Today, me and the girlfriend went for a nice bike ride to take advantage of the gradually improving weather and get some exercise! Ok, I’ll admit that the weather actually wasn’t that great; it was a little chilly, but it still felt good to get out there and move about.
Some of my recent posts have been about learning how to build savings and habits to build that will help you get started. As we were on our bike ride, I was thinking that financial capital isn’t the only capital that we work with and build through our lives. There are other kinds of capital as well, like our relationships and our physical health. Our network of friends, the relationships that we have… this is our social capital. There is the physical shape we are in and the mental sharpness of our minds which represents our health capital.
The same concepts and ideas that help us grow our financial capital can also help to grow our social and physical capital. The ideas of savings and debt… that we can spend a dollar today, or put it away to create more dollars tomorrow, apply as well. Want to see how? Well let’s take a look:
When it comes to social capital and friendships, you have to invest your time wisely in choosing the right people to hang out with; people that can broaden your life. However, you also have to give something back to the people in your relationships, in order for the relationship to be mutually beneficial and not parasitical. If you just take and take… i.e. just spend what your friends are offering you without investing something in return, then the relationship will not work out. Wealth Pilgrim has an interesting post on how learning to network with people can help you achieve success in business, and in life. You never know when the right connection can help you find that job when you are down on your luck!
Physical capital works the same way. People who love to sit on the couch and eat tons of junk are not only mortgaging their future health and quality of life, but they will also end up costing society in terms of increased healthcare costs, lower productivity, and arguably less valuable contributions to society.
When people take the road to wealth, not only in terms of money but also in terms of social and physical capital, they will enrich more than just their own lives; they will also naturally enrich the lives of those around them. A rich man or woman can start a company, employ people, donate to charity, support his/her family, and add value to the world through his/her dollars. An active and mentally healthy person will be able to contribute a lot more than a couch potato, through the power of his mind and muscles.
Having money, good health, and good relationships is like having a positive aura around you; this aura touches everything that you touch. Conversely, being in debt, owing people money, having poor health and poor relationships not only impoverishes your own life, but depresses the people around you; it is a draining force on the world.
Therefore, one should not be jealous when someone has worked hard to achieve their goals and has the results to show for it; although their success undoubtedly benefits them the most, it also benefits the people around them and the world at large. If jealously and envy do tempt your mind, then instead of mentally bringing that person down, try to do your best to raise yourself instead so you can match or surpass that other person. 🙂
Well, that’s enough philosophizing for one night. I am hoping that the weather improves so I can take more bike rides… and spend more time philosophizing!