Real Wealth: The True Meaning of Success

Joseph Brown
Jul 31, 2019 · 9 min read
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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

What follows are the lessons I learned from Tony Robbins’ book Unshakeable. This is a truly valuable resource for anyone interested in investing and creating wealth and stability in their lives. I thoroughly recommend you give it a read.

Real Wealth

Tony Robbins teaches his readers all the fundamentals about how to invest and how to be smart enough to overcome all the fears and mistakes that go along with investing.

However, at the end of the day, his major lesson is that real wealth isn’t about money at all.

Real wealth doesn’t come from the trappings of success. Striving for money and luxury is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to live successfully, you need to find happiness and gratitude.

There are plenty of stories of extremely rich and famous people who were so miserable that they fell apart and committed suicide. Tony Robbins often sites the example of Robin Williams. A man who had it all, who was considered a national treasure. And for all that success, he wasn’t fulfilled. He wasn’t truly wealthy.

The answer:

Freedom, happiness and success are more than money and accolades.

As Tony states: “Real wealth is emotional, psychological, and spiritual.”(Robbins, P.163)

The secret Tony taught me, was that you need to learn to live in gratitude. When you are grateful, you can so easily find happiness, joy and abundance. And when you’re actively looking to be grateful, then you can easily forget all the stress and the frustration and the negative feelings that form with them. Anger, hatred, ‘poor me’ and all that, go away when you go to bed and wake up with ‘I’m so grateful for my life’.

Or, in Tony’s words: “Every day, think as you wake up, “Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.””(Robbins P.162)

I won’t lie, it feels fake at the beginning. But it doesn’t take long to take hold. I was only doing it for a couple of months and it literally helped me to power through my latest great challenge. (See more below.)

Long story short, true wealth comes from living life in a good emotional state.

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Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

We know what achieves fulfillment

So, true wealth is about living happy. But what makes someone happy?

Tony’s answer is fulfillment. To be happy means we have found fulfillment. This will mean something different to everyone, but at the end of the day achieving fulfillment is the key for everyone to achieve real success.

In order to achieve fulfillment we must do the following:

1) We must keep growing.

This is how we become more and how we become satisfied with ourselves. In short we need to feel progress. We must feel like we are moving and growing in some way. Without this, we will end up feeling directionless, pointless and unfulfilled.

From experience, I tend to agree. I’ve lived the free lifestyle. I didn’t have all the money in the world, but I was safe enough to not have to work and to do pretty much whatever I wanted all day long. I lived in my parents nice house, ate for free, had a car and a stereo and beer money, and pretty much everything a young man wants to feel happy. And quite frankly it was boring. I spent days watching pointless TV, eating, drinking, slowly going towards the point of realizing there’s no point to it all.

I had no purpose and all that freedom, which was supposed to make me happy, wasn’t doing it at all.

Now, I face busy days of work, quite often doing things I’d rather not have to do. And then in my time off I’m writing, planning, reading, learning and improving myself. Add to that, all the responsibility of being a married, father and dealing with the bills. This is supposed to be the formula for stress, but I actually feel empowered and I feel happy. I have a purpose, a goal, and I am on my way to becoming the kind of man that I want to be. That makes me feel empowered and proud.

This is the key to feeling wealthy.

Special Lesson

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking for a way to be free from having to work. And I know that with money and time I will feel a lot more successful. However, the difference is now I have a purpose that will make that money and time work to help me achieve fulfillment. I have a vision of using money to better myself and my family and help others.

Before I wanted freedom to be lazy. No matter how much money I would have had, I know I would have thrown it away looking to fill a void that I now know can only be filled by purpose.

Now I have my purpose, I’m working harder than ever, facing more responsibilities than ever, and feeling great.

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Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

2) You have to give.

To feel fulfilled you have to contribute; you have to give something of yourself to others.

I just recently finished reading A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. This is perhaps a story we all know. If not, it’s at least a message we all know.

Scrooge, the main character, is super rich. He has the power of life or death over the people who work for him. Scrooge has so much wealth he can do anything, even ignore family and people who annoy him with their stupid sentimental ideas of love and charity. By most people’s definition, he has achieved great success.

The Past

Then one night he is visited by apparitions that show him his life. First he sees the past and how he had love but he gave it up to chase wealth. We can also infer that he gave up on love because he was afraid of being hurt. That fear leads him to becoming old, cold and empty.

The Present

Next, we see apparitions of the present. We see the poor people around Scrooge, joyfully enjoying what little they have, and far from jealous of Scrooge, they mock him and ultimately feel sorry for him. For with all his mountains of wealth, he does nothing with it and has no one to share life with. He is alone.

The Future

In the final apparition, we see Scrooge dead and see that after his life of great ‘success’, he has no one to morn him. No one cares. We also see that the people he could have helped have suffered and we know what a waste it was. Scrooge sees that he can do a great deal for others and in doing so, he does a great deal for himself.

In the end Scrooge is transformed and we see the absolute joy he has in saving the life of poor Tiny Tim, his clerk’s crippled son, and sharing his fortune and life with his lovely and generous nephew.

He gives his fortune and time to others and in return he gets happiness. He sings and dances like a happy fool. This is true wealth. This is obviously a story, but I think we can accept that the message is one based on real life circumstances. What’s the point of having mountains of wealth and all the free time in the world if you have nothing to enjoy.

More to Giving

There’s a lot to add here and I will expand on these in the future, because these are areas I need to focus on to get me in a peak stake.

It boils down to the fact that happiness and wealth comes from living healthy, living in gratitude, feeding the mind positively and living in states of joy, passion and creativity.

For now, know that you can choose to feel wealthy right now. So choose to be happy. Be ready for the monsters that will try to undo your happiness and train your reactions. Take the power to choose wealth and happiness.

Final Thoughts on Real Wealth

So real wealth is about finding fulfillment and that comes from growing and contributing.

However, from reading Unshakeable I found that another form of true wealth is to be unshakeable; to live without fear and to be fearless in times of danger and doubt. If you have this strength you can feel wealthy even in your hour of darkness.

I have to say, this lesson came along at the perfect time for me.

Only just recently I put my back out. Several years ago I herniated a disc in my lower back which caused my sciatic nerve to be compressed. This was very painful and took a long time to work out. Well, I put it out again, and this time it felt even worse.

This time it really struck me down. I was reduced to a crippled mess; struggling to stand up and worrying whether I’d be permanently disabled.

I’m not going to lie to you — I wasn’t completely unshakeable. To be truly honest, in the beginning, I was worried, I felt bad for myself and I got upset.

But even at the worst I felt my training kick in. Even as I lay there worrying whether I could get up and work again, I tried to think strong thoughts, ‘well if I can’t walk, then maybe I’ll be forced to become a good writer.’ Thankfully, things turned around. I was still worried though, and these lessons enabled me to face the problem.

Ask the right questions:

The first lesson was to ask the right questions. The old me would have reacted with fear and asked ‘why did this happen to me?’ The new me tried not to be scared and asked, ‘why did this happen for me?’ As a result I learned some valuable lessons and now I’m taking better care of my body and not burning myself out, as I was doing before.

Know the game:

The old me would have freaked out and got depressed, or tried to eat and drink away my woe. The new me knew that knowledge is power. I looked for what was wrong and tackled it intelligently by looking for models and getting help. I got help and I got assistance from others and used the knowledge to logically face the problem and deal with it.

Find What’s Right:

The old me would have got miserable and blamed everyone and everything for my problems. The new me looked on the bright side and realized just how fortunate I am.

I found gratitude for my wife who struggled to help me get better. Together, we were grateful for our financial position, which allowed me to get help, regardless of the cost. I realized many people don’t have that luxury.

All this, combined with the time to think during my injury, lead me to re-evaluate my whole mission to success.

Changed Mission

As I stated earlier, I was beginning to feel stressed as my whole mission for success was measured by financial outcomes and things I wanted. After this event, I realized how to be wealthy now. My goal is still to achieve financial wealth, but right now it’s to live healthy and to live in a peak state. This is something I can feel day to day. And finally, my main goal is to live happy and I can achieve that by being grateful every day for the good things I have.

It wasn’t immediate. I’m still a bit shaky. But through studying Unshakeable, I was able to face this moment of real anxiety, pain and uncertainty, deal with it and then get back on my path to success.

Final Message

Thanks again to Tony — seriously get out and read his books and listen to him. I really have only just scratched the surface here. His teachings have completely changed my life for the better.

Finally, I truly believe these insights are helping me to become a greater person and helping me to find true wealth for me and my family.

I hope they are helping you too. I believe life is better when we wake up looking to have a successful day and we dream of having a successful life.

So thanks again, and always remember to keep striving for success.

If you enjoyed these ideas please read more about building wealth from my article on Unshakeable Part 3.

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Joseph Brown

Written by

Joe is a university trained and experienced teacher and writer. He writes about his experiences with self-improvement and investing and hopes to inspire others.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +756K people. Follow to join our community.

Joseph Brown

Written by

Joe is a university trained and experienced teacher and writer. He writes about his experiences with self-improvement and investing and hopes to inspire others.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +756K people. Follow to join our community.

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