Earlier today I was having an email conversation with a friend of mine, and I happened to mention that I hadn’t had my most profitable year, but I probably had my most successful year, and next year I was going to have both. Her response back to me was “Success is not always measured with money. Even those who have nothing can lead successful lives.”

It’s an interesting take on things, one that reminded me a lot of a book I just finished, The Tao of Pooh, and it’s successor, which I’m almost through with, The Te of Piglet, both written by Benjamin Huff, and both very good. In them, he describes the principles of the Taoism through the Winnie the Pooh characters. The principles are based on the writings of Lao-tse, in what is known as the Tao Te Ching. In talking about wealth, he said this:

1. If I were suddenly to become known, and (put into a position to) conduct (a government) according to the Great Tao, what I should be most afraid of would be a boastful display.

2. The great Tao (or way) is very level and easy; but people love the by-ways.

3. Their court(-yards and buildings) shall be well kept, but their fields shall be ill-cultivated, and their granaries very empty. They shall wear elegant and ornamented robes, carry a sharp sword at their girdle, pamper themselves in eating and drinking, and have a superabundance of property and wealth;—such (princes) may be called robbers and boasters. This is contrary to the Tao surely!

When one sees this, one gets the feeling that the principles of Tao would be against prosperity and wealth, and it may or may not be true. However, it doesn’t really matter much to me, because I’m of the opinion there’s nothing wrong with attempting to attain wealth. In my mind, wishing to attain wealth isn’t what’s bad; what’s bad is if one gets there by nefarious means, and if one doesn’t then try to help others with some of that wealth.

For instance, in Secrets Of The Millionaire Mindicon (the link with the light blue line denotes an affiliate link if you’d like to check out the book) by T. Harv Eker, he tells the story of going to a party he was invited to in a very affluent neighborhood he’d just moved in to, expecting everyone to be a snob because that was always his impression of rich people. Instead, not only did he find that people were very engaging, but when the person hosting the party started talking about a charity he was trying to raise money for, every person in the room with a checkbook took it out and wrote a check for the charity, and at the end of the party they had given $250,000.

Then in the book Cracking The Millionaire Code by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen, they tell the story about a man named Brandon Barnum, whose created a foundation called Giving Globally, with which he hopes to create over a trillion dollars by 2014 to help pay off the world’s debts.

Of course, we also heard stories this year about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, both of whom are donating their time and significant portions of their wealth towards helping others throughout the world with poverty, disease, education, and a host of other things that our world has to deal with.

When I say I want to be rich, wealthy, prosperous, it can be seen by others as a negative. Personally, I don’t care, because I’m the only one who lives my life. I have goals and dreams I want to attain. But, as I wrote in my last entry, I also have goals towards being able to give money to charitable causes. My initial amount is relatively low, but it would be a lot of money for me. As I can increase my wealth, and I say it that way because, if I said it else wise, it would mean that I’m showing I have doubts as to whether I will ever get there, I can increase my donations and help in my own way.

Even the words of Lao-tse seems to allow this, at least in my own mind: “Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.”