Everyone has dreams. A lot of people dream of being rich. You can see them lining up at the corner stores and buying lottery tickets for hours on end. Game shows inundate millions of hopeful viewers imagining what they might do with all that money. If it happened to the people of TV, it could happen to me, right?
For the vast majority, this is an entirely unrealistic expectations. A false hope that drives many into years of toiling away in unhappiness.
Life is not about acquiring wealth. While I can't speak on it from experience, I'm reasonably certain that wealthy people spend more time than most pretending not to be miserable. Could that be the motivation behind the mansions and the yachts and sports cars, the million dollar paintings, the expensive adornments, and all the unnecessary status symbols that wealthy people display? A crutch to hold up a modicum of happiness when other aspects of life are meaningless?
The truth of the matter, for those with virtue enough to see it, is that wealth is not so difficult to acquire. A human's basic needs are food, water, and shelter. If one can switch perspectives to think not of acquiring material wealth and instead of acquiring food, water, and shelter, we can all be rich. Coming to the realization that much of what you consider a necessity is actually a luxury is where the same struggle lies.
The simplest and most direct path to this realization for me was to go without. Go without your car, your house, your innumerable outfits, your kitchen appliances, your climate control, your smart phone, and you will see in short order how wealthy you truly are.
The amount of appreciation one experiences in life is directly correlated to the things one goes without.
A glass of instant milk when you haven't had one and weren't expecting it is far better than the gallon of milk you pick up weekly at your local grocery. It is so much better it isn't really fair to compare them; it is as if they come from two entirely different universes.