I've been to several Financial Planning and Financial Literacy seminars in my hot pursuit to financial freedom - up until now, but this guy has something to say at the corner - Mr. Henry Ong of Business Sense, Inc.

How and what is it really to be wealthy?

A quick mental reflex will tell you that wealth is all about lots of money, dude! Like Manny Pacquiao, isn't it? Like lots of Volks, Astons, hot big wheel hummers? House and lots spawning everywhere in the archipelago? Maids at your beck and call? Fine clothe lines? Latest gadgetries? Jewelries? Lots of savings in the bank?

Yeah, why not?!

They might be an obvious objective evidence of your hard work or frugality. But that is just half-slice of the pie. Because according to Mr. Henry Ong, a Registered Financial Planner, as he may suggest cutting cost and expenses out of your income might cause you to miss a lot out of your life - he said a "quality life." Perhaps, quality foods, amenities, time and even health to yourself. This is where the philosophy of Aristotle strikes the bell, "the mean of virtue." Anything that goes in excess or in extreme end is a vice or not in line of manly virtue. Same is true with over frugality and stinginess. You are foregoing a lot of things quality to you and your loved ones because of your imminent fear of the coming rainy season.

You might be excused to think of the coming rain, but Mr. Henry Ong seems to suggest that being wealthy is not actually motivated by fear. I toss to this idea that a financially wealthy individual is also a psychologically, spiritually, physically and emotionally healthy individual. I logically believe that being healthy on the other aspect of one's personality speaks a lot about how financially free a person is and will be.

Being financially affluent and spiritually broke is not wealth either. Being financially rich and physically sick is not wealth either. Being financially flushed but relationally broke is not wealth either. Being financially loaded but having delinquent children is not wealth either. Being financially heavy but having your social security at stake is not wealth either.

We are so familiar with so many individuals who are so obsessed with their work, trying somehow to please and impress their officemates or a big boss, pressing their nose against their work at a solid 8-hour and consecutive 8 hours overtime. Ok, they earn no doubt including the murky grin of their boss - only to end up pressing their butt against hospital beds, signing bills and scrapping all earnings for the medical dues incurred.

If you have to realize you seem to work for nothing but for a doctors fee or for anything else. We have to remember that before anything else goes to the sink sewer, what profits above all is yourself - before anything and anybody else.

Mr. Ong believed that it's ok to have fancy cars, houses, dines or any expensive properties as long as you have the means to maintain them. They are not wealth at all if at the back of the same coin are accumulation of liabilities caused by them.

Being wealthy for him is not (just) all about those things, as obvious, I have my lots of elaborations above. Together with him I believe that being (real, and really) wealthy is all about being:

Financially Independent - that is, you are free from worries or work pressures. In other words you are not obliges to work eight hours a day and yet able to earn and pay bills and other obligatory miscellaneous life expenses.

Able to manage money well - a (financially) wealthy individual is able to manage his incomes to wherever it is to go.

Able to multiply incomes - it is basic in every financial education I've learned that a financially wealthy person is the one who is able to multiply his income - sorry but not much on saver buffs!

Able to secure his profit from any loss - one of the best way to test a person's financial acumen is not just to multiply his income but to secure them too. Because no matter how genius you are in multiplying your income you have to learn to guard it from loss. Say a Nicolas Cage effect, he is one of a highly paid actors in Hollywood and yet cripples down his finances.

Able to give more - I believe that a financially free individual is the one who is able to give more. It is a basic principle that you cannot give what you do not have and so a financial freeman is able to manifest it through giving as an outlet of his being financially overflowing.

Able to do what his heart's desire - a pampered vacation to Boracay, El Nido or a fancied 80 days around the world, you name it but it's one of the manifestations of a financially free individual. Again, being able to do what you want without the pressure of a burning obligation of work life (except perhaps if you enjoy what you are doing, well they say it ceases to be work). It includes the renaissance of your abandoned hobbies. Being able to work generously but enjoys the pamper of your bed at whatever time you like to wake up.

Well, that's a lot of talking and there are lots more to mention.

You'd ask how am I gonna do that? Mr. Henry Ong suggests you really have to plan your way to it. It means like looking for a knowledgeable person to help you - such as Registered Financial Planners.

Secondly, is to develop, imbibe or imitate wealthy minded individuals (who are actually wealthy by now).

Third, is one of the crowned values of a wealthy person, no other than discipline. Mr. Ong suggest you save and invest without sacrificing the quality of your life.

And lastly, find ways to increase your income streams. We are not advising to increasing your job, as what I have been thinking those days but ultimately to say - that you've got to be an entrepreneur to do that!

That's a sure bet to wealth.

Common sentiments tells us that nobody made it by just working on a desk or having jobs till time is through with them. Except, if you exceptionally belong to "the lucky sperm club" as what Warren Buffett said. Or else you are a company's bigwig or a prime holder, that's it!

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