The 3 Fundamental Types of Wealth and How to Best Understand Them

Bill Abbate

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Discovering the Most Important Kind of Wealth in the World

How do you view wealth? Do you see it merely as money and possessions, or do you see it in a broader sense? What if I told you, you are already wealthy? In your possession is the potential to create wealth beyond anything you have imagined, in ways you may not have considered. Let's take a closer look at what wealth means in life.

Three views of wealth

At least three fundamental views of wealth exist. They are wealth in what you possess, the type of wealth in who you are, and the ultimate of all wealth, spirituality. The first type of wealth is external, the second is internal, and the third is supernatural.

External wealth

To simply view wealth as what you possess, as in how much money you have, is shortsighted. Yes, wealth in today's society leans toward being defined as money and possessions. Yet, there are countless stories of people who have had wealth and have been unable to hold on to it.

Inherited wealth is one such example. Did you know 70% of families lose their wealth by the second generation and 90% lose it by the third generation! Yes, those are shocking statistics, but they make sense.

The reason the first generation became wealthy was not that they had money, but because of what they did with their life because of who they became. You can't inherit the "what" that made them achieve so much. Even when the parents are actively involved in their children's lives, they may or may not acquire the necessary abilities. It is unlikely that they will ever become who the parent was. Attempting to create a child in your image most often fails because they are not you, and they will eventually go their own way.

Another example of people who become wealthy in a monetary and material sense is by suddenly winning the lottery or attaining great wealth because of their talent in sports.

The Review of Economics and Statistics Volume 93, Issue 3, states lottery winners declare bankruptcy far more often than an average American and do so within three to five years. The National Endowment for Financial Education claims the bankruptcy rate for lottery winners is 70% within a few years!

According to Broke, a film produced by ESPN, 60% of former NBA players lose all of their money within five years. Additionally, 78% of NFL players go bankrupt or wind up in severe financial stress within only two years of retirement!

"Is happiness equated to wealth, money, possessions, or is it value you find in doing your job well, having a loving family, your health, and an inner peace?" Byron Pulsife

Internal wealth

Let's now look at where external, or monetary, and material wealth originate - inside a person. The wealth a person possesses internally is far more valuable than any external wealth. This internal wealth also includes your health, but that is a subject for another day.

Who the person is, their internal capabilities and capacities far outweigh external wealth. When you possess such inner wealth, you can always create external wealth. It is, therefore, more essential to work on yourself and who you are becoming than anything external. Again, to create external wealth, you must possess internal wealth.

The ability to create wealth and maintain wealth are completely different aspects of who you are. To create and keep external wealth, you must be internally rich in knowledge, wisdom, experience, skills, and so forth. It is rare for a person to excel at creating and maintaining material wealth, much less creating internal richness in their heirs.

If there were any one thing you could do from this moment forward, it would be to work on yourself. To work on who you are and who you are becoming, becoming rich on the inside, is the only sensible way to create external wealth if that is what you desire. Simply put, wealth must be inside you before it can be created in the world.

"Real worth is something that's already in us. If we know that, we are already wealthy beyond measure. If we don't, no amount of money, fame, or success can give it to us." C.J. Kruse

Spiritual wealth

One perspective you can take of spiritual wealth is it is simultaneously internal and external. It is part of your internal wealth and has an external spiritual connection.

Spirituality far exceeds the value of any material thing. Who you are internally determines where you go and what you get both materially and spiritually.

The bottom line is material wealth is temporary, spiritual wealth is eternal.

Heavy stuff, eh?

I recommend you do some critical self-examination of who you are and who you are becoming. This will allow you to determine what you want and what you get before and after life ends.

When you leave the earth and become a purely spiritual being, you retain part of who you are now. Who can say what that will look like? Can we even use words like "look like"? They are likely too limiting to begin to describe the spiritual world.

"You aren't wealthy until you have something money can't buy." Garth Brooks

Final words

This is serious stuff. This is life! This is your life. You only get one shot at it. You may want to make it count!

What you do and who you are becoming determines your future. Why do so few take it seriously? Why indeed. I hope you will take it seriously.

You have one of two choices in this matter. You can choose to do nothing, or you can choose to do something. You know what choosing not to make a choice means, don't you?

If you choose to do something, it will behoove you to begin working on who you are now and who you are becoming in the future. This will allow you to create the material and spiritual lives you desire. Do so thoughtfully, and you can live a life without regret.

This article is not complete without the following postscript.

I wish to offer you an invitation to the most important thing in life, Christian Spirituality. During my many decades on earth, Christ has become ever more real to me. As a Christian, I ask you to consider His call to you. He died for your sins, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for you and me. Christ offers forgiveness for all of your sins, asking you to believe in him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. The Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 10, verses 9-10:

"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Why not take Christ at His word and settle your spiritual future once and for all? Why wait for a second longer? It will be the best decision of your life and one that you will never regret!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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