About 99% of people would define prosperity as the accumulation of a great sum of wealth — plenty of money, large luxurious home, fancy cars, etc. We think of ‘rich’ and ‘prosperous’ as two things that go hand in hand. Prosperity is much more than that. Prosperity is the direct result of two elements: growth and contribution.
Prosperity = Growth + Contribution
Let’s examine the two elements that govern the extent of our prosperity.
Your life gets better as YOU change for the better. In other words, your circumstances will improve only to the extent that you improve as a person.
If you want to grow in affluence, it is essential that you grow in intelligence and wisdom. Many people want prosperity yet never attain it as they do not possess the character traits that qualify them for such a life. If you want success, it is prudent to first develop the qualities of success.
Contribution is about adding VALUE to other people’s lives, and making this world a better place. You can only effectively do so when you have increased your personal growth. If you really analyse all those with extraordinary wealth (such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation) the extent of their contribution to society is well known. It may be an interesting way to think about it, but in monetary terms alone, this means that what you earn today is in direct proportion to the value of your services to others.
Your prosperity is directly related to your contribution to society as a whole!
To live a prosperous life requires operating from a higher level of understanding — an understanding that rewards follow service and service (or duty) is not a chore; service is a privilege.
The great poet and India’s first Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, said it best:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I awoke and found that life was duty
I acted, and behold!
Duty was joy.
Let there be no illusions about what it takes to be happy and prosperous, otherwise you will always be striving and striving and never arriving (at your desired outcome).
Growth plus contribution are fundamental to success in life.