On Friday, in Message #1389, I explained that to become wealthy the Michael Masterson way, you have to dramatically increase your income. And that means you have to do some extra work. But I also made the point that work doesn’t have to feel like work. It can be fun. And it can be both rewarding and enriching.

That’s the kind of work I’ve been thinking about lately. And the more I think about it, the more I think that the kind of work you should be doing to get wealthy is actually the right – and natural – thing for you to do.

Today, I want to tell you more about this new idea of mine – the idea of “Natural Wealth.”

I am 54 years old. As my wife reminds me now and then, I probably have only 20 or 30 years of living left. I’m not going to spend the last third of my life stressed out and unhappy. I’m completely committed to making life on earth a bit of heaven.

And I think I can.

The little experiments I’ve been doing these past four years (since hitting the Big 50) have been fruitful. I am starting to understand the difference between the work I love and the work I don’t. I’ve come to recognize – and this was an important revelation – that the work I love has little to do with what I’d always believed. The quality of my work experience, it turns out, is not about whether I’m writing or talking, standing or sitting, working indoors or out. It’s all about something else – something I’m calling “intentionality.”

“Intentionality” is a big word for “intent.” But I’m dressing it up to express the idea that the way to both love your work and have your work love you (by rewarding you financially and emotionally) is to make your focus … your intention … about making things better.

In nature, nothing is static. Things are either in a state of growth or decline, expansion or contraction, getting better or getting worse. If the intent of the work you do tends to improve things – the quality of a product, the experience of a customer, the potential of an employee – then Nature will reward you. If the intent of your work tends to diminish or destroy things – reducing the quality of a product to squeeze out extra profit, talking someone into buying something they don’t want or need, berating an employee – then Nature will punish you.

Nature’s reward is, well, natural. You will be rewarded by calm thoughts and good feelings and the loyalty and good will of your colleagues, employees, and customers. The financial rewards will come too, but they may take a little longer.

Nature abhors fast money and finds a way to make it disappear almost as fast as it arrived. Nature also dislikes bullies and cheats who usually find themselves alone and unhappy – with or without their money.

I’ll be talking more about Natural Wealth in future messages. For today, I’d like to leave you with this one idea: You should not be worrying about gas prices. If you don’t have the money you need to live the lifestyle you want, go out and make more money. You can make more money either by “forcing” the world to pay you more – and that way, because it is artificial, will be difficult and eventually self-destructive. Or you can make more money by finding out how to make the work you do more valuable to others – and that way, the natural way, will be rewarding from the first moment you do it until long after you are gone.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.