How To Be Rich And Happy

Photo: Gigi Cooper

That’s the title of my new favorite book.

Hokey, right? You’re probably thinking, what is this? Has she become some sort of online scam artist?

We live in a world of gimmicks and rip-offs. And so we’ve all become a bit jaded and cynical. If I came across that title while I was browsing the shelves of my favorite bookstore I would likely skim right past it, maybe giving a little internal snort.

Now that I’ve read it (in Ebook form), I’ve ordered three hard copies – one for myself to reference and mark up, and one to give to each daughter.

That’s how much this little tome with the cheesy title impacted me.

Despite the title, the book is not about getting rich quick, or some sort of instant happy pill. It’s an exploration of what it is exactly that causes some people love their lives and experience success and financial abundance, and others to struggle and feel miserable.

What’s the difference between these two people? And is there something we can cultivate so we experience the former, rather than the latter?

I found How To Be Rich and Happy via the newsletter of Tim Brownson – a coach and blogger whose writings have entertained and inspired me.

One day , while reading his blog, I saw that Tim had cowritten a book, a manual for life so to speak, with his friend, author John P. Strelecky. He was offering the Ebook version on special that day.

Normally I would have thought, sure – maybe I’ll pick up that book some day. Sounds like a good one.

But since it was available as an Ebook and on special that day, I acted on my impulse and clicked the “Buy Now” button.

This was just hours before I was taking off on a two-week vacation. So I uploaded the book to my iPhone, thinking it might make for some interesting diversion on the plane.

At first glance, the book seemed to offer a nice review of insights that I’ve already learned, but never seem to quite implement. Since the two guys are entertaining writers I figured, well it never hurts to take in this information again. Maybe eventually something will stick and I can make a shift.

I’m talking about the tenets of what some call the Law of Attraction, and others call Creative Visualization. Nothing new here.

We create our realities in each moment by the thoughts we think about ourselves and the world.

Obviously, it’s not quite so simplistic – which is why LOA has been the butt of so much scorn and criticism. We need to go a little deeper than just “change your thoughts.”

I started reading How To Be Rich and Happy on the plane, wondering if I would just whiz through the whole thing during the 5-hour flight. Within a few pages I realized there’s a lot more here than a reprise all those things I already know.

This was taking it to a whole new level.

A few chapters in I realized, oh, and there’s exercises.

Damn! My usual inclination in this circumstance is to just keep on reading and get back to the exercises later. (Which of course rarely happens. Which is probably why so many of those desired shifts in behavior have eluded me.)

But this time was different. I sensed something powerful here, perhaps I could carve out some moments to actually do these exercises. (There’s really not that many of them in this book.)

Okay, so maybe I cheated a little and snuck a peek at some more chapters before pulling out my notebook.

The book just grabbed me, seeming to arrive at the perfect time for me to receive its message.

I found myself carrying my phone into the bathroom and squinting at the pages in all sorts of odd places. A funny way to consume information, but it worked.

The first exercise was about values.

I’d already done some work on identifying my core values in the past few months. But I liked the way Tim and John set out a system to prioritize those top values, and that they gave a step-by-step formula for identifying what they call ‘anti-values.’

The idea being that we want to choose actions that move us toward our values and away from our anti-values.

How is it that I spent five decades on this Earth without ever articulating what’s important to me in the form of values?

Maybe I got turned off to the word “values” at an early age by pontificating authority figures who tried to shove organized religion and conventional rule-following down my throat.

Whatever the reason, I come to this work a little late – but maybe it’s just in time.

It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking about all the things that aren’t going right in our lives – what we haven’t been able to manifest, all those missing elements.

I got some good news while reading this book: I’m actually logging quite a few “Rich and Happy Minutes.”

What are those, you ask? Well, you’ll have to check out the book to find out. Just know that we’d all do well to actually schedule some into our day.

I also realized that I usually do pretty well in the ‘glass half full department.’ Tim & John lay out some pretty interesting statistics on optimism versus pessimism. Sometimes being “realistic” equals allowing fear and pessimism to take over.

In fact one great chapter is titled “Realism is for Accountants.”

I love the true stories in this book – accounts of actual people that moved from being dissatisfied and resigned to the proverbial ‘life of quiet desperation’ to living a dream they could have barely visualized before.

All through following this Rich & Happy Formula.

(By the way, these people discovered this formula on their own – they didn’t reach success by reading this book or anything, they’re just examples of how these essential tenets can make magic. Tim and John set out to identify and explain the components to a joyful and abundant life. What they call the “Rich and Happy Formula.”)

Another chapter that hit me hard is “Fail, Fail Fast, and Fail Often.” Huh? More on that in another post.

And then there was, “Do Less and Get More.” Now that’s a topic I need to revisit again and again!

It’s funny because as I said, a lot of this stuff isn’t breaking news. It’s just that somehow this distilling it all into a ‘formula’  takes it all into the practical decision-making realm.

Plus it helped me to embrace (and be grateful for) how Rich and Happy I already am!

We all know that happiness isn’t about money. There’s even a study cited in the book that shows that once people rise above poverty level, their income level has no correlation with their happiness.

According to Tim and John, “Rich and Happy is the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want.”

And so, money is just a vehicle.

The real work comes with identifying what those ‘wants’ are, and why.

This book is about what you want to do with your time on the planet – and how you can get doing it.

It’s a fun-to-read road map – and that’s why I gave a copy to both my daughters. I sure wish I’d had a map like that when I was in my 20’s.

If this sounds like something you want to check out, you can find out more about How To Be Rich and Happy (and get your own copy) here.

PS:  I dug this book so much that decided to become an ‘affiliate.’ That means if you do buy it through this link you are helping me in my rich and happy quest! (Which supports all these blogging endeavors.)

Leave a reply