For the past few blog posts, I’ve discussed the concept of Self-Wealth and how to achieve it through financial security, purpose, and hope. But, what happens once you’ve arrived? If your Self-Wealth is overflowing, where do you go from there? This is what I refer to as the Enlightenment Stage.
You know you’ve reached the Enlightenment Stage when you’re living a purposeful and hope-filled existence, in addition to being financially secure and prepared to deal with potential financial catastrophes or major life changes. At this point, your life’s focus can shift freely from you (and your purpose, hope, and security) to others.
The Enlightenment Stage could be tied with your purpose. If you find purpose in your work, how can you extend that to the world at large? In what ways can you put your skills, knowledge, and motivation to use? If you see a need in your community, fill it! If you’re passionate about youth programs or clean water or local art programs, volunteer!
Your time and expertise is just as valuable as your money. Put your skills to work and help create a better existence for others. That’s the thing about Self-Wealth—it has the potential to grow. Once one person is overflowing with Self-Wealth, he or she is empowered to share their abundance with other people, which in turn helps to build others’ Self-Wealth.
That isn’t to say that those with minimal Self-Wealth can’t be active in their community or volunteer for causes. Of course they can (and should!). However, it is easier to fully give to others when you don’t have to worry about your own basic needs or personal fulfillment. At this stage, it is also easier to spearhead or manage philanthropic programs, rather than occasionally volunteering. Those in the Enlightenment Stage have the freedom to give back in a big, meaningful way.
Think about Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Warren Buffett. All of these big-name philanthropists have a strong, identifiable purpose, financial security, and hope. They invest in programs for the future, such as healthcare and education. This history of giving is part of the American fabric. Many of the great tycoons of the 19th century strongly believed in giving back. That’s why there are concert halls, museums, and libraries bearing the names of Carnegie, Hill, and Vanderbilt. Steel baron Andrew Carnegie once said, "No man can become rich without himself enriching others. The man who dies rich dies disgraced."
How can you work your way toward Enlightenment? Start by understanding the meaning of Self-Wealth and developing your purpose, security, and hope. These are the foundations of a happy, healthy existence and, once you are rich in Self-Wealth, you will be empowered to give back in a big way.
Would you like more guidance on your path to the Enlightenment Stage? Please contact me today.