Imagine an old farmyard with a big barn, some cattle pens, and a small two-story house with chipped paint alongside a winding gravel road. This farm can be found eight miles outside of a town comprised of 400 people. That was home to me for the first 18 years of my life – and in my heart, it will always be home. Growing up with this blue collar lifestyle taught me a lot about what it means to be successful. Most importantly, it taught me that you don’t need money to be rich or successful.
Whenever my parents watched my brother and I play, compete, or work, my dad would say to my mom, “See Mom, we are too rich.” Thinking about this now as a working adult, I realize what’s truly important in this game called life. Wealth and success don’t have to come from high paying salaries, huge houses, and killer bank balances. Rather, enriching your life through relationships and experiences will propel you into a more meaningful definition of success. Here are six things that contribute to your wealth and overall success that don’t involve dollar signs:
- Family – As you can tell from the previous story, my dad had this one figured out when I was just a little girl. Take advantage of every opportunity to spend quality time with, and appreciate, your family. When you grow up and move away from home, this becomes even more relevant. These are the people who ‘get you’. Blood relation or not, we all know who these people are in our lives. Money can’t buy the people who love, support, and understand you.
- Untapped skill sets – is there something that you enjoy doing that’s unrelated to your profession? For me, it’s baking. Having the opportunity to unwind and create homemade breads, rolls, and cookies – among many other things – with my own two hands and share them with others is truly fulfilling. It’s wise to leverage those creative skills that may otherwise go unnoticed in your career.
- Time – make the most of every minute of every day! Each day offers you a clean slate to achieve whatever it is you set your mind to. Wake up early or stay up late (or both!) – just make sure you’re making time for the things that you enjoy the most.
- Travel – this one requires a little more explanation. You’re probably thinking, “Well, you need money to travel.” That’s true. This is a topic relating to valuing experiences more than things and money in the bank. I came across a quote that stated, “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” Spend the money that you do have on those things that you’ll gain the most value from!
- Health – an invaluable part of our lives. Gandhi provides us with the insight that, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Eat healthy, exercise often, and enjoy the fulfilling realization of success that comes with it.
- Your mindset – above all else, be happy! Having a positive attitude will enhance every aspect of your life. After all, when you possess a positive outlook each and every day, it’s easy to recognize and appreciate everything this life has given you that makes you wealthy and successful – no matter how small.
Whether you’re heavy into school anxiously awaiting graduation, a recent grad searching for the best first career opportunity, or perhaps an experienced member of the working class, take a minute to evaluate your wealth in non-monetary terms. It’s easy to get caught up in the literal wealth of yourself and others. Thanks to my dad, I know that those numbers aren’t everything and I hope that no matter what stage of life you’re in, you realize that you can find wealth in places you didn’t know existed!
Joleen Rupe-Hueftle joined Aureus Medical Group in May 2015 as a Recruiter in the Nursing division. She is now a Senior Student Outreach Coordinator for the Rehab Therapy division. In her free time, Joleen enjoys spending time with family, running, cooking, and baking.