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Family with boy putting money in piggy bank

Expanding the Definition of Wealth

What Is Wealth?

Is a family “wealthy” if they have millions of dollars, yet the parents are divorced, members have mental health issues, and the children are being used as pawns in the divorce? Is a family wealthy that just lives off income from a past ancestor, yet has no friends or abilities to contribute to society? Is a woman wealthy if she wanted children but waited until her career was stable, only to find out her body was no longer able to have children? Is a fifty-year-old man wealthy if he has millions in retirement but is miserable without a wife or children? I’ve known people in each of these situations, and they would all trade the money for the relationships, as would I. Financial resources are an essential part of wealth, but so are social and human resources. Virtually every financial rich person spends money on their health (human) and their family and friends (social), because they realize that money is a piece of wealth but not everything.

Wealth in the Fundamental Family System is more holistic than only financial resources. Financial wealth would include financial security and freedom, including being able to choose what you do and where you live. Social wealth would include good relationships with your spouse, children, friends, groups, and community. Human wealth would include having great abilities, being in good health, and using your time effectively.

I didn’t grow up wealthy in the traditional sense, but I feel extremely wealthy as I watch richer friends' parents divorce, friends commit suicide from mental health issues, and people unable to function because of physical health issues. Societally, we shifted primarily to investing to make money (financial) so we are “richer,” but the lack of social and human investment has caused increases in suicides, drug usage, divorce, failing communities, homelessness, and mental health issues. If we don’t make money, we can’t survive, but if we don’t invest in social and human resources, we will be sick, miserable, and lonely. What I have experienced and what an examination of successful people shows is that a holistic business model produces much better results for you and your family. There is no business model that works for every family, just as there is no business model that works for every business. However, if you understand the Fundamental Family System, you’ll be able to make good changes to your business model as you go through life and create your own family flywheel of success. Your family flywheel would include financial resources that produce more resources, social resources including friends and community that help you improve your business model and get access to more resources, and human resources like good time management, good health and skills that other people want and need.

I want my family to be holistically wealthy. I also want your family to be holistically wealthy. The better our families are, the better our communities will be. The better our communities are, the better our countries will be. The better our countries are, the better our world will be. We can do it one family at a time.