A New Year’s Resolution for 2011: Make Money. Be Happy.

Via Tom Rapsas
on Jan 4, 2011
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Have you heard of the book Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill? It’s one of my favorite inspirational reads and even though it was first published in 1937, the book’s primary message, getting what you want through visualization, hard work and a positive attitude, still rings true today.

Even better than that book though, is the sequel to Think and Grow Rich which was published 40 years after the original. You see, in 1967 an 84-year old Hill had come to a slightly different conclusion about the role of work in our lives and what success really meant. Its title: Grow Rich—with Peace of Mind.

After a lifetime of fame, riches and service as an advisor to three presidents, the elderly Hill began to whistle a different tune: be successful—but have a life, too. Hill’s not pitching a 4-hour workweek here, but suggests that one of the best ways to achieve peace of mind is to make a time budget.

Spread out over a 24-hour day, his time budget looks like this:

  • * 8 hours a day for sleep and rest
  • * 8 hours a day for work at your profession (but as your success grows, work less than 8 hours)
  • * 8 “particularly precious” hours “devoted to things you wish to do, not have to do.”

Hill’s suggestions for the final 8 hours include: “play, social life, reading, writing, playing a musical instrument, tending a garden, or just sitting and watching the clouds or the stars.” You can add to that downtime with the family, prayer, yoga, cooking, sex or any of the stuff that makes you happy.

And Hill is very serious about the “8 precious hours”. He further amplifies that message with this passage:

“Do not let a day go by without taking some time for yourself — some time you spend in pure pleasure, as you see it.”

He adds that with increasing business success:

“You should increase your hours of pure enjoyment. Do not allow these hours to be eaten away by business or anything else.”

The bottom line is that sure, we all need to make money. But in the year ahead, let’s remind those who need reminding (including ourselves) that success is measured by more than the money in our bank accounts. It’s measured by the richness of our lives.


About Tom Rapsas

Tom Rapsas is a blogger on inspirational and spirituality issues for Patheos, Elephant Journal and his own site The Inner Way. A long-time spiritual seeker and student of philosophy and religion, his influences include Thomas Moore, John Templeton, Napolean Hill, Ralph Trine and Ralph Waldo Emerson. A resident of the Jersey Shore, Tom lives with his wife, daughter and nine cats. He’s the author of Life Tweets Inspirational & Spiritual Insights That Can Change Your Life, which is now available for Kindle and as a trade paperback. His next book, the spiritual fable Thaddeus Squirrel, will be published in 2014. You can reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @TomRapsasTweets


4 Responses to “A New Year’s Resolution for 2011: Make Money. Be Happy.”

  1. This is a great prescription for anyone, probably more common than not, who is split between "work" and "pleasure". But the happiest people I know are those for whom these are one and the same.

    Charlie Rose, the well-known PBS interviewer, was talking on his nightly show recently about how he still works basically all the time, violating all of Hill's rules above. When asked why, he replied, "It's what I love to do. Why shouldn't I spend all my time on what I love to do." For Rose and others like him, it would be a downgrade to try and diversify!

    (My guess is that Hill would agree, but that he would consider Rose the exception to the rule.)

    Bob W.
    Workaholic Yoga Editor

  2. morethanastretchdotcom says:

    Simple, and good. Thank you.

  3. trapsas1 says:

    I totally agree with your comment Bob, for some lucky people there is a point where work and play blend seamlessly together. I think that is the optimal life, and certainly something I (and I believe most others) strive for. I'm glad to know you are there–I certainly hope to be there one day in the not too distant future!

  4. trapsas1 says:

    Thank you for your comment–I just checked out your Web site at http://www.morethanastretch.com –very well done, I plan to spend some more time there.