Bansir looked at the streets filled with tradesmen, beggars and half naked slaves bearing heavy goatskins filled with water to pour over the hanging gardens. Then glancing at the high towering walls surrounding the King’s palace he looked at his simple home. As a chariot builder of Babylon he was to finish a chariot for a wealthy customer, but couldn’t find the motivation to get started because he was struggling with a problem for which he could not find the answer.
The night before he had a pleasant dream where he was the owner of a handsome purse, heavy with coins, which he cast with careless abandon to all the beggars and unfortunates, he also bought finery for his wife. A glorious feeling of contentment was within him. But upon arising great feelings of sadness swept over him because he knew how empty was his purse.
Bansir realized he was as poor as the king’s slaves marching back and forth, day after day, year after year who had nothing to show for their work and nothing to look forward to. To know the joys of wealth they could only dream.
Six thousand years later we’re not much different – year after year we’re living life like a slave. Busy, busy, busy, doing it, doing it, doing it, getting nowhere. After half a lifetime of labour most still have an empty purse.
I was a bass player and spent every waking hour exploring how to perfect my craft, quietly hoping some day I would be recognized for what I was capable of and receive prosperity from my labour. I wanted to be someone; I wanted to be a man of means. I wanted to own my own home, a car, buy nice clothes and travel. I was never shy about working for any of these things. I realized this would never come in the way I was living; just the act of trying to sustain some kind of an existence absorbed all my earnings.
Why had I never found any mention of how to build or get wealth up until this point in my life? No one ever showed me how to build wealth and I didn’t think to ask because I didn’t know it was important. Instead of seeking wealth I was seeking bass playing and music, which I believed would lead to wealth.
If we talk about wealth in terms of music and bass playing, am I successful? To that purpose I devoted all my efforts, I am a successful bass player and musician. In those things toward which you’ve exerted your best efforts you succeeded. And like Bansir, the Gods were content to let us continue on that road.
But now I see a new light that wants me to learn more that I may prosper more. With a new understanding we can find ways to accomplish our desires. Bansir was awakening to the need to prosper and decided to meet with his old friend Arkad who was now the richest man in Babylon and ask what was his secret to great wealth. Arkad revealed that Bansir hadn’t observed three important laws of wealth.
Most know that wealth is power; with wealth many things are possible, you can do all things that gratify the soul. Arkad upon realizing this decided early that he wanted to claim his fair share of the good things in life. He didn’t want to be one of those people standing on the sidelines watching everyone else have all the fun. He did not want to be satisfied with cheap clothes, cheap food and just ‘make-do.’ Arkad wanted to be a guest at the banquet of good things.
With that Arkad gave Bansir the first of three laws of wealth:
Pay Yourself First
Society teaches the masses to produce and consume. You go to work all week to earn money and at the end of the week, you’re taught to go out and spend it all. We like spending money, but what do you have left to show for it at the end of the month? Wake up to the idea that you’re working for other people and then you pay your money to everyone else except yourself.
From now on all the money you receive every month you are going to put to work for you. Save one-tenth of all the money you receive. Every piece of gold you save is a slave to work for you. Every copper it earns is its child that also can earn for you. From now on pay yourself one-tenth of all the money you earn first and put it aside.
Control Your Spending
The second key to wealth may sound too simple to grasp, but you must control your spending; spend less than you earn. It is a strange thing throughout my life that no matter how much I earned I always managed to spend it – expenses always grow to equal income.
The secret here is to not confuse necessary expenses with the gratification of desires; you have more desires than your money can satisfy. You spend money today to gratify your desires, but there are always more desires that are still not satisfied. Everyone is burdened with more desires than they can gratify. Look at you habits of living; what are you buying without thinking?
One way to focus in on your money is to do your taxes every week or month. Focus on getting your taxes done, looking at money coming in verses money going out provides valuable insight into how you live. I’m always surprised by how much money I’ve spent on certain things. They’re many things you can do without.
Controlling your spending and putting one-tenth of your money away – let this be your great desire that is being fulfilled. You can realize cherished dreams by defending them against casual desires.
Magnify Your Money
In the first law you learned to pay yourself first and accumulate your own money. The second is to control your spending so you learn how to live on less than you earn. The third law is to seek counsel, to seek advice from those who are competent through their own experience to give it so you can make your money work for you and magnify your money. But know without partners, counsellors or mentors you cannot succeed.
Proverbs 15:22: Without council, plans are frustrated
Proverbs 11:14: Where no council is, the people fall
You haven’t achieved your dreams because you haven’t sort council; someone that knows how to do the thing you want hasn’t mentored you. A good mentor accelerates and multiplies success and bad counselling accelerates failure.
Every person desires an income to fulfil life’s desires, to work and to travel without worrying about money. A person’s wealth is not in your bank account, it is in the streams of income that continuously flow into your account from your efforts, an income that continues to come whether you work or travel.
When you find your way to these truths, your place in the sun awaits you. You’ll find that life is good and life is rich with things worthwhile and things to enjoy. No one can fill that place for himself until they’ve worked out their own understanding of what has been said. When you understand these truths, you’ll be ready to get the life that is waiting.
Be like Bansir and give up the toil of the chariot building business and seek counsel to learn how you can sit at the banqueting table of life’s desires.