Being Wealthy: We Are All the Same

“Geeze, when you said wealthy, you weren’t kidding!” I said.

The long palm tree-lined cement driveway had appeared at the end of a long nondescript farm road. It was a road I’d passed on the highway countless times as it was less than a mile from our home here in Maui.

As we made our way across the 17 acres towards the house, I drove as slow as our car could go so that we could take in all that we were seeing. The pickleball courts, the tennis courts, the basketball courts, the multi-story pagoda-style gym, the three-story guest house with 4 family units in it, the life-sized chess set, the Four Seasons-looking infinity pool and seemingly infinite lush lawns with orchards and gardens everywhere you looked. 

“Do you think they have valet parking?” I asked Kalpna as we circled the roundabout to park at the front doors.

We’d just arrived at the home of some new friends here in Maui, a couple with six grown children. It was my first time meeting them as the wife, a luxury home builder, had come to one of Kalpna’s wine tastings and then invited us over to meet her husband and see their wine cellar. 

Meeting new people is one of my favorite things to do and I especially love visiting people’s homes. Having grown up immersed in the real estate industry and made my first real success in business there, I love houses both for the aesthetic and also for what it shows me about the being of the people who call it home. 

“Did you buy the place like this?” I asked the wife.

“No, no, no. We gutted the house and started over,” she responded.

“What about the land? Did you develop all this too?” I asked.

She nodded, smiling softly and glancing out at her gorgeous property, which overlooked all of the island and the Pacific Ocean. 

“I was a luxury home builder. I just love working with the guys,” she remarked.

She struck me as an artist and the land as her canvas. As we walked the property and talked, I could feel the fulfillment she gets in giving people work to do that is their craft. 

There is a LOT of wealth in Maui. And so far, everyone I’ve met here who has substantial wealth has been down-to-earth, kind, generous, and entirely open. We were delighted to experience our new friends to be inspiring examples of this. Not only did we feel immediately welcome and at home in a place fit for the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but we were inspired by how the two of them were being with each other too. They had a kindness, consideration, connection, and laughter between them that you tend to see in the honeymoon stage of a relationship, and yet they’ve been together for decades, having raised 6 children, and each independently built multiple businesses in the US and Europe. The day following our visit they were headed off on a romantic getaway together. 

These are some of the things that I saw and experienced – and in case you haven’t noticed already, they are all examples of Creating in action. 

The next day, reflecting on our visit, I continued my Creating, largely automatically in a way I’d adopted from my father. 

It wasn’t obvious to me that I learned this way of Creating from my Dad until I asked him a question some years ago.

“Dad, How did you go from being a blue-collar city worker in a blue-collar city working family to being an entrepreneur who made more money than he was seemingly destined to make?”

My Dad’s a man of few words, but they are often very wise words:

“I just saw other people doing it and thought, ‘If they can do it I can do it. We’re the same.’”

We’re the same.

Those three words. That’s it. 

What most people do when they see someone doing something very different from what they have done, is they perceive the other person through the idea that they are different too.

It’s not just with wealth. People do this with everything.

They cut themselves off from their innate and near-equal capacity for greatness in things they witness by equating other people’s achievements with something innate and distinct in that person. 

This is one of the most common, insidious, and defeating ways of limiting your power to create.

Its insidiousness is in its commonality. We don’t notice it because we all do it. It’s cultural, it’s common, and yet, it can be eradicated.

You can learn to see the sameness in everyone who has achieved things that inspire you. 

When you see something different that inspires you, you can look for the sameness in the person who achieved that thing. We are infinite beings and so by looking for sameness, we will always find it.

For example, there are of course, even besides the wealth, there are many differences between us and our new friends, but I don’t see that. I see countless points of sameness between us.

I see their goodness, their kindness, and their generosity.  I see their creativity. I see their commitment to health and fitness. I see their commitment to their marriage and family. I see how they value aesthetics, quality, and beauty. 

The reason you want to see the sameness in people is that the more sameness you see, the closer what they have becomes for you. 

When you see yourself as the same as the people who have what you want, your experience of them becomes a force multiplier in your power to create.

Whether it’s greater wealth you want or anything else, look to the people who have done more and have more than you and look for the sameness in them.

The more like you you find them out to be, the more you’ll find your capacity to create what they have – and more. 

And if you’re helping others to achieve something akin to what you’ve achieved, then help them to see how they’re the same as you too. 

Often enough, the best support we can offer another human being is the dissolution of differences between us. 

Speak soon.

Loving us all, JPM