What does prosperity mean to you? How’s that working for you? Wayne Dyer gave us a great quote about how to reframe: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

A statement from “Empower Me 365” is, “True prosperity is having something (anything) to share and one or more others to share it with.” This statement was triggered for me through the first book of Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

There’s a scene I find particularly poignant. It’s when Harry and Ron meet for the first time, and Harry, all but starved at home, buys some of everything from the food trolley on the train speeding them to their first year at wizard school. For the benefit of the uninitiated, at age eleven, Harry learns he’s a wizard and that he’s inherited wealth from his deceased parents. Raised by reluctant relatives since Harry was a year old, to say they deprived him on all levels is a gross understatement (akin to Cinderella’s plight). Ron comes from a loving family with “limited” means; and Harry finds himself in the unfamiliar position of having means. Ron, unhappily, pulls out a homemade sandwich and looks longingly at Harry’s treats from the trolley. Harry sees Ron’s expression and offers to swap a pasty for Ron’s sandwich, which Ron refuses to do.

Here’s the line from the book: “Go on, have a pasty,” said Harry, who had never had anything to share before or, indeed, anyone to share it with.

Some media and others try to convince us, and often succeed, that true prosperity is having stuff, lots of it; and, if it’s expensive, that’s even better. I am absolutely not criticizing having stuff or quality stuff. It’s not about the stuff, it’s about the attitude most people have about this topic that matters. How many people strain and stress about prosperity in its “physical” form and completely or nearly completely forget the more meaningful purpose for it: having something to share and someone to share it with. If you suddenly found yourself in the extraordinary situation of being the sole resident on the planet, with unrestricted access to all the stuff and money, all of it would lose its importance quite quickly.

Prosperity comes from the word prosper which the dictionary defines as to flourish, succeed, thrive, grow, etc. Prosperity is not just about money, though money is the one many give the most attention to. I’m not suggesting you take a “sour grapes” approach. You aren’t required to throw prosperity out as a desired experience; in fact, to do so would be denying your right to thrive. It would also deny you the meaningful pleasure of sharing it with others in ways appropriate for you and them.

Prosperity is about having people in your life you love and who love you in return; doing things you love to do that people perceive value for and exchange money or other items of value for; and meaningful moments where, perhaps, only you know why they matter to you and your only exchange is how you feel. Even as the wealthiest person alive, you can’t pay for a glorious sunset; and though you can appreciate it if alone, it’s always better when shared.

If you’re currently working through your money beliefs, what other forms of prosperity are yours, right now, to share: kindness, knowledge, wisdom, compassion, laughter, good deeds? The list of what we can give and share that doesn’t involve money is quite long, no matter your age or circumstances.

If you don’t feel good about your money prosperity at this time, how will feeling bad or fearful about it help to shift this as a feeling or an experience?

That’s right, it won’t.

Want to feel better now? Take a walk and share something, even if it’s a smile or holding the door open for someone. It really does matter. And remember to feel the true prosperity of having a smile to share and someone to share it with.

What you give, you get back.

Author's Bio: 

“I don’t know what I’m good at or what I should be doing” doesn’t have to stay your mantra. See how to shift this at freewebs.com/coach4lifebalance (free empowerment tools and newsletter). Joyce Shafer, LEC (jls1422@yahoo.com), is an author and creator of the Reinvent Yourself life and business coaching program. Her books and e-books are available at www.lulu.com and discounted at her Web Store.