With the increasing use of social media and with so much data being available in front of us, it often is very hard to ignore the pieces of information regarding how different people chose to live or how they chose to spend their money. Although some of these posts may be an over exaggeration of reality, some are not. And with so much transparency about how much people earn globally it became easier to compare our lives with what is included in our news feeds and/or our Instagram or twitter accounts.
The question though is how do we use this information? What do we usually look at when we see data about money that other people have or don’t have for that matter? Are these posts merely posts or do we use them as a metric to measure our own success, our goals, our dreams? Do we compare how wealthy we are by how much money we are making?
The problem with using money as the only measurement for wealth is that it can lead to financial stress. Needing to make a specific amount of money to measure how successful we are can lead to bigger psychological problems. It can lead to depression, demotivation at work, domestic instability etc. People may worry about money and about how they manage their finances because they are the sole bread-winners in the family or because they feel the pressure of having to measure up against others who have more money. Regardless of the reason, using money as the only measure to wealth may lead to disappointment when reality does not meet expectations.
It is therefore important to make sure that we have a more comprehensive definition of wealth. Wealth is not only how much money we make but also how many of our values do we meet every day. If family and relationships form an important part of our values then these need to be included in our definition for wealth. If service in the community is an important value then how we contribute to our society and community should also be a metric. The key is finding a wider definition that includes every aspect important to us in the definition of wealth. Then it may become easier to cope with financial stress. Then we may be able to call ourselves wealthy regardless of how much money is in our bank accounts.