I have always believed in the importance of daring to dream and doing everything possible to make dreams come true. Since the age of five years old when I asked my mum to buy me a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume for Christmas (yes that is a true story!) I have always dared to dream big.
I was born to Tunisian parents in a seaside town in Norfolk, England. My father left when I was just a baby and later at the age of nine years old he told me that he never wanted to see me again.
I grew up on a council estate and watched my mum struggle physically, emotionally and financially to bring me up single-handedly. Yet, as painful as this experience was, it only motivated me to do everything within my power to change the course of my life and my mum’s life. A glimmer of hope came when I was accepted into Cambridge University.
Four years later, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in French and Arabic. My graduation day was the proudest day of my life. However, it was seeing the pride in my mum’s eyes that truly made that day special.
Since then I have gone on to become a corporate lawyer living in Dubai with my own three bedroom apartment overlooking a waterfront view. To many people this may sound like a dream and while I am not going to deny that walking past the Burj Khalifa on my way to work every morning brightens up my day or that buying a pair of Chanel shoes for my 30th birthday made me feel absolutely divine, these are all temporary moments that fade with time just like aesthetic beauty.
True richness lies in living a life of contentment and joy. To feel energised, motivated, inspired and excited to be alive. To love yourself and others openly and freely without fear. To feel connected to something that is bigger than yourself.
During the last couple of years, I have been on a journey to create a richer life. Here are three strategies I have used along the way that you may also find helpful if you too want to get rich quickly.
Health is Wealth
There is a famous saying that “health is wealth”. If you are healthy – both physically and mentally – you are much more likely to be in a position to withstand the pressures of daily life and live your life to the fullest. I have found that since I have started eating more healthily and lifting weights, I feel so much stronger and energised. For you, improving your health may mean going for long walks in nature, meditating or simply reducing your sugar intake. Whatever it is, finding ways to improve our health can certainly increase our “wellbeing dollars”.
Feed your Brain
In addition to nourishing our bodies and brains with healthy food, we can also feed our brain with knowledge. Personally, I love to read books on personal development and listen to motivational podcasts (at the moment I am hooked on The Mastin Kipp Podcast). Knowledge of course can take multiple forms. You can acquire knowledge from watching a documentary, learning a new skill (such as learning a foreign language) or even just consciously listening to a different perspective on an issue that matters to you.
Through broadening our knowledge, we not only improve our basic cognitive functioning but we step outside of our comfort zone and expand upon our understanding as we learn about different people, histories and cultures, etc. Knowledge gives us the capacity to deepen our compassion for others while increasing our own human potential.
Experiences over possessions
Earlier this year, Forbes published an article about why millennials value experiences more than things:
Essentially, millennials have rightly figured out that enjoying enriching experiences is much more profitable than chasing material possessions. Experiences improve our overall sense of well-being and make us feel happier.
For me, the ultimate experience is travelling. Whether I opt for a simple staycation in the UAE or decide to travel to more far-flung areas of the globe such as Japan or Australia, nothing makes me happier than stepping foot in a new place, learning about a different culture and forging new connections.
The benefit of choosing experiences over things is not really surprising. Whereas our possessions may seem like an extension of who we are, it is in fact our experiences that are truly a part of who we are. The excitement of a new handbag or a new gadget will always wear off with time, whereas our experiences leave us with memories for a lifetime. They determine our level of inner richness. Everything else is simply clutter holding us back from experiencing true wealth.