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Financial Success What's your view?
Jason lives quite happily with his wife Althea and their two children in a rented townhouse. They comfortably meet their expenses and debts, have healthy savings accounts and have invested for their children’s education and their retirement. Sarita, on the other hand, transformed her love of cooking into a small restaurant and 12 years later, can proudly claim to be the owner an expanding chain of franchises and is a self-made millionaire. Which of these individuals is the more financially successful? The answer could well be both. It all depends how you view financial success.
We live in a society that tends to define success by how much money we have. Giselle Hudson, Chief Possibilities Officer of Purple Marketing -- a company which “helps fed-up small business owners believe in themselves again and restores hope and profitability in their under-performing businesses” (http://gisellehudson.com/who-do-i-help/) -- thinks that it is natural for us to say someone is successful based on his or her wealth accumulation. In her view, “the world is driven by wealth accumulation” and we tend to look at the outward or material signs of how we convert that money into symbols of success. Hudson, however, believes there is more to financial success than merely money. “You experience financial success when you understand that money itself has no value and that all it is, is a physical manifestation of your creative energy.” She advocates that when we shift our focus off the money itself to how we use our creative energy to serve, solve problems and satisfy needs, we will create an exchange of energy that will lead to money flowing in.
Both Hudson and New York-based life coach Tony Woodroffe of TWLifecoach.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) agree that many overlook a crucial link between financial success and self fulfillment. Woodroffe explained: “Success is about achieving one’s career goals and fulfilling what you are passionate about, while financial success is finding a way to transform your passion into money or collateral. Many people have worked hard and made money without fulfilling their passion.” In other words, you can have all the money in the world yet still not be living happy, contented lives.
“Money is a vehicle of exchange,” Hudson elaborated. “The more you have the more material things you can own. But there are many people who, according to world benchmarks, outwardly appear to be living happy and fulfilling lives. They spend their lives running on a treadmill where all the pressure of working and striving may reap worldly rewards, yet at the same time, there’s a feeling of going absolutely nowhere!” So does our tendency to view financial success solely through status-oriented, materialistic eyes hinder more than help us? Woodroffe believes that our inclination to do so may encumber our progress by causing us to lose sight of the passion that initially drove us to succeed.
Hudson echoes Woodroffe’s sentiment saying, “We are so much more than titles, positions and possessions. Having material things is fine. We were meant to have and live abundant lives but whatever you have must never define you.” She then asked a probing and pertinent question, “If your success was vested in the thing or position and should any of the two be removed, where would you be?”
Whether or not you see yourself or others as ‘financially successful’ is really a matter of personal opinion and appears to incorporate a balance between the acquisition of money, the achievement of one’s personal goals and a feeling of contentment and fulfillment. Both Woodroffe and Hudson also contend that becoming financially successful is also dependent on a person’s ability to understand and manage their finances, which takes discipline and developing the habit of saving, spending and investing wisely and diligently.
Woodroffe ended with this prudent advice: “Everyone can be wealthy if they develop the mindset. Define what your their perception of financial success is, then think, live and breathe success. Let it become your lifestyle and do not allow yourself to be threatened by the success of others. Financially successful people are results-oriented risk takers with a rock solid plan for transforming their passion into success.”
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