It's interesting how things we "learn" sometimes take years to sink in - or rather, we don't fully grasp the true meaning of them until years later, after having accumulated the direct life experience to really understand the depth of wisdom within them, versus the initial surface-level intellectual "knowing..."
One of the most influential teachers/mentors I ever had was Roger Hamilton, creator of Wealth Dynamics and Entrepreneurs Institute. There's no way to overstate the impact his philosophies & insight had on my development over the decade of immersing my young brain in his genius work. And one of the statements he repeated often throughout his programs that stuck out, went something along the lines of:
"Wealth is not money. Real wealth is what's left when your money's all gone."
Many in our society haven't lived from that.
To most, financial success, as measured by bank balance = wealth. However, we've all heard of the stories of lottery winners who months later after striking it big with millions, ended up broke again or in bankruptcy. Or as Roger also said,
"The more money you have, the more opportunities you have to lose it.
Sure, any of us would be happy to have crypto boom tomorrow and become millionaires over night. But would that make us wealthy? Probably not.
Because what Roger meant, was that it's the foundation of internal value, which is the real wealth.
Yes, a crypto boom could make us millionaires. But wealthy? Well, consider if the market crashed again a few days later, and never bounced back. What then...?
Of course, there's the perspective that the real wealth is in the basics: Health. Family. Friendships. Self-love.
And there's a good amount of truth to that, as anyone who may have made billions yet lost their health and family would tell you.
Though, Roger meant something different when he's said, "real wealth is what's left when your money's all gone." Those foundations of internal value he referenced were more, the abilities you have to make your money back again, were you to lose it all.
Or phrased differently... money is the outcome of wealth. Wealth is the capability for generating income.
Not a single source of income. Not a single opportunity.
But rather, the skill sets and mind sets with which you could create money time and time again.
Breaking that down more specifically, he outlined it as 6 core types of value:
Passion... it's a fuel. It can drive us forward through the hardest of challenges, which is very often required on the path of success. And, it's contagious. It attracts. People and opportunities.
Purpose... it's kind of like a compass. Without it, where the fuck would we be going, and why would we even be here?
Talent... inevitably, some action needs to be taken, results produced. Talent encompasses the skills that enable us to produce outstanding results versus average - which consequently, generate wealth.
Knowledge... "is power," some have said. Without it, we're clueless. With it, we're far better prepared to recognize and seize opportunities as they enter our field.
Contacts... wealth is a collective game. "Your net worth equals the size of your network," it's been claimed. Or even without a large network, sometimes it takes just one person to open doors to wealth.
Character... honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, honor, dignity, respectfulness, patience, compassion... character takes many shapes and forms, developed through maturity, and often cultivated through the process of transforming knowledge to wisdom through its embodiment. Ultimately, its what sets the boys apart from the men - where the game for higher levels of wealth are played.
Not to get too textbook-ish here...
The reason I return to these teachings to share, is because I, myself, have looped back around to a point of needing to re-learn them at a far deeper level than when I first indulged in them intellectually.
Though I had spent my twenties lusting after wealth, passionately chasing opportunties, filling my cup with knowledge, aspiring to connect with industry leaders across a variety of fields, little of that seemed to amount to the money I wanted. Sure, I had acquired some interesting life experience under my belt. But the money... well, it's arrival was delayed. Until Steemit.
The timing was impeccable.
I'd been in Bali four years, burnt out on DJing, was planning to get married and return to Canada, clueless as to how I'd "make it" back in my home country, having exhausted nearly every money-making path I came across and tried. But when I stumbled into Steemit at its start, recently having been guided into the blockchain space, it lined up perfectly.
As said, "luck = preparation meets opportunity." I had gone through a shitload of preparation - amassed a wealth of knowledge, cultivated a wealth of skill writing, developed some degree of character along my road of struggles, and still had a good amount of passion and purpose to pour into the venture. And it paid off.
A couple months of leveraging that foundation of wealth produced more money than I'd ever made in a year. And I was off to my start growing a reasonably-successful crypto portfolio.
Since, it's had its ups and downs - further providing the experience to get the "more money you have, the more you have to lose" stance, observing over a million dollars disappear this year. Nonetheless, I'm still sitting with a net worth I couldn't foresee myself achieving before discovering Steemit. But...
I have not been feeling wealthy.
Some money has come and gone, and some has stayed around. Yet, despite knowing the "luck" I had with Steemit was a consequence of the preparation I put in - the foundation of internal value I spent over a decade developing - there's still been this gnawing sense that it was just a one-off "lucky break." And having also gone through the experience of losing most of what I made in the market this year, there's a bastardly temptation to fear, "what if I were to lose it all, or the market doesn't come back? What if it takes so long I have to sell off all my crypto holdings to pay bills in the meantime, and I end up missing the next big wave? What if I've been so distracted and off-track that I've been missing all the opportunities to create more wealth and keep taking myself out of the game?" Etc, etc.
Everything moves through cycles of time.
Yin & yang. Peak & valley. Ebb & flow.
Before my opportunity with Steemit had arrived, it had been years and years of preparation. And while the high of success on Steemit was rather lovely, it'd probably be unrealistic to expect that wave would last forever, or that there'd be another after another after another right behind it. This reality, my inner over-ambitious, eager, over-achieving, addictive-personality sonuvabitch hasn't loved so much. Slowing down for the yin period, the ebb, the valley, hasn't been as fun.
And it appears, that with the pullback, retreat, retracement, period of consolidation, I have been giving way to the temptation of those fears noted above. And yet, such a period is a perfect opportunity for revisiting all these principles of wealth creation - to check in and see just how much I've been living them - to assess the degree of real wealth I've been cultivating.
That part of that's been all "go-go-go" for about 17 years... that bastard has driven my health into the ground, sabotaged friendships, consumed chance after chance at sustainable happiness - all in an obsessively-compulsive lust for money. Not wealth. Money.
He's been a short-sighted fucker, impatient to the point of driving me crazy, distorting my perception repeatedly, continually distracting me from prioritizing the cultivation of those 6 internal values.
Basically, he's been a fear-driven devil of a saboteur. He's refused to adapt to life, insisting that life ought to conform to his timeline and go according to his plans.
And perhaps, I can't point any fingers of blame, since I'm the one who's fed him.
Here I am, in a way better financial position than two years ago, yet I've moreless still been living with the same scarcity mindset. Steemit was an awesome blessing. Though, what real wealth have I created between now and then, such that I could repeat that level of monetary success once again...?
Yes, I've upgraded my character, grown my network of contacts, refined my writing skills, and increased my knowledge. So there* has* been real wealth cultivated. And perhaps I've just been blinding myself to that. Or, perhaps it's just that I've had unrealistic expectation of how soon the next wave of opportunity would come, and I'm still in process of working on the patience piece of a character upgrade.
Of course, there really should be nothing to worry about.
Despite the sharp decline in crypto markets and accompanying pain of the priceless "pay yourself first" lessons learned by not taking any profits at peak in January, which have dampered my spirits a bit, the sense of passion and purpose has remained. I'd committed my capital to crypto for reasons still believed in, and surely the markets shall rise once again.
Though in the meantime, it's been a really weird mindfuck, going through this period of self-assessing what to do from here.
That uncertainty has been unsettling.
I don't know what the next wave of opportunity will look like exactly. Tauchain? Earth Dollar? Those are the only two projects that've sparked a strong enough interest and desire to contribute to. Though, for as much action as I've taken toward either, the flow hasn't unlocked there. I thought it was time to refocus back to music production. Though that didn't work out quite as planned either.
Without rambling on too far...
Sometimes we just can't know.
And for all the goal-setting and planning we could do, sometimes life just takes a different course we can't foresee.
Regardless... there might always be that devilish saboteur of fear lingering on our shoulder, tempting us to fret when we can't see through the fog, persuading us to take our eyes off the prize: real wealth.
Not the money.
But that internal foundation of value upon which we are to build our kingdoms and empires, those six fundamental elements of passion, purpose, talent, knowledge, contacts, and character with which we may partake in the alchemy of wealth creation when those pristine waves of opportunity roll in.
And sometimes it's hard - or impossible - to practice surfing, when there are no waves.
But nonetheless, even in the off-days, we can always discipline ourselves in the preparation, such that when the swells come, that muscle-memory kicks in - like riding a bike - and we can charge those waves until their end.
(And perhaps once they're finished, manage our money a bit better, so as to hold ourselves over in stability and peace until the next set of opportunities present themselves...)