What’s more important – Wealth or Relationships?

This isn’t meant to be a nerve-wracking trick question.  It’s actually quite a simple one.  There is no right or wrong answer either.  What is important however is that your answer to this question will easily determine which areas of your life are impacted, and impacted in different ways.  For example, if you choose wealth, you are probably highly dedicated to your profession or business.  If you choose relationships, you are probably more focused on catering to the needs of those who surround you.

Many people who don’t want to admit it actually put wealth first.  That’s correct, they see money as their primary motive for many reasons.  Yes, they may claim that they need the money to be a better spouse, parent, child, etc., yet nobody actually forced them to choose money.  It’s a choice (albeit sometimes unconscious) that many adults make because they have been taught to see how money can contribute to their life.  However, children are the perfect mirrors for parenting and they will let you know if they feel your priorities are not straight.  A neglected child may say things that shock you.  Yet why have they said these things?  Potentially because parents have demonstrated that money is of higher importance than the child.  If you have ever experienced this, it’s an opportunity for you to not only re-examine your relationship with your child but also re-examine your values.

Now reverse the situation, let’s assume you answered “relationships”.  This may mean that your closest circle of friends and family benefit a lot from the time and interactions which you have together.  You are giving of your time and attention and you make sacrifices to ensure the relationship takes precedence over your work, your hobbies and perhaps your own personal time.  However, are you truly able to enjoy each other’s company due to growth or due to comfort?  Some people are actually unable to grow due to their close relationships with their friends and family.  The life that they live are held in a holding pattern that they themselves may not even recognize.  Many great books and authors of the past century have written that we are in fact so deeply affected by our circle that we really need to check the company we keep.  In fact, your income is the average of your five best friends.  So if this is indeed the case, who are you spending most of your time with?  Are your closest relationships fostering growth or hindering it?

So the importance which we place on something (such as wealth or relationships) defines our values and how we conduct ourselves.  In a city like Hong Kong where too much emphasis lies on material wealth, it’s no wonder that relationships are often shallow and unrewarding.  Many people initiate conversations with questions like “What do you do?  Where do you work?  Where do you live?”   Can you imagine starting a relationship based on a person’s profession or their habitat?  Don’t these things change over time?  Are these questions going to help you better assess the type of person that you are dealing with?  There is a way to fix this type of shallow conversation starter, and that’s to seek the advice of professionals such as coaches to help you define what your values are and how best to plan your life in accordance with those values.

If you are always taking action that is inconsistent with your values, you will be suffering.  It will feel like you are swimming against the current and getting nowhere.   Moreover, the values which you have may change as you enter into different phases of your life.  There’s nothing wrong with this, and it could even be argued as a healthy trend to have your values and priorities change over the course of your life.  The key to living a fulfilled life may lie in a simple solution of engaging the right people to help you along your path.  Destiny Research Institute may be able to offer some solutions that are right for your situation.  Give them a call.  You’ll never know until you try.

Judy Wong

Writer, Speaker and Lifestyle Coach