This is a guest post by Derek Notman, Financial Advisor.
Can money buy you happiness? Can it buy you wealth?
But it can also take it away.
Hey, I’m Derek. I’m a virtual CFP for self-minted millionaires, founder of a tech company, husband, father, and have made my fair share of financial and health mistakes.
The most powerful tool in the world
It’s odd how powerful this tool we call money really is, yet we have virtually no formal education in how to use it.
We use money for almost everything in our lives from providing food and a home for our families to investing for the future for things like retirement, travel, or even starting a business.
Money is the mechanism for us to do all that is important to us, it can empower us, make dreams come true, but at the end of the day is a byproduct of providing value to others.
Money can do a lot for us, if we use it correctly. But money can also bring us down, especially when it comes to our health.
I think the lack of education, understanding, and appreciation of our wealth can directly effect our health. I should know, it happened to me.
What I learned the hard way
I used to think, most of us do, that I would be happier and healthier if I just had lots of money and stuff. I worked a lot of hours to make this money. I then bought a big house, lots of cars, etc. That’s what we are supposed to do, right, the American Dream? Don’t let the flash and façade mislead you, just because your neighbor has a bigger house and boat in the driveway doesn’t mean they are happy, they could be miserable but hey, gotta keep up with the Joneses I guess.
So, what happened to me?
I gained weight. I wasn’t able to sleep. I wasn’t healthy. I was working more to feed the beast and not getting any healthier in the process. Instead of pursuing more wealth I was dreading it. I had become a slave to it since I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand how money truly worked and ended up paying the price for it.
I learned that the stuff, the wealth, without my health and happiness was not worth it.
What did I do to change course?
I had to get real honest with myself. It was clear I was not able to enjoy the fruits of my labor given the decline in my health so something had to be done. I started by getting clear on what was important to me in life, what I wanted, the lifestyle I wanted, the relationships I wanted, etc. My wife and son and I all chatted about this together and what was important to them.
We then created physical vision boards.
What happened as a result?
I lost weight. I am sleeping better than I ever have. I am making more money and working less. I am spending time helping others while also enjoying time with my family and pursuing my passions. I think I may just have found some balance. I used my money to get healthy, and I used my health to get more money.
Health is Wealth
We tend to think of our health as eating right, exercising, and so on. Which are certainly important but our health also is mental. If the mental isn’t right, then the physical can and will suffer. Clearly that was the case for me and so many others.
Being healthy is arguably more important than being wealthy. Although they are not mutually exclusive one can make the argument that health without wealth is more important than wealth without health.
If we are healthy and not wealthy we can still get up and go about our days with a smile. If we are wealthy but not healthy then we will not be able to enjoy our wealth, and even potentially ruin our wealth by spending our money on stuff to fill a void that cannot ever be filled.
The quality of our entire life, mental and physical, simply is better when we focus on our health & wealth. They can and will support each other
Living your best life today & tomorrow
This is the motto I live by. This is the message I share with my clients and the advisors I support.
What does it mean?
It means to be intentional with how you live your live. It means to use your money as a tool to realize your hopes, dreams, and goals. It means getting crystal clear on what you want in life and then taking action to make it happen.
It means finding balance to enjoy today while planning to enjoy all of your tomorrows.
None of us knows when “our time” will come so it is important to make sure we are living a fulfilled life every day, not just something we are planning to do in the future.
Money can buy happiness and health if the money if a byproduct of choosing to be happy and healthy.
That’s a bit of a mouthful but I think you see just how powerful that statement is.
Thanks for taking the time to ready this, I do hope it resonated with you and gave you some nuggets to help improve your life. Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn or send me an email if you would like to chat about how me and my firm could potentially help you realize your hopes, dreams, and goals through this thing we call money.
Sending positive vibes your way,