It isn’t extremely useful to set out to “become rich” using my methods if you don’t agree with my definition of “being rich.” This is a topic that is regularly debated by various authors of personal finance literature.
Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich lists 12 categories of true wealth. I agree that several categories are needed but my list is a little simpler, I use the SPOIFS method.
The SPOIFS balance sheet
S – Spiritual. I believe that most people feel rich when they achieve some sort of spiritual peace. Depending on your faith, tradition, culture, etc. this will occur in different ways. Whatever the case, seek to increase your spiritually. To me this means setting aside more time for prayer or meditation, scripture reading, etc.
P – Physical. Without your physical health money doesn’t mean a whole lot. Seek to improve your health by eating well and exercising regularly. One of the biggest obstacles many people have is overcoming some sort of addiction. True riches are found in being addiction free (from smoking, alcohol, caffeine, eating for eatings sake, etc.).
O – Occupational. All of us have an occupation, whether that be banker, garbage man, financial planner, or stay-at-home mom. If we don’t enjoy our “job” we can’t be truly rich. Seek occupational riches by working in a job that is satisfying to you and helps other people. Once you’re in that job, do the best job that you can and learn how to be more valuable to the company and customers.
I – Intellectual. Regardless of what you are doing for “work” you should be striving to learn and grow in all areas of your life. It might not be easy to set intellectual goals but try to establish the trait of learning as much as you can about the things that interest or matter most to you.
F – Financial. Many will argue that you don’t need money to be rich. I’m o.k. with that, but it sure is a whole lot harder. I suggest that you seek after financial riches so that you can have the time to pursue riches in the other five areas. Financial riches help you sleep well at night.
S – Social. This is actually a pretty large and broad topic area. What I think you should focus on is developing meaningful relationships with others (family and friends) as well as developing talents that enrich yours and their lives.
So, there you go. The SPOIFS method works for achieving balance in your life, which I believe brings true riches. There might be a better system for you, so go ahead and develop it. It took me nearly five years to come up with this method and it’s perfect for me because it is aligned with my core values. If yours are different then come up with your own stinkin’ system.
Tyler is a husband and dad, professor, writer, web designer, and DIYer.
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