How Do You Define Prosperity?

Most of us want to be prosperous. However, when it comes time to define prosperity, all of a sudden things are a little less cut and dry.

While there are attempts to quantify prosperity, the truth is that, for many of us, prosperity is all about point of view.

Can You Define Prosperity in Numbers?

There are many attempts to define what it means to be “prosperous.” In many cases, prosperity is measured by sheer numbers. Politicians might proclaim that $250,000 or $400,000 is “wealthy” enough to be considered prosperous… and subject to tax increases.

How Do You Define Prosperity?However, someone who makes $45,000 a year might look at someone who makes $75,000 a year and say that person is prosperous. Even so, that person making $75,000 might not feel prosperous. He or she might think that prosperity is defined by an annual income of at least $125,000.

If you just use annual salary numbers to define prosperity, and you do it by comparing yourself to others, you will be hard-pressed to believe that you are in any way prosperous. There’s always someone who makes more than you do.

Finding Your Own Definition of Prosperity

Instead of relying on someone else’s definition of prosperity, you need to come up with a way to define prosperity for yourself. Instead of comparing what you make and/or what you have to others, you need to look for your own way to define prosperity.

Think about what is important to you. What does it mean to you to have “enough”? Prosperity might not mean having X amount of dollars. Instead, it might be more accurate to define prosperity by the lifestyle you are able to lead. Do you have enough money to pay for your needs? Can you usually pay for your wants as well? Are you debt-free? Do you enjoy time with friends and family? How is your health?

Look at your life, and figure out what you want it to look like. In many cases, abundance isn’t about lots of gadgets and a pile of cash. Perhaps prosperity is more about having the freedom to live your lifestyle in a way that contents you. If you have financial freedom, and the ability to make choices that appeal to you, that might be a better indication of prosperity than whether or not you have a new car in the driveway.


Instead of looking to someone else to define prosperity, and then measuring your own prosperity next to theirs, look for ways to meet your own priorities. Maybe you don’t want a big screen TV. That’s fine. If you have the money you want to go on small vacation and spend time with your family, perhaps you are prosperous, even if you don’t have a massive television set.

Think about what is most important to you, and what you think you is most likely to make you happy in your life. When you have options and financial freedom, that’s prosperity… no matter how much money you make each year.

3 Responses to How Do You Define Prosperity?

  1. Prosperity is when you don’t have to think about how much you make because you are living under your means.

    That could be at $35k, it might be at $175k. The number is irrelevant.

    Manageable or non-existent short-term debt, bills taken care of, and a comfortable place to live. That’s all that really matters.

  2. I agree, a personalized framework and evaluating prosperity is definitely the best way to do it. Not everything that matters to others and that they attach value to necessarily matters to us. All in all, am with Warren here, living below your means and saving the difference is a nice definition of prosperity, you never have to worry about not having enough since you are within your means. Family and health rank high too…some things money can’t buy 🙂

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