"If only I had more money," we often say... until we find ourselves saying, "If only I had more time and energy," with time often simply a function of energy and attention.
We all know there can be limits to achieving things we want. Often we blame our financial situation. Underneath it all, however, health and wellness is the limiting factor that makes or breaks everything, including our ability to earn the money to flourish.
If health is wealth, then it could stand to be handled as such, which includes the long game investment versus quick fixes that don’t fix much. That’s why it helps to manage wellness with strategies more akin to financial or career management than to typical health approaches.
More on that below, but first... who better to assess your annual progress than your tax accountant? We do see him or her the exact same time of the year, every single year.
Each year, he'd say, “Wow, I could never live off what you do. I'd need more money.”
A slick (and handsome) dude, he traveled off-season to exotic locales around the world, always with a lady-love by his side. He wore sleek suits, and wore them well. He lived in a happening building in a happening part of NYC (my building actually!).
Conversely, like a true health vs. financial professional, my top 3 core values were (and are) off-the-charts vitality, spicy love, and being of service, none of which money can buy, and then, money simply to sustain them. Even studies have shown that mental health and relationships significantly boost happiness more than earning more money does. This is where mindful awareness and relational awareness come in, which I teach for stress reduction.
After a few years, each year, he added, “Lara, Are you growing young?!"
"You’re growing young.” I wasn't sure about that, per say, but the healthy lifestyle seemed to be working! Then, one day, he didn't return my calls. Maybe I wasn’t big enough for him anymore.
But I had to get my company taxes filed, so I kept on it. He finally answered, revealing that he'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although he turned away most of his clients, he filed for me one last time and closed out my corporation.
This year, he said something different.
"I would give up all the money in the world for the wellness you have. You got it right." Now, there's no 'right' or wrong; there "just is," as we say in mindfulness. But as I'd often questioned my own "reverse" priorities, this was profound.
If health is wealth, then it could stand to be managed like it.
We don’t have to manage or track our health as fastidiously as a savvy accountant. But imagine focusing on it similarly, as a longterm investment, investment by investment, that accrues over time: healthy food by healthy food, workout by workout, deep breath by deep breath, non judgment by non judgment (for when we don't make those choices) and so on—all for the real wealth: our health.
Leave a comment below with one step you can take to build your inner wealth: your health.
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