In this essay, we help you deepen your capacity to think about wealth so that you can increase your capacity to build it in order to live a good life throughout your entire life, including 25+ years of old age.
Wealth, which is an abstract and philosophical notion, can be characterized using two distinctions.
The first distinction of Wealth
A refined narrative about one’s domains of human concern,
… and the standards for their care necessary
… to live a good life.
While there can be movement, tasks and procedures in life without much of a narrative, there cannot be practices and skills, or strategies, for producing wealth.
Ultimately, there can be no wealth without the philosophical narratives, practices and skills for building it. Practices and skills to produce wealth require a narrative to constitute the commitments, directions, velocities and focuses necessary to produce it.
Our narrative of wealth is an uncompromising interpretation of the situations required for us to live whatever we consider to be “a good life”. And our narrative to produce wealth must include the threats we need to avoid, obligations we need to fulfill and opportunities we need to exploit in order to produce it.
If we are wealthy, we appreciate every part of our life in the present as being “a good life”. There is no mediocrity in the present.
In addition, we live in the present consistently with producing situations in the future that we would consider to be “a good life”. If we live well in the present and ignore the future, or act in a way to produce bad situations for ourselves in the future, we destroy wealth or thwart our intentions to produce it. After all, who can live a good life in the present when they are looking forward to a future in which they are certain to suffer, fail and die early?
Wealth is the uncompromising interpretations and set of practices that produce a good life now and into the future.
Wealth isn’t easy
So there is no confusion, this interpretation of wealth is harsh, difficult and demanding. Wealth, after all, isn’t easy, free or obvious. It can produce a bad mood if we are not careful. There is no Pollyanna posture in this specification about wealth and what is really required to produce it in order to survive, be free and live a good life.
Not everyone can or will be wealthy. There is no claim in this essay that everyone can be wealthy even if they work really hard. There is nothing simple, obvious or easy about producing wealth. If it were easy, more than a small percentage of the top 1% would be wealthy. If it were easy, baby boomers wouldn’t have spent all their income and equity pretending to be rich when they were really broke. (They were and are broke because they have little or no assets on their balance sheet.)
This essay is an exploration of the distinction of wealth. While competition is getting increasingly challenging, there are more possibilities for individuals and families to be wealthy than ever before in human history.
The second distinction of Wealth
A refined set of practices for producing situations throughout our lives,
… that avoid threats, fulfill obligations and exploit opportunities
… required to survive, be free and live a good life
… in the present and throughout our futures.
As we continue to refine our narrative about our concerns for living a good life, we also need sufficient capacity to produce the whole array of situations we anticipate in the future needed to survive, be free and to live a good life.
When we have a refined narrative, as well as a refined set of practices for living a good life for every moment of our life, we say we are wealthy.
Some people appear to have “moments of wealth” or “nests of wealth”.
They live what is for them a “bad” life except, for example, on Friday nights when they go to the movies.
They work with people they don’t like. Their homes are a mess. Their marriages are mediocre. Their children are drifting in life while they watch three hours of television a night. Their friends are shallow. They are constantly gripped by the “wants” produced by marketing people. They have bills they can’t pay and they have no way out.
But, on Friday nights at the movies, they are wealthy.
In The Aji Network’s discourse, we are clear that wealth is a total way of living in a refined narrative of concerns about life, developing practices and skills that are powerful, pragmatic and existentially sound, with a peaceful acceptance of our finitude, and in wonder and appreciation for the mystery of life we will never know.
To learn how we help businesspeople produce wealth, visit us at https://www.aji.com or…
Read the preview of “Aji”, an IR#4 Business Philosophy, Toby Hecht’s upcoming book.