05/21/2011 12:50 am ET Updated Jul 20, 2011

How to Restore Your Spirit of Wealth

For many, times are hard. Wealth is something you might have known in the past. But there is less evidence of it now.

What about the innate wealth of an ordinary person? Not their possessions, lifestyle or money in the bank. The wealth of who they are, deep down. The wealth of their spirit. Your spirit, My spirit. The spirit that unites and makes up our common humanity. Our human community.

For those of us who feel unsure of our financial futures, how can we put money in its place and yet ensure a higher quality of life with greater health, well-being and happiness?

How? Wait, there is a little more yet before the how. Maybe for you, just getting through the week is challenging enough.

Have you grown accustomed to the idea that wealth is associated with money -- alone? I have. I am in the process of changing my mind. The change is one that is happening from the inside out. Get wealthy first, and then go for for money second.

What on Earth do I mean by that? In so many ways, we are told that to be happy we need this that or the other "thing". You know, a holiday in Bali, a sleek Porsche, Jimmy Choo handbag, the iPhone series 5 -- maybe not yet available, but soon will be. All of these are wonderful in their way. Are they necessary for happiness? You can answer that.

I am all for a rich life, to enjoy the best that is on offer, materially and otherwise. The issue is that money and possessions can get "sticky." That is to say we can become over-dependent upon them. Attached and fearing their loss, we become driven to protect and increase the supply, in case we lose the comfort and pleasure they give us. Very few of us in the so-called developed world suffer the deprivations of many in countries such as Kenya, where millions lack the most fundamental needs as we see them.

Fear of loss does not enrich well-being, peace of mind or prosperity. Prolonged fear depletes and, eventually, makes you sick.

The change of mind I refer to above is taking place from the inside out -- from what I call the soul level, or inspiration. What if we were each born with all we ever needed to sustain and fulfill our lives? That within us we have extraordinary reserves of as yet untapped wealth in the forms of personal assets, talents, gifts, creativity -- do you get the idea? These assets have of course to be played out in some way in the world to become useful, of value to others and fulfilled.

And when they are, life becomes very rich and rewarding, so much so that in their expression, you are fulfilled and have the experience of wealth. In this way, your wealthiness is very much in your own hands. What is more, the beauty of this is that in the fullness, you are not seeking "out there" for things to make you happy. You are happy. Period. And as your purchasing power grows, even by small amounts, so you may wish to participate in some of the wonderful things that money can buy.

A friend in her 70s, with a very limited budget discovered that she could go to her local flower market at the end of the sales day and pick up beautiful flowers at bargain prices to decorate her small apartment. Cut flowers speak to her of luxury. It is amazing how much you can get for a little when you put your mind to it. It pays us all to be savvy shoppers.

Of course you need money to cover life's basic essentials. Maybe less than you think. It is amazing how you can develop a prosperous frame of mind, such that your euro, dollar, pound, yen goes further. It takes focus and discipline to buy simply what you need, no excess. It becomes a game. The game is fun.

5 Keys to Restoring Your Spirit of Wealth

1. Be a giver. Find something to give, if not money, your time, your love, your kindness, a smile. Giving affirms your natural wealth.

2. Be grateful. First thing in the morning and last thing at night, stop to count your blessings, some of those things you might take for granted -- your friends, family, ability to talk and to listen, your education, nature around you. Write them down in a journal. Gratitude makes you feel full and raises your energy.

3. Be creative. Find new ways of managing the money you have, develop your sense of resourcefulness, use your imagination. Cultivate wealthy attitudes. Join with others to share innovations and ideas.

4. Look for joy. Find the fun in life around you, the smile on the face of a baby, the antics of animals, greet yourself with a smile in the mirror.

5. Simplify your life. Wealth could be less a matter of what you have, but what you are able to live without. Let go of the excess, give away, sell or throw out what no longer really serves or nourishes you.

If you are in a boring job that pays the rent, keep at it. But take some time to explore your dream of what your life can become. How would you really like to be living? What does wealth "mean" for you? What might a wealthy life mean for you?

Please join in the conversation. If there were a "wealth school" at which you could discover how to make the most of your life, and your money, what would you like to learn?

* * * * *

For tips and hints on creating a wealthy life, go to The Wealth Book -- Winning With Spirit

Wishing you health, wealth and happiness - in all of the ways it can come to you!

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.