| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

OK, let’s start where we left off. What kind of island do you see yourself as in the middle of the river?

Despite some variations, I can think of three kinds of islands: green islands, desert-like islands and marshy islands.

Green islands

Green islands are sign of fine balance between in-flow and out-flow. Lush and healthy vegetation means that we, as the island, keep just the right amount of resources – water, money and energy – to sustain it. Green islands have mastered the art of mobilising sufficient resources but also to let out what they don’t need.

Desert-like islands

These islands usually are sandy and can sustain only sparse vegetation. This is because they don’t keep sufficient resources. This can be either because insufficient resources flow in or because too much drains out. If you see yourself as a sandy, desert-like island this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have the resources – it does mean that these are not feeding your life properly.

Marshy islands

These islands are probably as desert-like as the dry ones but this is a different kind of desert – one that is born out of too much, rather than too little water. Marshy islands have a tendency to over consume and their imbalance is that they keep in most the in-flow whilst reducing the outflow of resource.

At the moment my island is green and lush; full of vegetation shiny with moisture and glittering with life. John’s island is sandy and windswept, not much vegetation and not many plants but sunny and bright. I’ll get back to this difference and how it can be negotiated in another post. It is important that the vision your imagination paints is not ‘objective’, it is not the ‘fact’ of your financial situation; it is the way in which you see your situation – which is what matters when it comes to action.

Now close your eyes again and look around you at the other islands in the river. Can you spot an island that you would rather be? What does it look like? Describe this in detail and in writing. Because this is the symbol of your ideal money flow balance and, I would argue, your own notion of ‘financial health’. How to get from the island you perceive yourself to be to the island that you would like to be is a matter of working the detail of makes your island what it is.

I like an island that looks similar to mine; it is green and full of life but the growth is less and the spread more controlled. This tells me that I will feel financially healthy when the flows of money are balanced so that I can lead a life that is rich in experience, productive and useful. However, I should watch over-consumption and over-use; my wants can be leaner and they can also be less materialistic.

In other words, I want to move from this

to that