• Deborah A Allen

Are you rich and successful?

Success and riches.

What is the first and how do we define the second?

Some people, in fact the majority of people have been conditioned to believe that the two are more or less inseparable, if you are successful you will be rich, likewise if you are rich you must be successful.


What is success? Well according to the dictionary one meaning is ‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ So, if I set out to eat a whole apple pie and I do it I have been successful. I would also most likely be sick but that’s not really the point. I would have succeeded in my aim.

I like to think that I am successful, I have set myself goals in life and I have set about achieving them therefore by definition I am successful.

Rich is slightly different; the dictionary talks of material wealth, of having money and assets.

But is that all it means?

It seems these days that unless a person can show a material wealth they are not valued, and unless they have achieved the material things they are not considered successful, yet if we are asked what we value in a friend or partner most people will talk about personality, love, trust and happiness.

Things that are nothing to do with wealth or material success.

If we add two little letters to the word rich and make it enrich we have a whole different meaning and one we can all identify with because the dictionary defines enrich as; to endow with fine or desirable qualities, to make more beautiful; adorn; decorate, to improve in quality, colour, flavour, etc.

So, if like me you don’t have a bulging bag of money under your mattress and you don’t have a bank account that looks like that of a lottery winner then maybe like me you have things that enrich your life and make it beautiful.

I think top of the list must be love…

In my humble opinion if you are loved you are rich. Because love is a gift that keeps giving, it isn’t defined by how it shines or by its monetary value but it is one of the most precious things we can have and a wonderful gift to give. I know I am loved and I hope those nearest to me know how much I love them.

After that I think we can decide for ourselves what enriches our lives and makes us feel truly good inside. For me that is often my surroundings, I am lucky enough to live in a very pretty part of the world and I am aware of just how lucky, how rich that makes me when I walk with my dog in the early morning and watch the sun rise.

Or when I look out and see green fields stretching to the horizon, when I look up at night and see the moon and the stars twinkling in the night sky brighter than any jewel. These small things enrich my life beyond measure.

Books, I love my old paper books, a lot of them were my father's and they remind me of him. The smell of each one differs slightly depending on its age and the quality of the paper that was used, the typefaces differ slightly and the weight of them in my hand is comforting, not too light and not too heavy. I have read most of them so often that they are old friends sharing a well-known but enjoyable story. Yet just holding them makes me happy and content.

So, take a step back, when you hear the words Rich and Successful, don’t think of money, big houses, yachts or fancy jewels.

Think did I achieve my goal? If you did then you are a success.

Think, am I rich by recognising the things that enrich my life? Only you know that, but I would hope that if nothing else you all have that number one item on the list, love and I hope that if you are loved that you also love back.

Enrich your world, with the little things, be successful and be rich, take those words away from money and material gain and make them yours.

Be rich, be successful, be loved, be happy...

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