January, 2014 – I sat at my desk full of emotion – pondering the list I’d dilegently worked on for the last five years. I carefully marked off each item.
Pay off my student loans – check. Get my credit score in the top tier – check. Max out retirement contributions – check. Generate a monthly income from my stock investments – check. Build a comfortable emergency fund – check. Become debt free – check. Feel prosperous and wealthy – fail!
That’s right, I’d achieved most of my financial goals but I felt like A BIG FAILURE! How could this be? How could I feel this way after working so hard towards my financial goals? How could I do everything the pundits, experts and coaches suggest only to feel like a fraud?
I’d fallen into the illusion that because I had no debt and a lot of money in the bank that now I’d achieved success. Sure it was nice having my financial house together but in reality this was my truth – I felt as poor as the homeless man I ignored every morning on my way into the office.
Like many, I failed to realize that building true wealth actually requires not just a build up in my finances but also in my physical, emotional, & spiritual health as well. All of which I was struggling in.
With thirty five pounds of extra weight, constantly feeling sluggish, mentally fatigued, struggling to keep the spark in my marriage and spending quality time with my daughters, oh and not to mention the excuses I was coming up with to neglect praying and reading my bible, it was easy to conclude that I was feeling anything but wealthy!
The words “health” and “wealth” actually comes from the same root, which means “wholeness” in the sense of being complete and the last thing I felt was completion.
So I decided to change my focus and strive not just for wealth but for WHOLENESS. I needed to plug this hole of emptiness that I was experiencing in my life. Not that it happened overnight but this balance that I incorporated opened my eyes and introduced me to a version of myself that I all but forgotten.
Example: I love helping people build their financial fortress by helping them find their clarity, increase their capital, and tame their consumption, but now I find myself focusing as much on that person’s mental and physical capacity because I understand how they intertwine with each other.
Today, I’m not just a coach and consultant, I’m now a counselor and my first client was ME!
So, what exactly am I trying to convey you may ask? I’m not the first person to chase the almighty dollar only to realize that it’s an empty feeling if there’s nothing significant attached to it. Trust me, I realize that. After all, one of my favorite sayings that I’ve used for years is, “IF ALL YOU HAVE IS MONEY THEN YOU’RE NOT A VERY WEALTHY PERSON!”
No, this is not some new epiphany for me but it is a new experience. See, I got so focused on my wealth goals and the wealth goals of others that I forgot about ME. I forgot about my health. I forgot about my family life. I forgot about my spiritual life. I forgot to take care of my emotional and they all suffered.
I even forgot about my finances and that suffered too!
Wait, why did my finances suffer if that’s all I was focusing on? Because I was too busy trying to reach goals in stead of just enjoying the fruits. I got caught up in stringent goals and finish lines that when I did want to do something for myself I felt guilty.
But hey, I guess things could be worse. It’s not like I went through this without creating a great benefit to my bottom line. After all, we are now debt free, we have a nice nest egg saved and I’m enjoying a healthy retirement account. So I’m grateful for that.
But if I had to do it over again something tells me that the word FUN would be in the first sentence on my list. Because that’s exactly what’s reinvigorated me to experience a more well balanced life. I stopped the charades of being serious all the time and decided to just let lose and enjoy life!
I know, that sounds a little too over simplified but the decision to have more fun has created a more healthy way life for me. So if you are experiencing a hole in your life than I recommend that you find what’s missing, add a little fun and start living a fulfilling life that is much bigger than achievements or goals.
Because once you plug that void, then and only then will you become whole.
Shawn Dorrough – WealthShift Strategist