You are richer than you think
"You are richer than you think"

I have been pondering over this slogan for a few months. Scotiabank had promoted it all over Canada. Every time I pass by their branch, I ask myself again: “Oh yeah! So what do they mean by “you are richer than you think?”.

Well, I got my answer in the most unexpected ways.

During one of my sustainability courses, Chris Martenson, an economic researcher and writer was invited to share with us where the most sustainable future investments are in the next 10-20 years. He started his accelerated crash course with the concept of “Capital” and its multi-dimensions. My key takeaway message from the course is:
"Money is not the only form of capital flowing around and through us."

Here are the 7 forms of capital :

– Intellectual Capital
– Emotional Capital
– Social Capital
– Material Capital (financial!)
– Experiential Capital
– Spiritual Capital
– Cultural Capital
– Living Capital

In the society most of us live in, richness is mainly leveled to our financial capital. Our salaries are an indicator of success and our assets are measures of our wealth in life.

I am a working individual with financial commitments and do understand the importance of generating an income to raise a family and cater to our obligations. What I fail to understand (from myself included!) is this tight link between our worth and our financial wealth.

Whereas this status categorization is more pronounced in the least developed, developing, and emerging countries, it still exists almost everywhere. Whereas we all claim the importance of relationships, life balance, family, and health, does our financial status only define our self-worth in this world ?!

I had moments in my career where I was not at the top of my productivity. Whereas in terms of experience, I had more time to spend with friends, invest at home or on my own … other terms, investing in my emotional, social, health, and cultural capital; I still felt worthless because I was not able to generate enough income.

Is it only me?  I wanted to believe this. (Or to stretch to people like me who grew up in a society where  “you are what you have at the bank”). But,  No!

Many of my friends who have struggled financially at some point in their life, echoed the same sentiment. If the Oxford American Dictionary states that capital is, “wealth in the form of money or other assets”,  I have the tendency to think many of us tend to link richness with $$$$$. So, if this is the dominant perspective leading our lives, aren’t we missing on the fun for the finance? (you could argue fun needs money .. true but not always!)

Next time, we feel frustrated to leave the office early (earlier than every other colleague) to drop the kid to his soccer practice or ballet session, we should think of the experiential capital we are investing in. Next time, we feel hesitant to be 10 minutes late to work because of an occasionally extended workout, we should consider the health capital we are investing in.

Next time, we feel guilty about organizing a trip with girlfriends or enrolling in this art class, we should factor in the social capital we are investing in.

Next time, we feel compelled to compare our car to the latest Maserati parked at the Fairmont, or our Aldo shoes to the red-bottomed Louboutin boots from the lady stepping out of Gucci, we might want to stop and reflect on all the other aspects of our life we are not adding to the equation.

Business speaking, diversifying the mix is a good strategy to minimize the risk!

Take the time to make those little things happen in your life without feeling any guilt! The slow walk in the wind, the smile to a stranger, the hot soup for a sick friend, the boogie boogie on the dance floor, the “I love you” note on the kids' lunch box….

Tomorrow, you and only you would realize how many friends you kept over the years, how strong your relationships with your loved ones were,  how exciting your experiences were, ….. how really rich your life was. This is what you take…… and leave to the world your bank account.

Think well and prioritize. Your investment opportunities are unlimited because:

“You are indeed richer than you think!”

Until next time,  Keep connecting
Caroline in CoCo World

Caroline Assaf - Founding Director
15+ years of global and multi-sectoral management experience in corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors. Caroline is the founder and director of Coco World and is responsible for implementing the startup’s vision and leading the business development and fundraising strategies.

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