christian. I place high value on God in my life. While I don’t spend time daily in prayer, my relationship with God is important. When I chose him as my savior I became a different person. I try to live a life that shows that change. My words and actions should reflect that change. He is the foundation of my life.
4) Making Memories. I want my wife and children to share great times with me. I think I need to focus on having great times with my family. Family is about traditions and fun. While I feel the pressure to achieve great things in financial terms, I pray I never lose sight of the opportunities to have great times with those I love the most. If I become too selfish and let these moments go by I will have become bankrupt. I will have squandered opportunities that I can never get back.
What about you? What is your definition of personal wealth? Does yours only involve dollars and sense? Look at the people around you. What are your values? Spending a moment thinking on these things may give you a different angle on what wealth is all about. What non-material investments do you place value on?
If you desire more information on this topic let me recommend a great book: LifeFocus: Achieving A Life of Purpose and Influence by Jerry Foster.