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Finding Wealth in Imperfection

Investment Analyst at Alpian
Amandine Soudeille
Group 7 Article, 7 min read

Is the desire for wealth beyond money synonymous with living a perfect life? Or is there more to the cracks of imperfection that make up our lives?

The question of how to unlock wealth beyond money is the kind that people spend their entire lives trying to answer. It often takes a lifetime because true wealth can be understood as something related somehow to happiness, which is quite a complex notion.

If some people think about happiness as their vision of a perfect life, where they would have all the goods that they cannot currently access, some others think of it as imperfection, in the middle of perfection.

In the book Wabi Sabi – finding happiness beyond imperfection, Christopher A. Weidner explains how little imperfections actually make things special, and how they lead people to a deeper enjoyment of the present moment in a way that leads them to happiness. This Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi (from the XIIth century!) actually goes in the opposite direction to perfectionism and appears (almost) as a stress reliever.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perhaps the imperfection of your wooden dining table might be what makes it so hearty and pleasant. It could be the reason why you like it so much as it reminds you of its past, and shows you where you are now, in the present.

In movies, it is often when the main character gets separated from the person they unconsciously love. That’s usually when they realize that what they missed about their beloved were the little imperfections. This often leads to a romantic reunion at the boarding gate of the airport right before take-off! In many ways, imperfection is easier than perfection and ends up healthier too.

The beauty of things does not lie in the quest for a perfect life but lies in simplicity.

Wealth beyond money is very similar. It consists in asking yourself what you actually wish for, who you wish it with, and why you wish it.

In other terms,

Freedom: do what you like
Belonging: do it with the people you like
Purpose: do it for the reason you wish

Maybe the secret of true wealth, happiness, wealth beyond money, or however you wish to call it, simply lies in imperfection. It means focusing on the essential, being simply yourself.

Looking for the perfect appearance should not be an end in itself, especially if inside, this is all messy. You need to care about the inside, the outside, and the outcome.  If something isn’t perfect, is it worth stressing about it and correcting it, or could it be that little cherry on the cake that makes everything better?

What Drives Your Wealth?

In the Wabi Sabi book, the author explains that the capacity to accept a touch of imperfection and to live the present instant leads to happiness. Further on in the book, he also provides a true practical recipe for getting closer to wealth beyond money by highlighting psychologist Steven Reiss and the famous 16 fundamental needs. These 16 basic needs or desires are said to motivate our actions and define our personalities.

The following guidelines are in my opinion a true source of inspiration:

  • Pick the ones that resonate with you
  • Spend time reflecting and working on them
  • Happiness will arise
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Try it out!

 

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Disclaimer:

Alpian has submitted an application for a full banking license to Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Content of this publication is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Group 7 Article, 7 min read
About the author
Amandine Soudeille
Investment Analyst at Alpian

Amandine began her career in the Finance department of Porsche France in 2015 before working in the FX Sales desk of Société Générale CIB in Geneva and then as a Fixed Income Sales/Trader for Valcourt, a securities broker in Geneva.

She holds a Master in Management (PGE) of Toulouse Business School, as well as a MSc in Finance of EBS Universität in Germany.

Amandine has a passion for Porsche and loves playing golf.