We all know someone who has all their financial ducks in a row – a real go-getter with a flourishing business and an impressive portfolio – whose personal life is in shambles. There's no one to share their success with, or their "life partner" is someone they don't even know anymore. In one area of life, this superstar earns rave reviews, yet in another area, they're hurting bad!
It's possible, and likely, to focus so much on one thing that your life becomes imbalanced. Just as often as you'll find financially successful people with troubled personal lives, you'll find dedicated parents with poor physical health, or spiritually attuned masters who've lost their connection to the practical realms of money and body. These combinations of skewed focus come in many varieties.
How can you avoid this? Through an attainable goal I call Harmonic Wealth™, which occurs when you pay attention to all areas of life, and neglect none.
If you think you can't do this without feeling spread too thin … think again. Creating Harmonic Wealth™ will start you on an "upward spiral" of fulfillment that will continue for the rest of your life.
The 5 Pillars of Harmonic Wealth™
Money changes everything, because money magnifies your current state of affairs, tending to make problems (or joys) that exist in other parts of life even bigger. So money doesn't provide fulfillment. To create Harmonic Wealth™ – a fulfilling life with riches in every category – let's think of life in five key areas:
- Mental (including intellect and emotions)
Visualize these as pillars. If you weaken any of them, you start falling apart, either all at once or by bits and pieces. And you can't strengthen the structure by reinforcing the strong pillars; instead, you must attend to the weak ones – areas of neglect.
Your pillars will never be equally strong all of the time. This is what some people call "balance," but it's misleading. You can't establish absolute strength for all five areas and then keep your life in that pose for an easy and unchanging life. (Thank God!) Life would be uneventful – and incredibly boring. Think about this: In perfect balance, nothing happens – nothing! Therefore, you'll emphasize different areas at different times, and that's fine. That's life. Creating Harmonic Wealth™ starts with realizing that all five areas must have some attention all the time – not that all five areas demand all your attention all the time. Please read this thought again and let it sink in.
Perpetuating the Upward Spiral
Harmonic Wealth™ as I've defined it brings an overall sense of well-being, fulfillment, even accord. And please understand your pillars are interdependent: When you attend to each of them, all of them increase in strength.
For example, attending to your health by working out regularly and eating well creates multiple benefits. Sexual relationships become enhanced by your greater confidence and stamina. Business booms from your increased energy. You're more alert and attentive in spiritual pursuits. Similarly, spiritual growth can translate to deepening intimacy in friendships and romantic relationships, and fuel your physical exercise. And so on.
Practical Application: Creating Harmonic Wealth™ in Everyday Life
Harmonic Wealth™ grows from two basic understandings:
- To the degree you focus on one or two areas of life to the neglect of others, you feel poor overall – and the opposite: As much as you can focus on all five areas, albeit unequally at times, you experience abundance.
- Giving energy and attention to each area causes all the areas to flourish.
How can you apply this? Constantly conduct checks and balances, recognize where surpluses and deficits exist, and shift your energy when needed. For example, if you want to focus primarily on business growth for a while, that'll require sacrifices in other areas, so make agreements with yourself (and anyone else affected) about how long you'll allow this temporary imbalance.
Talk with your family, telling them you'll be absent a lot during the next two months, but after that, you plan to spend time together.
Talk with your staff and ask them for support and extra effort for the next two months. After that, be flexible so they can catch up on whatever they let slide during the push.
Talk with yourself, "Okay, I'm gonna crank for two months, and won't get to the gym as often, eat as well, or get as much solitude as I like – but I'm not going to neglect those things entirely. I'll scale back, but after, I'll return to my regular schedule." The key in all situations is to plan for finite periods of focus and defocus – but never total neglect.
Telltale Signs of Neglect
In relationships, neglect is pretty easy to diagnose. And remember, the most important relationship is with yourself. So first and foremost ask yourself:
Do I enjoy spending time alone with me?
Do I know my innermost thoughts, feelings, and values? Can I articulate them clearly?
Am I really honest about who I am? Do I take time to reflect?
Do I enjoy the time I spend with loved ones? Do they seem to enjoy it, too?
Is my sex life satisfying? Is my sexual partner satisfied?
Do I feel as if I can tell people the truth and not just say what they want to hear?
Am I able to resolve conflicts without residual resentment?
For your finances, look at your lifestyle. The Harmonic Wealth™ definition of financial wealth is not how much, but how well you're using money in your life. Ask yourself,
Are my earnings in line with the value I provide?
Do I live within my means and invest for the future?
Have I minimized and kept my debt in check?
Do I feel financially wealthy enough that I can share my money with others, through charity or other types of giving?
Is there some area of my financial life that's been nagging at me, but I haven't attended to it yet?
For your mental life, focus on personal growth, like professional development, intellectual interests, and emotional health. Ask yourself,
Am I getting better at what I do for a living through continued education, either with a mentor or colleague, or in a formal setting?
Am I learning new things that make me a better person? Whether they have an explicit relationship with my career or job or not?
Am I exercising my ability to read and expose myself to new ideas? Am I open-minded to consider contrary opinions?
Am I becoming more self-aware and actualized: Do I know who I really am and pursue my own dreams and intentions?
Am I able to recognize, honor, and safely express my emotions?
As for your physical health, how comfortable are you in your body? Do you have enough energy to do what's important to you? Ask yourself,
Am I exercising enough that I feel as strong, flexible, and fit as I'd like to be?
Do I eat foods that nourish me and help me maintain or increase my health and vitality?
Do I get sufficient rest without devitalizing myself?
If I have specific health concerns, am I seeking good counsel? Do I follow that advice?
Finally, consider your spiritual life, which regardless of religious beliefs, generally consists of everyday consciousness/awareness and intimately connecting with spirit. Ask yourself,
Do I regularly notice how other people, nature, or I reflect something magical and miraculous?
Do I feel connected to the universe at large? Part of something bigger than myself?
Do I take time to be by myself and seek spirit?
Do I share my spirituality with others? Is it a central point in my life?
Am I able to walk my own path, to direct my life, not feeling the victim of circumstance or the plaything of cultural conditioning?
Simply ask yourself these probing questions, and you'll get a sense of where you stand-and where chaos may be brewing. Forget ideas about not being "good enough," and zero in on what areas of neglect may be causing disharmony, and thus need more focus.
Being a complete human being requires that you create Harmonic Wealth™ through unpredictability and growth. It's like playing jazz, which has less to do with creating planned melodies and more with improvising interesting nuances as the music takes shape in the moment. Variation and unpredictability make a composition exciting … the same is true in life.
As a self-made millionaire and business owner, James Ray is one of few spiritual teachers who has achieved top honors in the business world and has thrived as an entrepreneur for over 13 years. His background in behavioral sciences and entrepreneurship, coupled with his avid spiritual quest, gives him a unique and powerful ability to address life issues from an integrated and comprehensive level. He has been teaching for over 20 years, authored four books and has shared the stage and presented with the top success and self-improvement experts in the country to include such notables as: Zig Ziglar, Robert Schuller, Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Howard Putnam, Jack Canfield and John Gray. When he is not on retreat learning from his spiritual mentors, James conducts more than 150 days of public appearances and seminars each year. As a coach and teacher, he has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations create harmony and wealth in all areas of their professional and personal lives. You can contact James Ray at www.ThePowerToWin.com.