Sometimes wisdom can come from the most unexpected places.
For example, I recently came across an interesting list written by a local jazz musician, Gregory Thompkins. He’s a Baltimore native, and if you have a taste for jazz, you can check out some of his music here.
His list struck a chord with me, particularly because of the time of year. So to kick off the new year, I thought I’d share this list and my comments on it. I hope that reading it will be an energizing way to begin a new slate in 2022.
Rich Life Rule #1: Compliment three people every day.
Sincere compliments aren’t given enough. The best compliments are about the human being, not an action they took or a gesture they made. “You’re incredible” is more impactful than “Nice car” or “You did a great job with x.”
Rich Life Rule #2: Watch a sunrise at least once a year – on a beach if possible.
Watching the sun first envelop the day, especially over a vast ocean, is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences there is.
Rich Life Rule #3: Be the first to say “Hello.”
This simple gesture is an acknowledgement of interest, openness and attention. Don’t hesitate to invite others into your life. You never know what it may lead to.
Rich Life Rule #4: Live beneath your means.
This is the most basic wealth-building rule of all. If you don’t live beneath your means or improve your means (through investment returns, for example), there’s only one possible outcome – and it’s one you don’t want.
Rich Life Rule #5: Treat everyone like you want to be treated.
It’s the golden rule. It’s amazing how often we all do things we would never want to be done to ourselves. I enjoy watching my children learn this lesson, and it’s one we continue to learn all our lives.
Rich Life Rule #6: Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen.
Anything is possible. People recover from 30-year addictions and stay sober. People go into remission after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. People turn around seemingly dire financial circumstances. And sometimes people really do change.
This doesn’t mean you should pour your energy into someone who brings you down. But you should never give up hope…
Rich Life Rule #7: Forget the Joneses.
The act of comparing ourselves to others has wasted more wealth and destroyed more happiness than almost any other thought pattern. Feeling wealthy starts with appreciating what you have. In reality, appreciation is a great mentality to adopt when pursuing more wealth. You’ll make better decisions and invest with greater prudence.
Much of the world lives on a few dollars a day. Don’t spend your days comparing what you don’t have to what other people do have. Appreciate what you have, and you’ll be much happier for it.
Rich Life Rule #8: Never deprive someone of hope. It may be all they have.
Hope is a powerful force in the human psyche. It gives us strength to believe in possibilities that seem impossible. It must be preserved… especially in challenging times.
Rich Life Rule #9: Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.
The greatest source of satisfaction in life comes from progress. Any time we learn something new (growth) or expand beyond our threshold of control by facing fear (courage), we progress. There is no stronger force for creating self confidence and personal pride.
Rich Life Rule # 10: Be tough-minded but tenderhearted.
When you wake up and don’t want to exercise, you should commit and move forward. Get in the habit of not negotiating with your own mind. Be tough against your inner critic, and be persistent about what matters most.
But love deeply. Approach others with generosity. Make everyone you know feel that you admire them as a human being, even though you may disagree with something they say or do.
Rich Life Rule #11: Be kinder than necessary.
There have been leadership studies that show people need to hear five positive comments for every negative comment to remain in a healthy frame of mind. This applies to everyone. Cultivate sincere kindness. If you look for it, it’s always there.
Rich Life Rule #12: Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
We all want to feel like we matter. Appreciation is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
Rich Life Rule # 13: Keep your promises. People who keep promises are remembered. They are trusted.
There’s a nonprofit organization that I’ve been involved with called “because I said I would” that’s dedicated entirely to this premise. Check it out here if you’re interested.
Rich Life Rule #14: Learn to show cheerfulness, even when you don’t feel like it.
You can be the energetic leader in any and every conversation. And our moods are contagious. By learning to be focus on the positive and be cheerful, you can spark greater emotional responses from others, which will help elevate your mood in a virtuous cycle.
Rich Life Rule #15: Remember that overnight success usually takes about 15 years.
It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. Appreciate every little win and every bit of progress. They add up to something very special over time.
Rich Life Rule #16: Leave everything better than you found it.
Are you a giver or a taker? If you can find ways to give more than you take in this life, you’ll look back at yourself with pride and admiration.
Rich Life Rule #17: Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do.
Much of this comes down to discipline. It’s important both in life and in wealth building.
Rich Life Rule #18: When you arrive at your job in the morning, let the first thing you say brighten everyone’s day.
Even if you’re retired, you have a chance to set the tone of someone’s day at the local diner or coffee shop.
Rich Life Rule #19: Don’t rain on other people’s parades.
Back to the golden rule.
Rich Life Rule # 20: Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Love is the oxygen of a life well lived. Sometimes we withhold love to protect ourselves. Don’t. You’ll never regret sharing your love with another.
Until next time…
To your richest possible life,