Those who have not found true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth.
I have an embarrassing story to tell:
When I first began my career in the financial services business, managers counseled me to “fake it till you make it.” They advised me that “successful” looking advisors attract more ideal clients. Therefore, I wore custom suites I could not afford and drove a car I could not afford. I used fancy jargon and played the part of the “sophisticated” financial guy. I even had a colleague in the office refer to me as “stuffy Jeff” and was shocked to find, at a company event, that I had a vastly different personality outside the office. I felt like Clark Kent changing my costume. I was a chameleon – changing colors to match the situation or prospective client with whom I was visiting.
I am thankful that with my parents’ teaching and my spiritual grounding I overcame this. For as I was “faking it,” I still believed that if I helped people reach their financial goals, things would work out fine for me.
With time (and a small measure of maturity), I am now convinced that we all have within us what the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins[ii] calls The Immortal Diamond. The American Trappist Monk Thomas Merton referred to it as “Your True Self.” Coming from a different direction, Psychologist Carl Jung also called it the “True Self.” Some call it the Soul or Holy Spirit.
Regardless of what we call it, I have found that a key to a joy filled life is to live as much as we can in alignment with this “true self” and be who we already are. No one ever does this 100% of the time – certainly not me – not even close! However, recognizing that it exists is a good place to start.
To read more about this and more, check out my new book, The Money and Meaning Journey, A Guide to Clarity, Financial Confidence and Joy.
[i]Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (Novato, California: New World Library, 2004). [ii] Gerard Manley Hopkins, That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection, Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Claissics, 1985)