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How Do You Create a Richer Life? Take These 3 Steps to Stop Chasing What's Not Important. Follow these three steps to become more mindful, focus on what's truly important and start living a richer life.

By David Delisle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to money, our focus is often on HOW to have more. How to earn more. How to save more. How to invest more. More, more, more. And I get it. Who wouldn't like a little more money? To buy that expensive car or go on that lavish trip or eat at that Michelin-star restaurant?

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with wanting more. The problem I see comes when that's the ONLY thing we learn and we never pause to ask WHY.

The reason this becomes a problem without understanding our why, is that there's no end. This is what we are referring to when we talk about "endless consumerism" or "being stuck on a hamster wheel." We're on an endless chase for an elusive "end goal" when truthfully, and I hate to break it to you, there is no end in sight.

So, how do we solve this? How do we break this cycle and begin living a richer life? The solution is money mindfulness — and it's immediate.

Related: Why Making Money Shouldn't Be Your Only Goal in Life | Entrepreneur

What is money mindfulness?

I like to think of money mindfulness as simply pausing and reflecting. Instead of being caught up in the endless chase, ask what it is that you're actually chasing and why you are chasing it in the first place.

Start by just being curious. Why do you want that new pair of shoes? What does more money really mean to you? Is there an actual end goal, or can you feel that you are stuck in an endless chase? Be curious without judgment of yourself or any other purpose than simply asking the questions.

Being aware of your choices and their impact is how I define money mindfulness. Just being present. And this is the first step on the path toward a richer life.

I understand, though, that this first step is a big ask. You may have never thought of your money or spending habits in this way before. For many of us, the answers would seem obvious because we're still too caught up in what society has taught us and what we've learned to be true over the years to get truly curious. In fact, I've learned that the first answers are almost never the real answers.

So, here are three steps you can take to become a little more mindful and find your own personal WHY:

1. Understand what's important — to you

The key is "to you." Not what your kids, your partner, your parents or the world around you tell you is important. It's about what's important to YOU.

Start here: What is something you love more than anything else? Literally anything. The ONE thing that you love the most, that always brings a smile to your face. Something that makes you feel excited throughout your entire body. Something that you love to show off and/or talk about endlessly with your friends. This can be experiences or things or something else entirely.

To get your brain working, a few experiences might be a night out with friends, booking a vacation or taking your child on a solo trip with you.

If this is too broad, let me ask you this: What is your favorite piece of clothing? Mentally pick out your absolute most favorite purchase you've ever made. That one thing you wash over and over again just so it's on the top of the pile to wear again.

Now, how does that sweater or pair of jeans or those lucky socks make you feel? Sink into that feeling of being wrapped in your favorite item. THAT'S the feeling right there. That's what I call "the awesome stuff."

Related: 16 Mental Shifts for Living a Happier, Wealthier, More Successful Life

2. Benchmarking

Now that you know what's really important and what really brings you the most joy, you can use that to create what I like to call a benchmark. Now you get to compare that feeling to everything else.

If we're sticking with clothing as our example, think of how everything else compares to your favorite item. That becomes your benchmark for what brings you the most joy. You'll quickly realize how many items in your closet DON'T bring you joy at all.

3. Power in the PAUSE — stop chasing what's not important

The more mindful you become of what really brings you joy (your unique "awesome stuff") the less important everything else becomes. Here's the key to all of this. Now that you know your awesome stuff and you have a benchmark to compare against, before you decide to buy a new piece of clothing, you get to PAUSE and ask yourself how much joy it's going to bring you compared to your favorite thing. And if it's not even close, then don't buy it.

Following these steps is where the magic happens. Once you become more mindful of your spending habits and what truly lights you up, you'll start to view money, purchases and the things you've been chasing completely differently. It will shift your whole life so that you begin to focus more on what's truly important versus what's important because someone else told you it was or because it's what you SHOULD be doing.

You get to shift to what's really important because it's important to you. And this is going to be different for everyone. And that's what's beautiful about this work. Instead of chasing someone else's dream, you'll now be chasing your own.

Money mindfulness seems like a simple idea on the surface (being more aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions towards money) and yet, it's one of the most powerful practices you can create. It's cliché but less really is more here. When we get into better money mindfulness practices, we can step off that hamster wheel of endless consumerism and blindly chasing more. And I guarantee, it will lead to a richer life.

Related: These Simple Tactics Will Help You Become More Mindful With Your Money

David Delisle

Author of The Golden Quest

David Delisle, founder of The Awesome Stuff™, is an Amazon bestselling author, entrepreneur, real estate investor, and speaker. His first book, The Golden Quest, is a graphic novel that teaches kids (and adults) how to live a richer life and create the freedom for what is most important to them.

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