Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 29, 2011
Quick question: what happens when you splice a life threatening medical condition with a frank discussion on money and your emotions? The answer is the book called The Wealth Cure by Hill Harper (by the way, if the name is familiar, you likely watch more TV than I do – see here).
While not a great way to introduce this book, it does give you a bit of the theme of what the book covers. Context after all if everything. In this case, the author is diagnosis with thyroid cancer just as he was starting to write this book on personal finance. So combining that with a cross country train trip and you have the blueprint of the book. Yet while this might come across as confusing, the message of the book is very clear: money isn’t everything.
Money is rather a tool and one we often get messed up over because of our emotion context around it. We fight over it, hope to get more of it and even wept over it when we lose it. Yet we don’t do this with your actual hand tools , like your hammer,do you? Of course not! So Hill tries to come up with a medical analogy to cover this very same issue and you end up with sections called: The Diagnosis, Treatment Options, Sticking with a Treatment Plan,and Thrive and Survive.
While personally didn’t care much for the medical comparisons I did appreciate the amount of stories Hill uses to get his point across from people he knows or even meets during his train trip. You need to understand that money won’t make you happy by itself. It can buy things or experiences that do make you happy for a while, but it won’t work on a long term basis. Wealth is really a concept that expands past money into other areas of your life and that is what you have to focus on. You need to look at your health, your relationships and your money and balance those off to find a better life.
Perhaps my favorite quote from the book is:
When you decide to be happy, you take control of your life’s direction, as opposed to waiting for the right object to fall in your path or the right job opportunity to crop up.
In essence, he was saying you can let life happen or plan your life to happen. For too often we let our lives happen and I have even been guilty of that at times. So take control of what factors you can influence and stop complaining about your life and make it the best that you can. It won’t be perfect, but you will likely be more wealthy than before and you might not even not have that much more money.
My only compliant about the book was it seemed to lack a cohesive path for the reader to follow. It touched on lots of good points and Hill even quote some of the same research I used in my book, Free at 45, but fails to provide a path forward for the reader.
So overall the book covers some good points, but I won’t keep this one as a reference book myself. Instead find a library copy to enjoy and take what you can from the book.