By Sam Makhoul
A dear friend of mine is slowly climbing out of a financial mess. He had invested his time, money and energy in the wrong areas and then, unfortunately, lost much of his savings.
He put his life on hold for much of the decade. He worked tirelessly because his plan was to make enough money so he could eventually retire and spend time travelling with his wife and being happy.
The following is a snapshot of what I shared with him – hopefully it will also help someone you know who may be experiencing some uncertainty:
“Imagine if you were a tall beautiful tree with two branches. The left branch reaches high into the sky with a barren trunk and the most abundant fruit is sitting at the very top.
“The right branch reaches away from the left branch but then curls back towards it at the very top. This right branch has an abundance of lower-lying fruit scattered throughout and is easier to climb.
“This ‘money’ tree is a metaphor for creating wealth. The left branch represents investing your money in shares, bank deposits or real estate.
“The right branch is where you invest in yourself. I see so many people trying to climb the left branch too early in life and then fall.
“They lose their money and become despondent. They end up quitting on the idea of being rich.
“The mistake they make is this. The left branch may or may not make you rich, but it will never make you wealthy. Only the right branch can do that.
“Being rich gives you money, but being wealthy gives you freedom. The irony is that most wealthy people I know have both freedom and money, and they all have one thing in common.
Being rich gives you money, but being wealthy gives you freedom
“They invest in themselves by climbing the right branch first. What does it mean to invest in yourself?
“It means to spend your time, energy and money improving the following areas of your life: health, love, family, work, friendships, learning and showing charity to others. As you invest more and more in these areas, you are climbing your way up that right branch and getting closer to the top of the left one.
“A funny thing happens when you actively live your best life. You put yourself in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.
“When you live a complete life that makes you happy, healthy and loved, you start to develop a positive frame of mind and a warm attitude. This attracts good things and good people to you.
“These often come with opportunities to work and invest in new ideas that excite you and make money for you. Then, and only then, should you invest some of your time and money on the left branch.
“Whether you make money or not, you will always have your wealth. No one can ever take that away from you.”