Last Friday, I interviewed to be a contestant for a game show, Let’s Ask America. The screening is thorough with challenging questions such as: “What’s your most remarkable feat? How about your most embarrassing moment? What makes you unique?” In order to stand out against the competition, your answers need to be memorable, so I did my best: most remarkable – founding a women’s leadership honorary that has more than 300 graduates; most embarrassing – accidently spilling a plate of spaghetti on my date; most unique – ability to turn adversity into opportunity.
Then the question came that really stumped me – how would you spend $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000? Oh, and you can’t use it to pay off bills, travel or donate to charity – whoa! Most of us would do one of the former or help out family members, which was also taboo. Hmmmm….
That question really got me thinking long after the interview because the question really wasn’t about money. It was about personal dreams and complete freedom. In other words, if money were no object, what would you do? It made me realize that I have stopped dreaming, thanks to the responsibility of real life. The need for “money “has inhibited my desire to dream" -- has that happened to you?
My lack of dreaming caused me to remember a workshop on prosperity years ago. When asked to explore what wealth means to me personally, I discovered that money equals the freedom and ability to spend time with the people I love. So my answer for the big money, $50K, was to remodel my dining room and kitchen to be able to accommodate more people – right in line with my core value.
Then on CBS Sunday Morning, Ben Stein presented a wonderful op-ed on what is real wealth. He talked about seeing a young couple in love, having physical and spiritual health, and even the joy of every new day as true wealth. What do you think? If money were truly no object -- if you were free from the financial stresses that occupy your time -- where would you find “wealth?” You may be surprised to discover your own “unexpected riches” in the everyday routine of life.
As you go through this week, stop and think about all the people and events in your life that represent real wealth. And then, spend a little time daydreaming about what you might do differently if money were not a responsibility. You may find that your real wealth has nothing do with actual money – and that’s unexpected riches indeed…