Bobby Hoffman : Standards of affluence vary according to many factors, including geography, cultural norms, family history, education – and the type of work we are willing to do. Personal wealth can be sustained or temporary, with fluctuations based upon our chosen lifestyle, the cost of living, and general economic conditions.
Unfortunately, many of the forces that impact individual wealth are not within our direct control. Examples include the consequences of natural disasters such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, or the prolonged global recession triggered by the US housing crisis of 2008.
However, one form of wealth defies external influence and is completely within the control of every individual, regardless of location, ethnicity, gender, religion or global turmoil. Many people accumulate their personal wealth based not on financial resources or bank account balance but upon the assessment of their subjective well-being, often described as the degree of personal contentment and satisfaction achieved from day-to-day experience.
In combination with researching content for my new book, which involved interviewing a number of “wealthy” individuals, including convicted investment advisor Bernard Madoff, former NFL superstar Nick Lowery, “Curb your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines and millionaire poker play Alec Torelli, it became crystal clear that personal wealth is in the grasp of everyone, but subject to at least five critical conditions.
Wealthy people are not haphazard, they are intentional.
The first step toward wealth accumulation is a well-thought out plan, similar to a written script. The plan serves the important purpose of bringing to the forefront of consciousness what one is trying to accomplish.
Wealthy people are not unrealistic, they are well-calibrated. Accurately calculating the degree of effort and expertise needed to complete a task or reach a goal is a second virtue of the wealthy individual.
Wealthy people are not always successful, expect to fail at times and let themselves learn when they do. Wealthy individuals have a degree of realism about what they do and understand that regardless of intention, effort, or ability, obstacles will be encountered.
Wealthy people are far from perfect, admit errors and know when to cut losses: Capitalizing on failure requires the willingness to reveal intimate aspects of our psychological self and also to admit to others that we are not perfect.