Are you pros­per­ous? What hap­pens in your dai­ly life that informs you of your pros­per­i­ty? How do you know you are pros­per­ing? What does it feel like? What are you doing today to build your pros­per­i­ty for tomor­row? Does pros­per­i­ty involve mon­ey? If so, how much? Just as much as pos­si­ble or enough for you? If pros­per­i­ty is more than mon­ey, what else is it?

Pros­per­i­ty starts inside, and begins with your inten­tion. When you dis­cov­er your inten­tion it inspires you. Or to think of it dif­fer­ent­ly, what inspires you can help you dis­cov­er your inten­tion.

When it all shakes out there are real­ly two ways to live your life.

Photo by Aia Fernandez via Flickr

Pho­to by Aia Fer­nan­dez via Flickr

Path one is about focus­ing your atten­tion on the cri­sis or prob­lem of the day. Most of your day is spent react­ing to the cir­cum­stances life hands you whether it is in your rela­tion­ships at home or work, to an exter­nal event such as good or bad eco­nom­ic news. When you react, you are using your ener­gy in oppo­si­tion to some­thing. There is some­thing out­side your­self that is dri­ving your behav­ior.

Path two is about focus­ing your atten­tion on what you want. Path two is being inten­tion­al. When engaged in path two your atten­tion is focused on the choic­es that for­ward you toward your inten­tion. Life still sends you curve balls and chal­lenges. But instead of react­ing to them, you choose your response and you choose your next action. Your actions are aligned with your inten­tion.

Path one can make you wealthy. You don’t have to look inside to be wealthy. You can play the wealth game and win with­out ever being intro­spec­tive.

Only path two leads to pros­per­i­ty. That is because pros­per­i­ty begins inside. If you are on the path to pros­per­i­ty you know that the life you are get­ting is a result of the choic­es you are mak­ing. You know what your inten­tion is, you know what inspires you and you choose to live your most inspired life.

Pros­per­i­ty includes mon­ey and wealth. There are things only mon­ey can buy, like health care, hous­ing, trav­el and edu­ca­tion for your kids. You need a lev­el of finan­cial sup­port to meet your basic needs and to fill your aspi­ra­tions. To be pros­per­ous means you are meet­ing your basic needs and also ful­fill­ing your aspi­ra­tions.

In addi­tion to the focus of your atten­tion, the oth­er key dif­fer­ence in path one and two rel­a­tive to mon­ey and wealth is the end game. In path one, the end game is as much as pos­si­ble, or more than your neigh­bors, or some oth­er sub­jec­tive and com­pet­i­tive answer. In path two, the answer is enough­ness. Those on the path to pros­per­i­ty live a life of enough­ness. They know what is enough for them. It has noth­ing to do with more, as much as pos­si­ble or “keep­ing up with the Jones”. Enough­ness, just like inten­tion and inspi­ra­tion is an inside job. We know what is enough for us when we look inside.

Path two, the path to pros­per­i­ty, isn’t com­pet­i­tive. It is coop­er­a­tive, and assumes there is enough for every­one. If your neigh­bors’ enough­ness point is more than yours, you cel­e­brate with them. It doesn’t dimin­ish who you are or change your enough­ness point. You know pros­per­i­ty is an inside job. You have no judge­ment about what oth­ers want or need. You are focused on what pros­per­i­ty is for you.

When you live with enough­ness you know how much of your life ener­gy you are will­ing to exchange for mon­ey and how much you want to keep for oth­er joys in life, like fam­i­ly, trav­el, time in nature, with your hob­bies or read­ing a good book. If you end up with more than your enough­ness point, you choose again. You aren’t adverse to more. In fact, you cel­e­brate and wel­come it. You can choose to add to your per­son­al goals or find a wor­thy cause or per­son with whom to share your abun­dance.

You attract pros­per­i­ty to you when you are clear on your intent. When you know what your enough­ness point is, you have peace in your mon­ey life. There is joy in know­ing when you no longer have to go to work for mon­ey.

How does pros­per­i­ty feel? When you are pros­per­ous you feel sati­at­ed. A state of sati­ety is about being grat­i­fied to or beyond capac­i­ty. Can you remem­ber a time when you felt grat­i­fied beyond capac­i­ty? It hap­pens to me every time I walk out of the woods and look onto the field next to my house. I feel this expanse of won­der and grat­i­tude for all that the earth pro­vides. In that moment, it could not be clear­er to me that the uni­verse is an abun­dant place. My heart is full of grat­i­tude and I feel sati­at­ed.

The con­struct of our world can make it chal­leng­ing to feel sati­at­ed in our mon­ey life. TV, radio, bill­boards, brows­ing the inter­net, at every turn, some­one is try­ing to get our atten­tion, often using fear to attract us. Fear is not a foun­da­tion for sati­ety. To dis­con­nect from fear, you have to get ground­ed and find your inner know­ing. Often that requires a dis­con­nect from those things around you that pro­mote fear as a moti­va­tor for action. I believe this is why I often feel the most sati­at­ed when I am in the woods. The trees, flow­ers and squir­rels aren’t pro­mot­ing fear, they are just being them­selves. That lets me find myself. When I find myself, I find abun­dance.

Pros­per­i­ty is regen­er­a­tive just like the earth. The earth is in a con­stant state of regen­er­at­ing. The old becomes the new. The fall­en leaves become the new soil. The seeds saved from last year become this year’s new life. As long as we don’t over tax her capac­i­ty, the earth is sus­tain­ing bio­log­i­cal sys­tem.

What does it mean to be regen­er­a­tive in your finan­cial life? When you are regen­er­a­tive in your finan­cial life you are not ask­ing more of your cash flow and assets than they are capa­ble of pro­duc­ing. If you are work­ing, that means you are liv­ing with­in your pay­check. The only role for debt in a regen­er­at­ing sys­tem is to build assets. Debts like cred­it card debt that allows you to live beyond your means aren’t in the equa­tion. If you have cred­it card debt now, the first step to regen­er­a­tion is to get a plan to get out of debt.

If you are finan­cial­ly inde­pen­dent and liv­ing on the assets you accu­mu­lat­ed while work­ing, to be regen­er­a­tive means that you are not with­draw­ing from your port­fo­lio more than it can pro­duce in return. There are many con­sid­er­a­tions in that sim­ple state­ment like the cash returns of the port­fo­lio, the appre­ci­a­tion, and the impact of infla­tion.

Think of it this way. If you want spring veg­eta­bles, you need to save the seed from the pri­or year. There is always an abun­dance of seeds. Just cut open any toma­to and you will find more seeds than you need to ful­fill your year­ly sup­ply. But to then turn those seeds into fruit in the com­ing year you have to first save some seeds. Next, you have to plant the seed and tend it. Then you have to be patient. Save, tend and be patient. Those are the steps for regen­er­a­tion.

Mon­ey works the same way. First, you have to save. Then, you have to tend or invest your mon­ey. Last­ly, you have to be patient. If you want to have wealth, you have to save, tend and be patient. These aren’t options, they are all required.

Cre­at­ing pros­per­i­ty in four steps:

  1. Look inside and find your inten­tion
  2. Know what is enough
  3. Feel sati­at­ed
  4. Save, tend and be patient

Like all things worth hav­ing, pros­per­i­ty is a jour­ney. A jour­ney of choos­ing, of get­ting off track and get­ting back on track. A jour­ney that requires your focus. A jour­ney that begins inside with your per­son­al inten­tion.

Regard­less of where you are on your pros­per­i­ty jour­ney, I invite you to release all judge­ment you have about your past rel­a­tive to mon­ey and wealth. Let go of any neg­a­tive and unhelp­ful self talk, and look inside for what inspires you and your inten­tion. Now, enjoy the jour­ney.

In joy,