Get Rich Quick!

Wannngeee? I spike the ball! I bounce the ball! Oooo ooo aaa aaa bbzzzztt! KRISTI!! YES! YES! YES!”

I still hear the echoes of my days in the Kiyunga villages of Uganda as I reminisce about playing sports, singing, and dancing all with the children.

Traveling to places like Uganda completely change your perspective on how you see the world and relationships with the people around you. Upon returning to my “normal” life, I thought about how narrow my perspective has been on a daily basis and was saddened by how I mindlessly churn through day-to-day activities. Surprisingly, I had more “culture shock” coming back to the US versus going to Uganda. I became accustomed to face-to-face conversations, a true sense of community and a slower pace of life during my time in the villages of Kiyunga. I had a sense that the people around me were genuinely interested in me as a human being. Community and family took priority over everything else. When I returned, I was immediately thrown back into the world of rushing around and staring at our screens.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve struggled with the questions of, “What am I really doing with my life? Who’s agenda am I really following? Why do I spend so much time on trivial things?” I’ve also begun to wonder: “What does it mean to be rich? What does it mean to be poor? (maybe we have it all wrong..)”

What is rich? Is it truly related to money? I now know that it isn’t. Money can’t buy happiness despite the influences that tell me it does. Our Western world is incredibly focused on what you have, how much you’re making — the house, the car, the designer clothes, the next big thing. But those things don’t fill you up, nor add true value to your life. We seem to be living a ‘reactive life’ dominated by other’s agendas — only to rest our head on the pillow after a long, frazzled day and not be able to recall any meaningful actions we took that day. We are chasing things that we think really matter, that don’t. We tell ourselves, “Once I get that next thing or reach that next milestone, then I will be happy.” When we live in this state of ‘reactive life syndrome’ we lose focus on the very things that are right in front of us that truly make us rich. I’ve learned to slow down and appreciate each moment and the community around me.

I’m not saying the hustle is bad. I actually think it is incredibly important to flex our hustle muscle in meaningful areas of our life. I want you to start to ask what your ‘why’ is behind what you do each day. Are you at peace with who you are and how you’re spending your hours? Or are you spinning your wheels reacting to the things that pop up in your world around you? Remember your minutes become your hours, days, weeks, months, years and your life. Are you doing the things that light your soul on fire and connecting with the people you love the most? If not, what steps can you take to make a change?

How can you start living a rich life?

When you wake up in the morning, have stillness, and ask yourself what’s the one meaningful thing I can do today? What can I do today that allows me to stand in my strength? Then go do it, simple as that. Anything extra you do is bonus. It’s time to move from a reactive life to an intentional one and invest your waking hours into living a meaningful life.

You can CHOOSE the metrics that you’re using to evaluate your life’s worth. Will you be “happy” and “worthy” if you make a billion dollars.. maybe? I would argue that you’ll be happier and have even more self-worth if you slow down a bit and smell the roses around you. Invest your time and efforts into something meaningful and spend time connecting with the people in your life.

No better time to start than today. Love you all!

If you’d like to hear more inspiration and running-related tips, you can subscribe to our newsletter at www.sunriserunningproject.com. Writing contribution to Thrive Global