Jesus said that "It's pointless for a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his very self," and the Buddha whimsically pointed out that "seeking happiness in one's material desires is as absurd as suffering because a banana tree will not bear mango."
What does that mean? Living richly begins with being in the moment; seeing the things around you, and taking joy in the everyday air, sun, people, colors, aromas and energy of life. Potts again provides insight: "Seeing" is somewhat of a spiritual exercise: a process not of seeking interesting surroundings, but of being continually interested in whatever surrounds you."
I'm now beginning my third week in India (which I'm tracking on my Travel log of India on my Website and my India Reflections on blogger). Each day as I walk towards my friends office I pass a 3-year old girl. She sits there as her mother and grandmother iron the laundry. And everyday the little girl waves to me with a smile "hi, hi, hi" she says, and then "bye, bye, bye." In that simple moment my joy level rises because i don't hurry past thinking of where I need to be. I rather enjoy each step of that mini adventure to and from the office. I often take a different way home each night.
Yesterday, I woke up and went to my favorite local cafe, and felt intensive, internal joy for no reason whatsoever -- I was happy just to be alive, in that moment; grateful for another day to see whatever comes my way.
Surely to the busy hard-working people out there chasing time and money to keep current with their monthly overhead, this might all seem a bit trite: nice in theory, but light on practicality.
However, as succinctly stated by Mr. Potts yet again, "The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we're too poor to buy our freedom."
Work is a necessity to earn, but you can choose to what degree you need to earn by what you hold most valuable in life.