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Redefine What Being "RICH" Means To You

By Amanda Salazar

When we talk about wealth, most of us immediately think of money - banknotes, savings accounts, and income. However, our lives are enriched by a lot more than just finances, and therefore, our definition of wealth must change and grow. 
  Redefining wealth starts with evaluating what truly matters in your life. If there's more to wealth than just money, your definition should reflect that. 
  The concept of wealth is not universal and can be perceived differently by individuals. For some, wealth is measured by the quantity of time they can devote to the things that are essential and meaningful in their lives. These things include personal hobbies, passions, or goals. For others, wealth is determined by their relationships with their loved ones and the time they spend together. This type of person may prioritize spending time with family, friends, and other important people in their lives above all else. 
  Shannon Hayes, author of "Redefining Rich” and CEO of Sap Bush Hollow Farm in New York spoke with Preferred Health Magazine about redefining wealth and what it means. 

"I think it starts with recognizing the wealth that we already have" in our lives- because society and our consumer culture have taught us to fixate on what we don't have, and that creates a lot of misery," Hayes said. "It also creates a lot of spending, and it makes people work really hard at the expense of the true wealth that they might already have." 

Hayes said she learned this lesson firsthand while taking a break from running her business to spend time camping with her family. "I recognized while I was sitting out there in this beautiful forest, next to this gorgeous pond, finding these swimming holes, that this is my wealth," Hayes said. "When being raised on the land like this, part of my pay is that my toes are in the soil every day and, when it's hot, I'm in the streams, and I'm in the pond swimming. I had to realize this is more important than the money." 
   Hayes and her husband made a bold decision to leave their careers and move to her family's farm on a frosty mountain. They started a small café in town, which turned out to be the perfect choice for them. Despite the tough economic environment, they succeeded in building a business that allowed them to live abundantly, spend time with their family, and enjoy the gifts of nature. Their business even helped to revive the chronically depressed economy of their town, all while embracing the Appalachian farm culture and sensibilities that Hayes and her community have always cherished.
   “In our dysfunctional economy, “success” often comes at great personal cost . . . we’re tired, we’re stressed out, and we have no time for family and friends,” Hayes in her book. “It’s time to redefine “rich.” 



Many times, young adults start out as "climbers," meaning they work hard, long hours in the hopes of getting promoted to bigger and better jobs that will make more money. People are often pushed to be hyper-ambitious in the workforce. While climbing the corporate ladder, it's easy to forget about the other things that enrich your life, like your health, relationships, and nature. These are the things we should give more weight to, according to Hayes. 
  "The first trick to redefining it is looking at what's already there," she said. "Most of these things you'll find money just can't touch, and we start to realize we've been tricked into chasing the money," Hayes said. "We've been told that the 'American dream' is money, but most of the things that actually make a life worth living cannot be bought, nor can they be awarded in the marketplace." 
  That's not to say that money isn't at all important — it is necessary to have money to live in the modern world. However, as the saying goes, money isn't everything. 
  Another way to think differently about wealth is to start considering things from other parts of your life as part of your payment from the world. This can mean having access to a safe home, greenspace, nourishing food, and clean air. 
  Work is an integral part of a person's life and livelihood. When work overpowers everything else in one's life, the pursuit of wealth has become unhealthy. 
  If you'd like to start a journey of redefining wealth for yourself but don't know where to start, you can check out the free materials on Hayes' website, and for those trying to make their lives work in untraditional ways, pick up her book, Redefining Rich for inspiration. 

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