I stalked through the forest as quietly as I could. I was on a deer hunting way up north. I stepped over logs and rocks, and I looked for deer watching me through the tree branches. I was alone, exploring my thoughts, and searching for the secret to growing wealth.
I felt submerged in the overgrowth as I walked beneath the tree tops in my blaze orange hunting jacket. I realized money and status didn’t mean anything out here. The qualities that made you a wealthy were the quality of your thoughts running through your mind. Growing wealth, I realized, starts here.
The first step to growing wealth, is growing the thoughts in your mind, I thought. So what’s the next step?
I stopped for a second and I listened to the woods. Birds flew in the sky. Dead leaves hung on the trees. They rustled like whistling ghosts as the wind blew through the branches.
A rainbow of new thoughts glimmered in my mind as I walked. Ideas I hadn’t explored before bubbled up from the abyss of my subconscious into my conscious view.
Wealth, is ultimately an existence where you have the time to explore the thoughts beyond your daily needs of survival. When you have the time to seek the answers your soul dreams about, you have found your path to growing wealth, I thought.
I pushed away a pine-tree branch away from my face. That’s really what I’m after with this blog, I realized. We don’t need piles of money and things to feel wealthy. We need more time to find purpose and execute our unique missions of being alive. That is the true path to growing wealth and happiness, I thought.
Bam. A deer jumped up out of the brush and ran deeper into the forest ahead of me. I tried to get a look at it, but it was gone by the time I looked around the trees.
My heart pounded as the vision of the deer faded. Adrenaline raced through my blood like a natural form of speed. The colors in fall leaves looked like a psychedelic painting as fresh blood oozed into my brain. I had traveled so deeply inside my thoughts on growing wealth, I had missed the deer standing right in front of me.
I stopped and leaned against a tree. The feelings flowing through my body were something money couldn’t buy. Hundreds of miles had been driven to be this far up in northern Minnesota. Thousands of steps had been walked to get here. One way to grow wealth, I realized, is by searching for more unique adventures like this to grow the thoughts in your mind.
The journey find your purpose in life, is a lot like this I thought. Money can’t buy you the adventure to become a wealthy person. You can only grow wealth by investing your time and money into exploring the world and finding yourself.
I walked out to a friend’s deer stand that was hidden deep in the forest to see him.
I whistled when I was close enough to his deer stand so he’d see me. He waved back when he heard my whistle, and I walked to his stand. I’ve known this man my whole life. We’re both in our 30’s now, and we grew up together on hunting and fishing trips like this.
I climbed up into his deer stand and looked out fifteen feet above the forest undergrowth. We immediately started to catch up on how our years has been, and we talked about our wives, homes, and careers like men do.
“How’s your business?” I asked quietly. I watched the trees sway and tried to spot deer in the forest around us.
“I’m at a weird stage in life right now.” He replied. “Our family business is doing better than we’ve ever done. Now we’re trying to plot the course toward our future to make sure our success doesn’t destroy us.”
“That’s a deep thought.” I said, “What do you mean, so the success doesn’t destroy you?”
The trees swayed in the breeze, and he whispered back, “It’s just strange how success happens when you’re not paying attention to it. For the last ten years, I’ve been so focused on executing all the small daily responsibilities, that I lost track of how the big picture of my life was changing all around me.”
He continued, “My career, and our business, is doing better than we ever have before. I didn’t even realize it until we were suddenly here. The think that keeps me nervous and afraid is, I don’t want to become aware of that success. I just have to keep focused on doing the little things right every day. If I do that, in ten years who knows where we’ll be.”
As the wind blew over the trees, I thought about his comment and how it relates to growing wealth.
“It’s kind of funny how each day doesn’t look like much on its own,” he said. “But when you multiply thousands of hours and days together, that time can create a lot of change in your life if you’re focused on making the right decisions every day.”
I looked out at the trees, and I pulled the blaze orange hat down over my ears.
My friend continued talking. “I’m going through a stage in life now where I look at my career and I’m no longer the little grunt I was when I first started out. My dreams are starting to turn into reality, and I see glimpses of them around me every day. I have to be careful not to be satisfied by these glimmers. I have to keep working to get to my true dream life.”
“The only way I’ll be able to get there is if I just stick my head back down into my daily grind of work, and focus on pursuing excellence in each decision I make. This is how you grow your dreams from nothing.”
We heard a branch break in the distance. We stopped talking, and my friend picked up his gun. What was it? Were we going to see a deer? We waited for something to happen, but a squirrel ran around a tree trunk instead.
Our conversation led me to think deeply again about the process of growing wealth. I realized my friend was uncovering the definition of it as he was living his life. Growing wealth, I saw, is a lot like the journey he took to build his career.
You need to make as many good small decisions you can in each day. It won’t look like you’re accomplishing much at first, but as the years pass, and the days add up, all those great, small decisions add up and compound, and eventually you find yourself on an adventure to your dream life you never thought you could reach. This is the secret to growing wealth, I realized.
I looked out at the woods and reflected on my own life. Hundreds of small decisions had added up to bring me to this moment.
First, I had to make the decision to become a creator of my own life, rather than a consumer of opinions how other people thought I should live my life. Growing wealth starts with finding out who you are and what you want out of life. Growing wealth, starts with finding yourself.
Second, you have to realize that money is not evil. It’s an important part of the equation to help you create your dream life. To grow wealth, I had to evaluate everything I spent money on and question what its value was to me. Was it bringing me happiness? Or was it forcing me to lose more of my time working? I decided that if a purchase didn’t bring me incredible value and happiness, I immediately stopped buying it. I started to invest the money I saved.
Third, to quicken the pace of growing wealth, I adopted the mindset as a saver, value-seeker, opportunity-finder, and wealth-builder. I started to see purchases as small as an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s, as a big purchase if I didn’t need it.
Fourth, I started to use my investments as a tool to design my life. I didn’t see money as a purchasing power to consume. I had a mindset shift, and started to see money as having a design and construction power that could change and build dream lives.
As I submerged my life into this mental/money construction zone, I realized I had found the secrets to growing wealth. The truth is that dreams and life passions are ultimately free in life. You only need enough money to build the bridges to your unique dreams to be wealthy.
I was thinking so deeply on the subject of growing wealth, that I forgot I was in a tree-stand deer hunting in Northern Minnesota.
My thoughts were changing shape in my head so rapidly, that I barely heard my friend start to speak again.
“We’re both at a stage we have to be careful.” He said, “You can miss out on alot of important parts of life by staring at the big picture all the time. But all great moments of life, success, and growing wealth, are found in the small decisions that you have to execute each day.”
“If you focus on executing each small decision with excellence, your chances are great that those decisions will compound, and you’ll find yourself naturally moving toward your dream life. Succeeding in all the small things, is really the only way to ever consistently succeed at all the big things and grow wealth.”
“Right,” I said, “You’ll never be able to save $100, until you can discipline yourself to save $10 first.”
“And you can never save $1000, or $10,000, until you can master $100 first. Then when you start investing, that $1000 becomes hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions. At that point, you no longer have to worry about your paycheck. You only have to worry about finding the deep life questions that your soul seeks. Questions like: Who am I? What do I want to become? How can I impact the world? These are the questions a healthy and wealthy mind worries about.
We listened to the woods move for a little longer. Then, a final revelation hit me. “You’re so right.” I said, “When you have the time to find your purpose of life, that’s the perfect definition of wealth for the next generation.”
I let that last thought sink into my brain like it was a coin splashing into a wishing well. Out here in the woods, our wealth wasn’t measured by how many “things” we had at home. Or how fast my car was. Or how many square feet I had in my home. My wealth was measured by the quality of thoughts in my mind.
Growing wealth starts by building a healthy and quality mind.
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