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Health, Wealth and Happiness: Pillars of Quality living

The desire for a thriving, healthy, and productive life is as strong as ever, especially in tough economic times like our present day.

Evaluating the three(3) terms, I could put forth that Health is the foremost factor on the ladder of living a good life. This is because without a healthy body nothing else can be achieved; that is Wealth and happiness are dependent on having a healthy being.

Health literally is just a word but the implications are wide and deep. As it involves our mental, physical and spiritual components. It also involves our self-image and the unconscious mind.

Going forward let’s get acquainted with the terms involved in this piece.

                                                     EVALUATION OF TERMS

1)  Health: health is an amorphous word that lacks a single definition. To some, “health is wealth” -given that in the absence of good health, an individual or society cannot attain its full potential. Mahatma Gandhi validated this in 1948 when he said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”. He was alluding to the idea that health is more important than monetary wealth, and that a society cannot prosper unless its people are healthy. Health is necessary for productivity and to fully enjoy life. Health is relative and has situational, professional, and even societal definitions. For example, to an athlete, health may mean being physically fit so as to complete a 5000m race. For an employee forced to miss work due to a bout of influenza, health may mean being able to return to work. In contrast to physical health, a person in an unhappy relationship may be concerned about their mental health. Finally, references to “health” are used in a non-medical context. For example: “efforts to build a healthy economy” or a sports team having a “healthy starting line-up.” With so many possible applications of the word, the question arises as to what it actually means to be healthy. The word “health” is derived from an old English word, “hale”, which means “wholeness, being whole or sound.” Despite its origins, there are several etymological meanings and these definitions have evolved over time. Early definitions focused on biomedical aspects: health was seen as the ability of the body to carry out its biological functions and any disruption in these functions was viewed as a disease. For instance, the Oxford online dictionary (2016), defines health as: “a state of being, free from illness or injury.” Similarly, Merriam-Webster online dictionary (2016) defines health simply as: “the condition of being well or free from disease”. That is the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially freedom from physical disease or pain. While these definitions have merit, their scope is limited. Perhaps the most established modern-day definition of health was termed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 when it stated: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. For the first time, domains of health beyond merely biomedical aspects were considered, emphasizing the importance of mental and social wellbeing.

Deducing from the above review, for a quality life we have to focus on both mental and physical health.

Let’s first look at physical health in more detail, the two key components of this are nutrition and exercise, so firstly are you eating right? Everyone is on a different diet, which is fine, we all need different nutrition. One thing we can all agree on is to stop eating junk food or at least cut down as much as you can. I know it’s hard because it’s everywhere you go but try pulling back on processed and sugary food. Stay hydrated and try drinking as much water as possible, by staying hydrated you’re helping the nutrients travel around your body more efficiently, helping your mood, keeping your muscles energized, and various other things. “What do I need my muscles energized for?” I hear you ask… exercise! Now there are so many different exercise routines for different types of goals so I’ll leave you in the hands of an expert which you could confide in. But I do think you should try and exercise at least three times a week to keep strong and healthy. Not only does exercise help keep you fit, but it also helps create lots of endorphins that make you feel good, most importantly try going for a medical check-up at least once in 6 months. And for the mental side of health, you can do many things like meditating, Reading, and avoiding toxic associations.

2) Wealth: Wealth, in its simplest terms, is the value of all the resources that are possessed by an individual or society. In other words, someone’s wealth is determined by the aggregate value of everything the person owns that can be exchanged for money, goods, or services. Individuals and countries measure wealth differently.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the measure countries usually use to measure their wealth. GDP is a measure of economic output, which is the value of all the goods and services that an economy produces in a specific period of time. The more a country produces, the wealthier it is from a purely economic standpoint.

The word ‘wealth’ is not restricted to just money, and it is a narrow point of view to know what it means to be wealthy. Wealth consists of many aspects like our health, relationships, finances, and time and can be broken down into four categories :

Money (Financial Wealth)

Status (Social Wealth)

Freedom (Time Wealth)

Health (Physical Wealth)

(a) Financial Wealth

Financial wealth means financial freedom to do more of what you like—complete freedom from every other financial crisis.

Financial wealth comprises understanding areas like investments, savings, and budgeting, and they want to be financially savvy. Now, imagine yourself in the future not worrying about money anymore. How would that make you feel, and how would that change your relationship with the world, people around you, and your family situation.

(b) Social Wealth

The underrated wealth. Status has its value and fulfillment, but who would have thought of it as a form of wealth? Taking debt every time to buy trendy things can lead to a substantial financial and emotional downfall.

Social wealth majorly comes with how one interacts within the world, and yes, it comes with luxury cars, houses, and one’s appearance but primarily with what kind of character one creates and how others perceive it.

(c) Time Wealth

Freedom is having our own time to spend how we want, where we want, and with whom we wish to. Time is what we crave. However, time is rare in modern times, where most of us spend earning money and building a social symbol, and to embrace it, everyone needs to understand that time is limited and can never be on our side. There is one more common term, ‘cash-rich and time-poor’ and we are sure that you want this position to be there to feel wealthy.

(d) Physical wealth

This entails everything I explained in the latter part of this article. 

Everyone can fulfill all four types of wealth in their lives. All you need to do is find the right kind of balance, and you will thrive on your own.

Money isn’t everything but it’s like oxygen if you want to live “the good life“ you need to know how to make it. There are all sorts of ways to make money and I definitely think you should do what you love whilst you’re at it. The world is fast evolving and definitely, nobody wants to be in the rat race where they work from 9-5 daily, here are a few ideas of how to make money; Social media content creation, photography, freelancing work, food delivery, teaching a language, investing in stock, graphics design, web design and many more. Wealth isn’t all about being a billionaire it’s about having what the rich don’t have, to me financial independence is just a stepping stone to a good life and not the end goal. We spend a lot of our lives wanting it, earning it, spending it – and wasting it. Most of us would say a little more wouldn’t go amiss, but would more cash in the bank actually make us happier? Well, for some, especially those in financial difficulty, it certainly could.

However for the majority, the equation “more money = more happiness” oh well only time would tell.

3) Happiness: Happiness can be characterized in different ways as the experience changes from individual to individual. Furthermore,  the same individual can be happy for various reasons,  as also on various occasions for similar reasons.  Similarly,  as various conditions create happiness, shifting types of happiness can be experienced by various people in similar conditions. In real-life happiness is a   flexible procedure.  

Happiness is a range of feelings that make us excited, that make us laugh, and that put a smile on our faces. It is the feeling of contentment with life, finding great satisfaction in many of its facets, and experiencing feelings of extreme pleasure (Erik, et al, 2015). It can operationally be defined as the overall satisfaction with the quality of life, which has been demonstrated to be a valid and reliable concept (Veenhoven, 1996). Happiness is about a sense of contentment and peace of mind, being content with what is and what we have.

This is what I tag as the ultimate goal in life, yet most of us never find it. According to the world health organization more than 300 million people of all ages are diagnosed with depression, let that sink in. You need to take back control of your own life and be happy. Most people think you need the other three pillars (health, wealth, and love) to be happy and although these do help significantly, that’s not necessarily true, it’s all about perspective, you could have all the money in the world, and still not be happy. You can’t expect loved ones to make you happy either, it’s up to you. 

In summary, happiness is a multidimensional construct wherein; wealth seems to be the key to happiness for the majority of individuals or society in this present day dispensation. But from our evaluation removing bias, a happy being is a healthy being, thereby leading to a productive lifestyle that brings about wealth.


David, W.J & Russell, S.W (2011) Health, Wealth and Happiness: Has the prosperity gospel overshadowed. Kregel publications.

Downer, E. (2000). Subjective Well-being: The Science Of Happiness & A Proposal For A National Index. American Psychologist,55(1),34-43.

Gardhim, K.(1948) Keys To Health.Ahmedabad, India: Navjivan Publishing house. cc Google scholar.

Georgie, F. (2021). A Money Mindset: 10 Tips To Achieve Health, Wealth And Happiness.

Horning, R.B (2006). Happiness And The Pursuit Of Happiness. 35(323-346).

Lancet (2009). What Is Health? The Ability To Adapt. 373(966). Google scholar.

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