Dream a Little Dream

US economic numbers since 2008 have been vividly reflecting the very tough situation that many people must now face with their livelihoods. Yet within this often bleak news, you may find your own proverbial happy place.

The Wall Street Journal published an article recently that discussed the top five signs that you’re wealthy. While many may have agreed with the writer’s list, based on my research the signals tend to be different:

1. Aging Backwards: Place a picture of a wealthy person today next to his or her picture from 10 years ago, and you’re likely to see an almost cryptic reversal in aging. This may be due to the fact that the person is happier and less stressed now that their definition of wealth has been achieved.

2. No Longer Keeping Up Appearances: A wealthy individual has reached a point where many others may not be able to achieve. And he or she knows it. So carrying a bag or wearing a tracksuit with “Louis Vuitton” plastered across it is seen as a gaudy and unnecessary display of insecurity.

3. People Are Always Very, Very…Very Happy to See You: Who wouldn’t want to bask in the energy of a person who has achieved what may be a life’s dream for most people on the earth?

4. Winning $1M On a Reality Show Isn’t Worth the Embarrassment: $1M is a pittance to a wealthy person in exchange for being ripped apart by Simon Cowell. Actually, no amount of money would be worth it.

5. No Longer Worried About Paying Next Month’s Bills: Wealthy people’s lives are set up such that their needs are within their means. And their means are at a level that personally makes them not worry about the cost of the things they’ve chosen to have in their lives.

The beauty here is that a person does not have to have a certain number of dollars in the bank in order to experience these signals. As I wrote in a previous post, wealth means having things of value around you. Money is simply the interim step between not having and having something in your possession that has a perceived value to you.

Other interim steps could include a handshake, a verbal agreement, or other tangible items used for commerce such as produce or livestock. You may not need an interim step at all and create something of value in your life, as startup entrepreneurs do. Or farmers. Or clothing designers who can make a gown out of corn husks.

In other words, you don’t have to be rich to be wealthy. These tough economic times are great moment to reset and determine what really has value in your life so that those things become your focus — not what you don’t have. Easier said than done. But once done, you may become happier. And you may even start to age backwards.

View on The Wall Street Geek’s business website Price Capital.

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These aren’t your parents’ kids!  😉

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I hope you enjoy watching it.  It’s fun as always making videos like these. More videos are coming!!  Thank you so much for your support and for watching, and for continuing to follow me.  I truly, truly appreciate it.

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My very earliest memories from the media as a kid growing up in the 80’s in New Orleans include Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Punky Brewster, and Dire Straights.

Yet my family took car trips to Curtis Mayfield. My mom vacuumed to Smokey Robinson. And I remember playing with my dolls singing “Baby Love” by the Supremes, likely having learned the lyrics by osmosis.

There was a gap between what I experienced and what was recognized by the media. And since what made me excited wasn’t in the media, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to get really excited about outside of my world.

Then one night in 1983, this show called Motown 25 came on network TV. I knew it was a big deal because my dad spent the week wiring the TV to the stereo so that we could hear it in through the speakers.

I didn’t know that much about the Temptations, nor the other acts that performed early on in the show. But I knew enough about one performer named Michael Jackson to get really giddy about seeing him perform.

He came out on stage with his brothers, and sang these cute songs that sounded vaguely familiar, but not recognizable to me with his no-longer high-pitched singing voice.

But then, his brothers left him alone on the stage. And he snapped that hat onto his head. Then Billie Jean started.

Oh. my. God. On that stage–on TV–was this smooth singer and dancer defying gravity. And then he did this move where he slid backward. Ooooh snap, did you see that?!?!

And the next day on the playground–Janel, Keith, Shannon…did you see that?!?! What was that called, the Moonwalk? Check it out, I can do it too! Do you have the new album? I’m Billie Jean, no I am!!

All of the sudden, Michael Jackson was everywhere. Not only was I excited about things like the Thriller behind the scenes video (and begged my parents spend $100 on the VHS tape), but so were other kids my age who didn’t look like me. My generation had something in common.

We all had the lapel button with him in the yellow sweater vest. We all had the folder filled with magazine clippings from Teen Beat. We all thought he was looking at us on the cover picture for the Thriller album.

The impact of this stayed with me through the confusion of seeing him in the Bad video acting tough but looking–well, feminine. And I held onto those early memories through the less savory events in the 90’s and 2000’s.

I was pulling for him to pull it together and once again be the thriller of a presence that changed my perspective on the world. But yesterday, that chance was taken away from him.

The commentary since has ranged from laudatory to treating his life like a cautionary tale, and people have a right to their opinions. Thinking of the events later in his life also makes my stomach churn. However, what sticks with me most of all are those early happy memories.

That’s how Michael Jackson entered my life, and that’s how he will be immortalized to me.

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