Jan 232011

America, God bless her for her multitude of virtues, has a bit materialistic focus in her society. Capitalism, at our time of nearly unlimited media penetration and a populous that lives concentrated in major metro areas, results in a blitzkrieg of commercial messaging. TV, Internet, Radio, Billboards, Magazines, Opt-In E-Mail, and Spam E-Mail too — we are bombarded with a buy this, buy that, houses and closets and dog houses of the rich and famous, money money money is all the matters message. It promises to only become more invasive – check out how commercial messaging in the future is so plausibly imagined in the movie Minority Report.

As an optimist, I’m not against earning, having, and using money. But, if money becomes your personal scorecard of self-worth, when money becomes your overriding preoccupation, you have been infected by the Insidious($) virus.  Money is only one small aspect of true wealth.

The “money is all that matters” commercial blitzkrieg gets to people and greatly reduces the optimism that is so vital. It is garbage messaging that pollutes the mind. It drives many people to get down on themselves for the perceived inadequacy of their bank account and investment account balances. When one is infected by Insidious($) and these thoughts are festering in one’s head, it becomes hard to remain optimistic and confident.

To inoculate your mind against Insidious($), taking stock of one’s true wealth helps a great deal. There is a lot of truth to the phrase “you can’t take it with you.”  We often don’t appreciate what we do have.  Would you sell your eyes for a million dollars? …or ten million dollars?  Would you sell your son or daughter for that million dollars?  Would you forgo good health and accept cancer into your lungs for a million dollars?  It turns out that there is much that we would not sell for a million dollars.  These are the aspects of our true wealth.

Consider this:

  • I am wealthy because of my health.
  • I am wealthy because of my integrity.
  • I am wealthy because of my faith.
  • I am wealthy because of my family, and the love that is so dear.
  • I am wealthy because I have freedom and the ability to make my own choices each and every day.
  • I am wealthy because of my courage.
  • I am wealthy because of my relationships with friends and associates.
  • I am wealthy because of my education.
  • I am wealthy because of my reasoning ability, the way I am able to think, understand, and solve problems.
  • I am wealthy because of my emotional IQ that helps me make more friends and influence everyone around me.
  • I am wealthy because of vitality, my energy to make things happen.
  • I am wealthy because of my will power.
  • I am wealthy because I believe in learning from setbacks, not treating anything as a failure in itself.
  • I am wealthy because I maintain balance across the various roles in my life.
  • I am wealthy because of my experience, and my life’s experiences that have molded my character.
  • I am wealthy because of my awareness of the world around me and its ramifications.
  • I am wealthy because of my wisdom.
  • I am wealthy because of my ability to grow in understanding every day of my life.
  • I am wealthy because I live in a time of extraordinary opportunity in an extraordinary place. People had few choices just a few centuries ago.
  • I am wealthy because of my optimism, by hopes, my dreams, my goals, my reasons for living.
  • Oh yes, lest I forget, I am wealthy because of my bank accounts and investment accounts.

Clearly, there is more to wealth and your net worth that just the financial account.

Once you realize what an extraordinary array of assets you have, it is much easier to join the Optimistic Few.  It becomes easier to maintain a positive attitude through good times and bad.  It becomes easier to keep a steady confident hand on your own life’s tiller, no matter other people’s commendation and condemnation.  It becomes easier to overcome setbacks and challenges, no matter the balance in the bank account.

The next time you overhear someone saying “Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, or Michael Bloomberg is soooo wealthy…“, and you surprise yourself by saying “maybe he really is but maybe he is not… hard to tell by Forbes accounting alone…” you will discover that you are inoculated from the Insidious($) virus and well on your way to an Optimistic life.

I.M. OptimismMan

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