Experiencing Wealth

“I’ve always seen a vehicle as nothing more than a way to get from point A to point B.”
—My Grandfather

Many of us never stop to really question why we want the things we think that we want. We do not ask why we are chasing after a nicer car, a bigger house, or a higher position. We simply pursue these things as if they are some sort of existential imperative for no reason other than we feel as if we ought to.

We rarely stop to ask ourselves why, if having more is so important, does it always seem to leave us feeling dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and wanting more still. When is enough enough? When is a car just a car, a house just a house, and a job just a job?

If, for us, material possessions and financial-social status are ends in themselves, if they are what give our lives meaning and purpose, so be it. However, for most of us, they are just a means to an end. The problem is that many of us have never really considered or defined what that end is. We have not thought about where we are trying to get and at what point we will stop chasing more.

If we pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and really get honest with ourselves, we may realize that the things that truly bring us joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction are far fewer and far less expensive than we tend to think. Perhaps, these things are not things at all, but experiences. If we can shape our lives around the experiences that bring us the deepest sense of contentment, happiness, and meaning or purpose, we may find that we are already, actually unbelievably wealthy.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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