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Wealth, Richness, and Gratitude

How to be rich beyond your wildest dreams by next week

In This Issue:

Wealth, Richness, and Gratitude

How be rich beyond your wildest dreams by next week.

Tools and Talismans

  • Connect with People in 6 Minutes a Day

  • Building Cognitive Reserve

  • 9 Types of People You Can Learn From

Feature: Wealth, Richness, and Gratitude

I once learned a priceless lesson from a hobo.

I spent a summer traveling around the country on freight trains with Greg, an old friend from college, and we met all kinds of interesting characters who lived that life 24/7/365.

Most of them had been doing this for years.

There was a guy named “Pops” who we ran into several times in different towns.

One time, he had just finished working at a carnival for two weeks, and he was flush with cash.

He spent most of the money on tobacco and snacks.

Pops smoked heavily, and gave away as many cigarettes as he smoked himself.

He bought copious amounts of french fries, chips, and other food. Then he would share it with everyone he met.

“I’m rich,” he bragged.

Another time, Pops was broke and getting his meals from “Sally’s,” the local Salvation Army. He also spent most of the day there, serving food, washing dishes, and cleaning up.

Greg and I joined Pops to deep clean the kitchen, and he introduced us to the staff and some of the people who were staying at the Salvation Army’s shelter.

“I’m rich with all these friends I have,” said Pops.

In another town, he showed us a dumpster that was filled with bread, fruit, and baked goods. Most of these things were still sealed in plastic bags or easy to clean.

We hiked a bit out of town to enjoy a dumpster feast by the river.

“Look at us,” said Pops. “We get to see these pretty lights reflecting on the water, we’ve got clean air and a safe place to camp out, and all this food. We’re rich.”

“Money Doesn’t Exist”

One time Pops asked me what I planned to do when the weather got cold.

I had an English teaching job lined up, but I didn’t really want to be a teacher. We got into a long conversation around work and money.

“You know,” said Pops, “I get a check every month from the V.A. and I’m just using it to help my daughter pay the mortgage on her house. I’ve got a few jobs I go and do, depending on the time of the year, but it don’t make no difference.”

The lights from passing cars lit up his face from time to time. I never saw Pops smile, but there was a gleam in his eye that looked like happiness.

“I could have a thousand bucks in my pocket right now, and you’d never know it. I’d still be sleeping out here in the park where the air is fresh. Same as I would do if I only had a dollar. Money doesn’t exist for me.”

Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Money definitely exists for me.

In a slow month, when I have to draw from my savings to pay the bills, I start to get really anxious. I can almost hear Pops chuckle and tell me to relax.

About a week ago, I talked to Greg. He’s now a Real Estate agent, and 2023 was a tough year. We started talking about Pops.

Greg said, “You know, it’s all about gratitude. If you lost your home and had to live in a trailer or under a bridge somewhere, could you still be happy?”

I thought about the night we hung out with Pops by the river. I had scenery, I was fed, I felt safe, my life was rich with adventure, and I had the company of some good people.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you appreciate what you have. And sometimes that appreciation just takes attention.

Try this for a minute. Just sit comfortably and pay attention to how it feels to be in your body. Try to be aware of as many sensations as you can.

If you’re reasonably healthy and pain free, this awareness should make you feel really good almost immediately. If not, the rest of this exercise will.

Think about one or more people you are close to. Try to feel grateful that you have them in your life.

Do the same thing for any pets or other animals in your life.

Next, feel gratitude for your home. Your vehicle. Any good places to visit nearby.

Feel gratitude for things you get to do tomorrow. And for what you got to do yesterday.

“Count your blessings” isn’t a cliche. It’s a formula to instantly feel rich beyond your wildest dreams.

In case you don’t live in the USA, this Thursday is Thanksgiving. A holiday when we ostensibly do just that—give thanks. There are many legitimate concerns about the true origins of Thanksgiving, and possibly more regarding what it has become. But the idea is sound, don’t you think?

Tools and Talismans