Oct 252012

Health vs Wealth

I am 40 years old, overweight and work 60 hours a week. My main goal is to work hard enough right now to be able to reap the rewards later in life. I am willing to sacrifice my health in the short term to get financial gains in the long term. I do not spend time with my kids when they are growing up so I can work and spend time with them later. I am more familiar with the surroundings of your cubicle than your own house.

Masarwa Man

Masarwa Man, Photo courtesy of Jon Rawlinson

How many people does the above describes? Probably way too many people are falling into this life.

Well to be honest the above is actually me. I would wake up at 6:00 am and would not return to my house until 7:00pm or later. Sometimes I would never even see the sun. I was working through lunch.  I thought I was doing good, working my way up the corporate ladder, but when I looked back where I was after 3 years, it was not very far. It was not until I was listening to Cliff Ravenscraft Pursuing a Balanced Life podcast that I realized something was amiss.

In this corner, wearing the red trunks. Wealth

What is wealth? An all too common way of determining wealth is too look at how many toys, gadgets, vacations and debt a person can afford. Wealth is something we struggle our whole life to attain, only to let it go in the end.

Another odd thing about wealth is it possible to make over $100,000 in income and still be broke. Why is that? It is because most people have a bad habit of borrowing money. Now looking back at a way to measure your wealth,  shouldn’t your level of wealth be determined by the money you take in versus the money you pay in debt.

And in this corner wearing the blue trunks. Health

What is health?
There are many different ways to define health. I feel in the context we are looking at, that health should be defined as the level of well being in a particular area.

So what are the areas of health? If you ask that to 50 different people you are likely to get 60 different answeers. However, if you try classifying where those answers you can come up with roughly 4 pillars of health.

The 4 Pillars of Health

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Spiritual

Emotional Health

Your emotions say a lot about you. When you are happy your emotional health is high you feel. You can get a lot done. When you are sad or angry, you do not feel as energetic, not really sure you can get a lot done. If you work too much and do not have enough down time, you might start to seem angry or depressed.

Physical Health

If you spend too much time working, you rarely have any time for exercise and your physical health starts to decrease. This does not mean you need to spend hours at the gym each day.

What I found that works is I go for a short walk when I get home from work. I find a good podcast to listen too and get outside for a few miles.

Mental Health

Having a good mental health lets you focus on what you are doing. When your mental health is low, you sometimes feel like there is a cloud between you and what you are trying to focus on. Working long hours and not sleeping well can effect this.

Spiritual Health

This is a tricky one to describe.  Each person will have to look inside themselves to determine their spiritual health. Sometimes people help out a worthy cause such as Nata Village AIDS Awareness Program

What Does This All Mean?

Look at a table, you will see that they mostly have 4 legs. Your health pillars are like this. When all 4 legs are in place the table is rock sturdy. It will take a lot of external force to knock it down. When your 4 health pillars are strong, you will be strong.
Now think of wealth, it is just one component. For some reason I envision wealth as a column. Rising up from the ground, and debt would be the cracks you see forming. Doesn’t take much to knock over does it?

When The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Now the regular business person sees health and wealth at odds with one another. It is an all to common thought that to gain in one the other must decrease, health and wealth are in a give and take relationship. Truth is this is wrong. Once you have a rebirth of your career, you will realize this. Your health is something that you will have with you for your whole life. Wealth is something that will come and go.

Are you ready for a rebirth?

Henry Bergh, ASPCA

Grave of Henry Bergh, Founder of the ASPCA. Photo courtesy of Tony Fisher

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