|Richard Paul Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and the founder of the 5 Lessons Institute. (5Lessons.com) His two financial books are: The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me about Life and Wealth. And, for Women, The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women. |
When you cease [to give], you begin to die.
- Eleanore Rooseveldt
Ultimately, the most honorable and enjoyable use of money is in serving others. Freely giving of our wealth is also the only way to fully protect ourselves from our wealth. Yes, money is a powerful ally. But it can also be a spiritual and emotional enemy. While money is an inescapable part of life, it’s not life. If money becomes what you live for, you will eventually conclude that life is not worth living.
“What I spent, is gone;
What I kept, I lost;
But what I gave away
will be mine forever.”
— Ethel Percy Andrus
Life’s Balance Sheet
I was signing books at a bookstore when I noticed a young woman in line who was clearly very excited to meet me. When it was her turn to approach my table she could barely constrain herself.
“Mr. Evans,” she exclaimed. “I’ve wanted to meet you my entire life!”
Flattered, I replied, “So you like my books?”
“Never read them,” she quickly replied.
I looked at her with amusement. “Then why did you want to meet me?”
A big smile crossed her face. “I’m one of your Christmas Box House kids.” (The Christmas Box House is a shelter we built for abused and neglected children. Since we opened our first home in 1996 we’ve housed more than 20,000 abused children.)
Her words hit me with great force. “How are you?” I asked.
“I’m great,” she replied. She put her arm around the blonde teenage boy standing next to her. “This is my brother Eric,” she said. “My caseworker told me that if it wasn’t for you we probably would not have been adopted into the same family. I’ve always wanted to thank you for my brother.”
I asked if she wanted to help me sign books and for the next hour we drank slushies and talked about life.
That was a good day. Success in life cannot be measured on a balance sheet. I believe that the truest measure of achievement is the degree to which