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29: Have You Heard of Holistic Wealth?

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“What would you do if you no longer had to work for money?”

OK, I know a lot of you out there are saying, “Buck, I’d like to play golf all day every day.” You know what, you may say that, but after a while, I think that you might get a little bored.

Smart talented people like you need more out of life.

I feel fortunate. After finishing my surgical training in 2008, I made a lot of money as a surgeon and as an entrepreneur. But even more important than that, I figured out how to get my money working for me.

Then, I stopped practicing medicine altogether. Why? Well, It wasn’t fun anymore. Medicine is taking a turn for the worse. Now that’s another topic entirely but let’s just say that I found better ways of using my time.

Now the beauty of the way I had set up my life at that point was that I didn’t really have to keep working as a doctor. I wasn’t filthy rich but I had created multiple passive streams of income including my businesses so I could live a comfortable life and make sure I was taking care of my family.

Now, I live where I used to vacation and I spend my time learning, teaching, and investing—exactly what I LOVE to do.

I consider myself wealthy. But, it’s not because of money. I used to say that wealth is best measured in time. In other words, if you don’t have to trade time for money, you are wealthy. I have since revised that definition. Wealth is time well spent.

I changed this because I know a lot of people who don’t have to work anymore. They are financially wealthy. But many of them aren’t healthy and they certainly aren’t happy!

I’m sure you see it all the time too–billionaires, celebrities and athletes getting divorced over and over. You hear about their substance abuse problems and even suicide.

Financial wealth is only part of the puzzle. You have to also be healthy and you have to be happy.

Now, as a physician I could talk to you about healthy habits all day. But I think you know you have to eat better and exercise. Believe me, I know that’s easier said than done. I battle with it myself.

As for happiness, the people who are financially wealthy AND happy that I know all seem to share one common characteristic. They are driven by more than just money. They have mission and purpose—they are self-actualized.

You see, the pinnacle of wealth is being able to live a self-actualized life. It’s not about retirement, it’s not about golf, it’s about a life worth living. It’s about having a mission and purpose and doing what you love.

Now let’s be clear, it’s hard to focus on mission and purpose when you’re trying to put food on the table and put your kids through college. But when money is out-of-the-way, you can truly be yourself.

Keep listening, learning and taking action and you will get there sooner than you know. I’ve only recently set out on that larger journey myself. In fact, what I am doing right this minute is part of my mission and purpose in life now.
The combination of financial wealth, health, happiness, and having a mission make up what I call “holistic wealth” and that is something for which all of us should strive.

Now here’s the thing, you have to start envisioning what this looks like now. If you do that, you’ll there even quicker!