post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Reasons You Are Rich


 To them you are rich

Even in times of financial uncertainty, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
- Henry David Thoreau

  1. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
  2. You didn’t go to sleep outside.
  3. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
  4. You hardly broke a sweat today.
  5. You didn’t spend a minute in fear.
  6. You have access to clean drinking water.
  7. You have access to medical care.
  8. You have access to the Internet.
  9. You can read.
  10. You have the right to vote.

Some might say you are rich, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Photo by: Carfe

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95 Comments

  • Brilliant!

  • That is so right. People tend to think they are poor in my hometown when in fact they are far from poor.

  • thanks again for a great post, i was feeling grumpy this morning and reading this changed my mood… ^^/

  • There are many things to be grateful for. When we choose to honor and remember them, we will experience wealth!

  • How true! Taking just two minutes each morning and each evening to be grateful for ten things can change your entire outlook on life. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Thank you for the list; yest I do feel “blessed” after reading this. Very humbling and puts my current struggles in perspective. (Need to get that load of “stuff” off to charity.)

  • This is a nice little article Marc. I was reminded last week that how we define words - eg “success” or “rich” - can have a big impact on our lives, particularly when it comes to how happy we are. This article is another great reminder.

  • and the #1 reason (for me), I am able to spend time with my precious grandchildren - and my life is blessed because of it :)

  • I strongly believe that so much of our personal struggle is perspective based.

    I enjoyed your simple, yet clearly thoughtful list. Thanks for sharing it with us. :-) Eric.

  • Amazing that we take all of these things for granted. I count myself rich on the days I don’t worry about money. Funny how that looms so large on our horizon! G.

  • thanks for the reminders. It is so important to be grateful for what we have.

  • Sometimes it is the little things that we need to be grateful for.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  • Wow… it is easy to lose sight of things when we get wrapped up in our own world and our own problems. Life is so easy for most of us. In fact, I went to bed with a stomach ache last night because I ate too much. And I complained about it. It is pathetic. Thanks for the reminder to put things in perspective and realize that we have it so easy.

    - Jack Rugile
    Simple Sapien

  • i complained always not being rich but totally your right. I’m rich! should be grateful of what i have.. tnx

  • Amen! And there are so many more things that could be put on the list. This was a great reminder - thank you!

  • @All: Thanks for all the kind remarks and additions. At times we become so overly consumed with the things we don’t have that we fail to appreciate all the true gifts in our lives. Writing this short article served as a reminder for me as well. ;-)

  • Too bad being rich is more of a relative thing. Even people in Africa have things to be thankful for that they take for granted. There are people in the world with less money than the average American person but experience the power and respect of someone who is a millionaire there. It’s all relative.

  • I printed this and put it on my fridge to remind me to stop complaining when my son has once again left the empty milk jug in there.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 10 Reason why they are poor!!!!

    1: Too religious
    2: Western countries sucking their blood..
    3:So called international laws, requires them to sell their products for pennies
    4: So called intelligent agencies creating incidents, so that they fight eachother
    5: Humanitarian aids reaches to them by less than half what actually it is
    6: We want to wear new clothes
    7: We like doner kebabs after binge drinking
    8: Our free world is sucking our blood, and enslaving us by putting us on debt
    9: Elite people believe that the world population should be around 300 Million
    10: If you don’t believe what I say, go and find out your self, by watching Zeitgeist…

    Then you will know, why they are actually poor, and why they make you think that you are RICH(?!?!?!)

  • Its completely ridiculous to compare the economic state of one country and its citizens to another, which is what you have done here.

    For example, in Zimbabwe, inflation is at 231 million percent. This means that even if you’re one of the richest persons in your country, you couldnt afford to buy anything there and would be just as poor as your fellow citizens.

    You can only compare your wealth to others living in the same financial environment as yourself. Poverty exists in every country worldwide, including your own.

  • This is so very true. Thanks for posting this and reminding people of what they have…especially for this holiday season when people will be buying less.

  • Simple but on the spot. Great post

  • Nice try at the guilt trip, but no one controls where they are born, I am gratefull I was born in a developed country, but I dont buy into the culture of beating myself up, over something I have no control over.

    How about you spend your host costs for this website, on helping out the less fortunate, instead of spreading bad vibes to everyone?

    And now for your ‘points’;

    1. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.

    How do you know? - Assumptions.

    2. You didn’t go to sleep outside.

    How do you know?, I could be living on the street and reading this on a library computer.

    3. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.

    Actually no I didnt, since I cannot aford to buy many clothes.

    4. You hardly broke a sweat today.

    Actually yes I did, since I excercise.

    5. You didn’t spend a minute in fear.

    Actually I am fearfull every day, since I suffer from depression and anxiety.

    6. You have access to clean drinking water.

    So does alot of the 3rd world, and I give what I can to christian aid in helping dig wells where they do not.

    7. You have access to medical care.

    The NHS in this country resulted in me losing my hearing, and is piss poor overall. And in fact, the medical establishment is well reported in causing more deaths (through mistakes) than many leading diseases.

    9. You can read.

    Yes I can read, but for a long time I could not, since I have dyslexia, but taught myself to overcome it.

    10. You have the right to vote.

    If you call the option of picking between two liars who you despise equally, then I suppose this is true.

    So in essence, please stop portraying other people of the world as ‘victimes’ it is this mentality that holds them back.

    Ciao.

  • amazing post! simply amazing! that sure did put things into perspective!!!

  • if you go camping though you only retain #9 and #10

  • how bout #11. Your reading this

  • Not only did I have the choice of what to wear, but I had a CHOICE period. I think we all tend to take that for granted sometimes.

  • I didn’t have 3, 4, 5, or 8 today.

    It was an off day.

  • One should believe they are rich even if they don’t meet that criteria. If one looks for riches in those things, it will never, truly, be found. [Though I understand the point that is trying to be made - it doesn’t change the aforementioned.]

  • You had me all the way, up until #10. There is no such thing as a right to vote, at least in the USA.

  • - Nobody’s bombing your village.
    - You can expect to outlive your children.
    - Nobody in your family has been “disappeared”.

  • This is quite true. Everyone is moaning about credit crunch. However about those third world country citizens who’s crying and hunger for foods every single day. Let’s soul search ourself and think what went wrong with us…

  • Cool post, but 5, 6, and 7 really aren’t as realistic as you think for the majority of Americans. My friend can’t get healthcare insurance right now because of a condition she had in the past. Most Americans do have access to healthcare, but they can’t use it. As for water, I have not drank from the tap, ever, in Los Angeles. The water is too dirty. And as for living in fear, are you kidding me? We’re all terrified.

    But we live better than something like 90% of the world’s population. So you’re right - we do have a lot to be grateful for. If only we weren’t so lazy, fat and stupid. :)

  • And even those of us who only have most of those (9 are true for me… well, technically 8 but that’s only because it’s laundry day!) are richer than the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. It helps, sometimes to keep that in mind.

    Other times, it’s just appropriate to let myself feel self-pity for a few hours and then give myself a metaphorical kick up the rear and keep on keeping on. Thanks for the reminder,

    Ricky

  • Thanks for such an interesting post. It made me think.

  • @Voice of Reason: You’re right. Being rich is all relative. That’s the whole point of this article. ;-)

    @Divers: That’s a pretty negative outlook, but there’s truth in your claims. Greed certainly acts as a prime force in our world economy.

    @Will: You’re missing my point. I’m not suggesting that the rich people of Zimbabwe are truly rich. I’m suggesting that YOU are rich in comparison to most of them.

    @Kris: Sorry to hear about your personal problems. I hope you feel better.

    @Ola: You’re right. No one principle fits everyone. The point is to be grateful for the things you do have… the things others wish they had.

    @Everyone else: Thanks for the kind words and insightful comments.

  • I live in South Africa and whenever I am feeling self pity I only have to look across the valley and see people who live in absolute poverty to remember that I have so much to be grateful for.

  • This is a beautiful little article Marc. And there are so many more things that could be put on this list. This was an incredible reminder… thank you!

  • It’s easy to forget these things isn’t it.. true, there’s a lot more that could be added, but this short list is all you need to realize that. And that realization is the important part.

  • […] pointed out 10 ways that we are already rich. This would be a great read around the Thanksgiving […]

  • […] 10 Reasons You are Rich from Marc and Angel Hack Life. […]

  • […] why everyone I know here the States is rich. November 9, 2008 — habisch Thanks to Marc and Angel for posting this on their […]

  • Wow, we all need to be reminded of this to remain grateful.

  • […] So what are your skills? Drop into the comments and share! (I’m secretly hoping to find a few new things to learn to make life even simpler…) And if you need some inspiration, you might want to check out a few posts from The Life Skills Network: An Overlooked Way to Save Energy in Your Home 9 Tips for Taking Great Family Portraits 14 Steps to Prepare for Holiday Shopping Living Frugal with Other People’s Money 20 Ways to Stretch Yourself Beyond Your Comfort Zone 10 Reasons You Are Rich […]

  • Short and to the point. One of the greatest principles of wealth is first being grateful for what you have. Why would you ever be given more if you don’t appreciate what you already have!

    Thanks for the post! I just followed you on Twitter as well. Looking forward to it!

  • 11. I have a job.

  • I tend not to try and make myself feel better by comparing my life to the misfortunes of others.

  • It’s my wish that everyone in this country be required to travel overseas for a period of time in their lives. We’re spoiled rotten and because we have no perspective outside our “perfect” world, all most of us do is sit in front of the TV and complain! Simple things like ice in a drink are taken for granted here, while everywhere else in the world they are considered a luxury.

  • Actually, 70% of Americans don’t currently have a dental plan. But we are working on correcting that. Great article.

  • This sounds nice, but actually I disagree. We all live in our own perspective and in that perspective we have our own measure of heaven and hell. It is simply not comparable to make our pain go away by looking at what someone has or does not have. The truth is..having met many people like this..they are generally happier than those of us who are educated and living in ‘western’ conditions. I believe everyone’s perspective is valid and we shouldn’t negate our situation by trying to think we have life so much better than someone else. After all, it is all in our mind and our own pain is just as real as anybody else’s.

  • Thanks for that! It really made me think. I tend to think of myself as poor, when I really shouldn’t, because we’re all really pretty far from it.

    Thanks again.

  • I lose eight of those when I go camping.

  • i go camping! i’d prefer not to have a home and just one pair of clothes and to break a sweat everyday and go to sleep hungry. those are our basic rights that have been taken away from us. take the weight of the modern world off your shoulders and learn to really survive!

  • […] a tip of the topper to Marc and Angel Hack Life for the topic idea) Rate this: 3.2SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “You are already rich if …”, […]

  • I love it short and to the point, but so true.

  • Some silly 18 year old- Lee
    January 28th, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Is wealth not written as part of our faith? Are we able to pick the fate of our lives? Is it an option we have to choose where we are born or brought up? Is it not written in our destiny that someone will become rich and famous who grew up dirt poor with absolutely nothing in the Slumps of India?
    These continue to live in poverty because they’re parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, had absolutely nothing. Statistics would favor that they are most likely to have nothing as well. Just as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. A dirt poor African mother will give birth to a dirt poor African baby. The cycle is perpetual and never ends.
    Anyways, isn’t it wrong to compare? My mother always taught me not to compare myself to others. If people would focus on their own financial status’ instead of others, there would be much more happiness in the world. The race for originality and success would end. Lower class people wouldn’t feel a ‘must’ to go to an expensive prestige college so they can become more successful than everyone around them and later on end up in more debt to pay off college expenses. Upper class people wouldn’t feel a ‘must’ to continuously buy more and more materials and consume the worlds resources. Jealousy and comparison of others are what lead to this battle of intellectual crises.
    Wealth is determined on influence by environment and culture. If a homeless American citizen lives on his unkempt mattress and blanket under a bridge in Los Angeles, is he really wealthy compared to a poor African person who lives in a small 5 foot wide shack built of branches and scrap metal and eats a small bowl of food once a day? Wealth is relative to your environment. Many people are experiencing foreclosures and devastating results to this recession. Many families who once used to have a good supporting job with a nice car and house, are now homeless and can barely feed their families. Are these people also wealthy simply because they don’t live in a 3rd world country? Everywhere around the world there is poverty in all shapes and sizes. It cannot be compared as better or worse than other poverty, because a) that would completely contradict the definition of poverty and b) both suffer from lack of needed resources.
    People need not to be grateful for their social-economic status or how much they can afford or make. They need to appreciate that they are given a shot at life again another day. People are rich and people are poor for different factors that establish who they are or where they come from. What if we could all appreciate that we are given a chance of being alive in the first place?
    Instead of writing articles, traveling to Africa to make a documentary of the life incorporated with poverty. Why not take action instead? People in the United States understand that there are 3rd world countries out there that have nothing in comparison of what the average demographic in the U.S. They watch videos and read blogs and feel sorrow for these people. Why not take action and find something useful to help the whole situation, instead of wasting time explaining a problem that has been analyzed for years.
    These people are victims and if you think about it, so we are- to this game called life. It portrays good and bad. Life is tough and for some, tougher than others. But it is all part of a game we have been tested to play.
    Money and power can be worthless if people show that it has meaningless influence over them. Just like in the book “Lord of the Flies,” when power, authority, and a value are brought forth, people have more of a reason to be envious and unhappy. Before the power of the ‘conch’ (money) was incorporated, life was at ease. All characters in the story lived in peace. But when this symbol for money was created, everything became corrupt as it gave people the opportunity to ’speak’ (have more power and authority/jurisdiction over others). Poverty comes from corruption- corruption comes from power and authority- power and authority come from money; if money serves as less of an importance, every crisis or issue in the world could be ’soothed.’ But we all know money is what makes the world go round ;). So odds of something like this (money have less dependence) are practically at zero.
    Problems in 3rd world countries such as these must be recognized by the entire world before a positive difference can be made.

  • Thanks for this wise reasons.True, poverty is in the minds of men. Man is equally created, both rich and poor has 24 hours everyday to spend wisely. In fact, even the rich becomes poor if he were not able to use his time/day wisely. There is much more poverty than silver and gold, in fact, a lot of rich people are more troubled, insomiac, uneasy,weak and tormented. Because their money cannot buy peace, joy, love, concern and real friends. That’s why Bill Gates and Waren Buffet are now busy doing charity after discovering a real and worthy capitalism. At least they made it. That is a real prosperity, a passion for the souls. My friend at kamja has a more in-depth reasons why man is living a life more abundantly and how to sustain this life with true richness.

  • thanks for reminding me, this is beautiful article … simple, but so true

  • Yes love all of them. Sometimes we really do need to think differently about riches. I have met some really poor people who had no idea they where poor, because they saw what was good in their lives and gave thanks.

    Nick

  • Dear Marc, it’s very moving to read this post. I have translated it in Hindi. See it here http://zen-katha.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_6261.html I always give you credit of the post. I have also placed a link to your website on my blog.

  • It’s more like signs than reasons…Great Post tho :D

  • You are so right. Thank you so much for sharing this message because we forget in our own financial struggles to achieve higher levels, that we already have so much to be grateful for… and that we are indeed rich to begin with. I look forward to more posts!

  • good point there.
    but i believe there are a lot more than just 10.
    nice post.

  • I know I am indeed rich compared to many in the world, however your list is flawed. Many people do NOT have access to medical care except during major emergencies. I for one do not have any medical care due to lack of ability to pay for medical care and not qualifying for anything.

    Good post though.

  • Perfectly agree .. Ppl mistakenly think they will be rich one day when they will have so and so possessions and bank balance.. the truth is u are rich here and now. I too wrote a post recently on the same topic when one of my friends had read “rich dad,poor dad” and went crazy about money. Here is the link :
    http://zencontrol.net/2009/06/some-truths-about-money/

  • Wow… and I take so much for granted!

  • You are such a blessing! Thank you for reminding us, an international internet community of how rich we truly are.. There are so many people looking at how to make more money online, and yet, when we come across your blog.. it’s like a slap in the face.. a wake up call! Gratitude is such an awesome feeling and I really appreciate your reminder. “Rich” is only relative, but yet abundance is all around us!

    Thank you again for such a profound post!
    ~MD

  • So short and simple but yet there’s so much meaning behind it . Just goes to show that we should be thankful for what we have because there are others who are wishing for what we have right now. Thanks!

  • I think the point is that if some of these 10 reasons can be aplyed to you then you probably have a good startpoint for living a beautiful life. You don’t need to waste your time wishing you are rich.

  • That’s Awesome :)

  • I believe, there are lots more than 10. If your heart full of love then also you are rich. Thanks for sharing this nice post. :)

  • I am embarrassed to say all ten apply and yet sometimes I feel something is missing. We think such blessings as trivial when they are the gold at the foundations of our lives. For all the dreams we chase it’s the ones right under our nose we are never awake enough to honour. Consider me reminded, Thank You

  • Not all of us are so lucky.

    >1. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
    -Actually, I often go to sleep hungry.

    >4. You hardly broke a sweat today.
    -True, but only since I lost my job. When I was working, I always came home barely able to stand, and collapsed in bed. I had no time or energy to do anything other than eat, shower, and sleep. Maybe a little bit of reading. Then, at 5am, it was time to wake up, an it would start all over again.

    >5. You didn’t spend a minute in fear.
    -I spent years living with an abusive parent, and much of that time was spent being afraid.

    >6. You have access to clean drinking water.
    -I do now. At my previous residence, there was something wrong with the pipes, and the water stank and made me throw up. No one cared.

    >7. You have access to medical care.
    -I have a doctor. I tell her about my joint pain, and she says there’s nothing she can do. When she does give me a prescription for something, I often can’t afford it.

    >8. You have access to the Internet.
    -I do now. Again, this is something I didn’t have (except in school) for many years.

  • I believe having access to the internet means we are wholly rich. Many people in the Third World don’t have access to good technology.

  • Loved the list………Think twice before you complain…despite having these basic listed luxuries, people still crave for more and more…

    I’m 19, and I find it really pathetic when my peers complain about not getting that ‘car’ or having x amount of money or how life “sux”….

    Appreciate Life…..
    Thankyou God!

  • Hello Marc,
    Nice thought. But, I don’t agree with point 10. Everyone has right to cast vote. It should be like “you have right to choose right people” or “You have the right to vote for right person”

  • I could only check off 7 of those things, but I still feel not only rich, but blessed.

  • I would add not being in bodily/physical pain and

    Not facing discrimination of some sort or the other, not being in a mental turmoil for being judged or ridiculed for who you are.. for example gay, lesbian etc. or for speaking out for what you believe in, what you hold to be true in your heart… … though maybe that’s covered by living in fear….

    For the ones who are lucky to be not facing the two that is.. i’m sure each of us is facing one or more difficulties in our lives.. maybe some have been listed here, some are not. Still there is much to be grateful for at the end.

    I was feeling very low for a good part of the last 2 weeks, coz i had to quit a job i had gone into with a lot of aspirations but it didnt work out. … and then i realized i have parents who have let me come home, who are giving me every kind of moral and financial support and who are with me in my pursuit of fulfillment in life.

    I think i am blessed. I think if we have parents in the first place, and secondly parents who care as much as mine do, we are very, very blessed.

    I’m feel blessed not because i’m better off than somebody in this regard, but because i know its something i have received without even asking for.

    Life can be very depressive if we focus on all that’s gone wrong, that’s not so great, that’s downright pathetic about our lives. But do you really want one of your limited and numbered days on earth to go in lambasting your fate, your self, or your circumstances over it ? Ultimately each day, each hour is an irrecoverable part of the fixed span of time we are getting on earth. I want my batting average to indicate i spent most of my life on a positive note - feeling confident about who i am, and positively affirming myself through difficult, even somewhat hopeless, times. Ultimately life is not about never blowing it up, or never seeing a fire burn down all you’ve got, loved , built or desired - its about being able to take it, and still not lose the belief that yes, you can have it all over again, in a better way than before. And it was all for good. Your good. And who knows, perhaps universal good.

  • AnarchoRationalist
    October 24th, 2010 at 5:09 am

    I agree with all of those except number 10 “the right to vote” which has proven altogether irrelevant to my quality of life.

  • Great perspective! Just what I need to read today. Thank you! :o)

  • Pretty much what AnarchoRationalist said. 10 definitely needs to be something else. Having the right to vote means nothing to me. The list is solid otherwise.

  • I needed this today. Thanks again!!

  • Congrats for the post! I took the right to translate this post to Spanish in my blog, I hope you are okay with this.

  • Wow. One only needs to read this post and could potentially do lots of wonders and some might even re-consider taking their lives. You see,it’s the little things we have that we often take for granted.

    Here’s what I would always tell myself:

    Focusing on what you lack leaves you bitter.
    Focusing on what you have makes you feel better.

  • I really liked this post; short and sweet.
    I discussed this article on a recent post that I made on my own blog about volunteering to help starving children in 3rd world countries.

    The link to the post is:
    http://www.thelistlife.com/855/a-million-meals-with-northridge-church/

  • Well, it’s true that we should have a good perspective of our (and I am not american and from one of the “poorest” 1st world countries) position in the world. As I said, even if I live in one of the poorest 1s world country, and belong to its middle-class I am sure that I am one the 5%-10% richest people in the world. That should make one think about their inherent luck.
    But, as others wrote, we also live within our own borders (our country, our city, our neighborhood) and we may consider ourselves poor when comparing to those smaller universes - not my case, I suppose, and I am grateful for that. If I didn’t have a car, or I had difficulty paying for its lease, if my house had two rooms or less, or if I was late in my payments, and so on… I could consider myself poor …

  • Am so glad ive found your blogs..
    They sure help me in so many ways.
    Keeping me inspired everyday.

    I print my favorite posts here and paste it on my
    journal(which i bring everyday). And I make it a point that i do at least one thing that i read from here each day and document it in my journal.

    Thank you for always reminding me that Life is indeed beautiful and worth living for.

    You are in my prayers.

    God bless you two!..More power..

    Sincerely,
    Jeng
    Philippines

  • Such a well stated article. No need to mince words when you cut it so dry.

    The freedoms that many I enjoy here in America are many, and I imagine I take some for granted. Freedoms aren’t free though, as the saying goes.

    Now more than ever it seems as though we need more intellectual thinkers to solve this dilema of rampant abuse of political powers.

    Governments were never intended to be used as a source of company and individual handouts. Nor was it made to oppress the creativity and ability of people to make exchanges by imposing ridiculous taxes and fees.

    The question we face now is, will you learn what the proper role of government is and stand against its misuse? Will you do your part and educate others?

    The other problem we face is that of incorrect financial education. Most people think money is real, and that its a scarce resource. Most people never ask what it is or how its made.

    Those that do are the ones that become the producers in the world. Producers are the ones that create jobs, not governments. Its the creativity and ingenuity of the individual that the governments should be protecting. Allow people to create value and this whole mess would be fixed.

  • AlHumdella , we should be grateful of what we already have .. some ppl have nothing !

  • What a reminder!

    Thank you
    Tirsit

  • A well said advice to remind us to see first what we already have instead of envying our neighbors expensive stuff in their garage….. I am truly rich and blessed!!!!

  • Thanks. I’m making a film about this and you short inspiring article here really helps.

  • Beautiful! Thank you!

  • Heard someone say that if you have a bathroom with running water, and a car, you are in the top 3% of the wealthiest people on the planet. Your post is profound, and we should be thankful for all that we have.

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 - no
    8, 9 - yes
    so am i poor or rich?

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